By Karl Hayes
Somehow a week has just vanished and this article still wasn’t written.
When I wrote the race report for Racine 70.3 the big Elephant in the corner was Crowie’s 1:31 half marathon. In a race won by two Australians, Paul Ambrose and Christie Sym and with Tim Berkel coming in second, Kiwi Bryan Rhodes in fifth and Michelle Wu third, the biggest name in the field was back in eighth place.
Some of the media were writing about Crowie failing. Knowing Craig and the pros at the pointy end there is almost always a reason for every race and a reason why for an unusual result like this.
Alexander was originally scheduled to race Vineman on the same weekend. Of course this was at the start of the year. As everyone knows now Craig picked up a virus that changed everything. We were at the Triathlon Australia awards night, which Craig was attending as well, two days before he was struck down with the virus that floored him for weeks. The next time I met up with Craig was at Ironman Australia where he was an unwilling spectator and was not happy about missing his first chance in years to race Ironman at home. It was, however, great to see him there supporting the competitors. He was very sick though. He couldn’t stop coughing when talking and was genuinely crook.
Craig’s first objective after getting healthy was to validate for Kona and Las Vegas so, at the last minute, he put Couer d’Alene into the schedule and we know how well that worked out (race report). “The week after IM CDA, I had an MRI because I had had this persistent rib pain. It was the reason I had to walk during the run at Alcatraz and that I didn’t even travel to Eagleman 70.3.”
What showed was that Craig had a fractured 11th rib. This is not that uncommon when you have had a prolonged cough.
Craig’s dilemma was that he still hadn’t validated for Las Vegas and with a cut off date of August 8 looming he had to come up with something. “I had the option of racing Boulder 70.3 but then I had a sponsorship appearance called in for Chicago on Friday 15th. I raced Racine last year and it is a 1hr drive north of Chicago. I also had a day of wind tunnel testing booked in for the following Tuesday. which is in that neck of the woods as well.”
“I just figured it made a lot of sense to do the appearance, validate for Vegas and get in the wind tunnel all in one trip, to minimize travel.”
Racine was only 20 days after IM CDA and Craig just did not want to push it. He only had to finish to validate.
“Trust me, it is a very foreign feeling not to be trying to win or race at your normal level. Unfortunately, this was a consequence of getting the virus and the new qualification system. This time last year, I had already won six half ironman triathlons. This year, I hadn’t even raced one until Racine.”
“Anyway, I am in for both Las Vegas and Kona now, so I can just have a little rest now before starting my build up.
We wish Craig all the best for Las Vegas and Kona and look forward to following him in both races.