It was a tale of those who wanted to do Ironman Australia but were unable to for various reasons. Two time World Champion Craig Alexander explained that he was missing a race for the first time in ten years, last time it was due to chicken pox and this time it is due to a virus. He seemed genuinely to be very disappointed to be missing the chance to race in front of all his family, friends, and sponsors, and explained that it was throwing his schedule for the year into confusion as he had already forgone a number of races to compete at Port, and now would need to identify another race to get the qualifying points needed for Kona.
Tim Berkel is also missing the IM race for the first time at Port, and appeared none to happy at the prospect explaining that he was simply following his coaches orders and racing the 70.3 instead. The prospect of being finished and home by mid day (Tim lives in Port) was however a novelty. Also wishing she was racing Ironman was Belinda Granger, who explained that her body no longer allowed her to back up from Ironman as quickly as she would like. Granger, who claims to be on the verge of retiring, competed in Ironman South Africa three weeks ago. She said that for her racing the 70.3 allowed her to still be involved on the day.
Patrick Vernay stands on the brink of winning five IM Australia titles, equaling Macca’s record, however he regretted the absence of Crowie and a stronger male field in general, saying he would rather come second to Crowie than win a race without him in it. The other athletes who will fancy their chances includes Courtney Ogden, who said that the 12 meter drafting rule would favour him, and mean that the bike now becomes a test of power output on the day and not â€œjust a couple of big groups rolling around the courseâ€.
Unusually Pete Jacobs will be relying on his swim and bike on the day, and will just try and hang on in the run. He has been suffering from inflamed tendons in his foot and has not been able to run for the past two weeks, but is hopeful it will all come good on the day.
When asked by Trizone about the impact of the low prize money and Kona points on their attitude to the race the athletes acknowledged that it did come into play when looking at their schedule for the year, but once they had committed to a race it was irrelevant with their competitiveness, pride, and prestige associated with winning a race all taking over