Australian Pros at Kona – Last minute recap and a quick look at some of our top age groupers

Crowie winning Ironman Melbourne 2012

Everything has been said so it is hard to add anymore. This race is like the Melbourne Cup. Any number of pros can win this weekend. They are all playing their cards close to their chest and aren’t giving away anything. So it is all left up to analysis and guess work.

So for the record for anyone wanting to have a last minute brush up on the Australians racing tomorrow here is a short summary of our top professional athletes.

Of course don’t forget our large contingent of some of ours and the worlds top age groupers who are also racing here at Kona. Names like Matt Burton, Gregory Farrell, Angus McGilvray, Aaron Richardson, Ben Bell, Brett Carter, Timothy Smith, Kevin Fergusson, Kym Jaenke, Kathleen Bourchier, Rhiannon Snipe, Erica Ellis, Kirsty Craft, Brett Davidson, Rob Creasy, Ollie Allan, Xavier Coppock, Caitlin Bridgland, Sandy Crow, Lauren Jones… the list goes on. 1000 apologies to all that are not mentioned here. We are sure you will understand.

The Australian professional contingent at Kona this year is very strong. There are three Aussie males capable of winning on Saturday and at least one Australian female. Craig Alexander, Pete Jacobs, Chris McCormack and Mirinda Carfrae are all in the best shape of their lives. That is to take absolutely nothing away from the others who will be there racing for the best result of their lives at the Ironman World Championship. Luke McKenzie, Luke Bell, David Dellow, Joe Gambles, Paul Matthews, Josh Rix, Rebekah Keat and Michelle Gailey. McKenzie was

Crowie is saying he is 100% fit and in better shape than ever. Pete Jacobs likewise is feeling very relaxed and is starting to loosen up for Saturday. He has an injury to deal with earlier this year which took some shine off some of his early races. He was dominating at the Cairns 70.3. There is no doubt he has one of the fastest swim and run combos. It will just remain to be seen how much his bike has improved since last year. The word is it has. Possibly one of Jacobs’ weapons could be his nutrition. The  nutrition company that he works with has one of the most passionate and knowledgeable guys heading it who is extremely involved in this aspect of Pete’s race.

Most media are not including Pete Jacobs in their top pics as well as many ‘serious triathlon followers’. They didn’t last year as also and Jacobs came second in one of the fastest times in the history of the race.

Has Macca done enough long racing and training this year? Macca is having a last go at a title and has one focus. To win and beat Crowie. This seems to be what is coming out when you read between the lines. Could that let someone else slip under the radar? The question mark is that he has spent so much time over the Olympic distance has he had the time to build the base to run a fast 42kms. He has speed, there is no doubt about that. Will his experience and cunning get him through?

No one but Crowie’s camp knows for sure how he is going. No one can say he isn’t 110%. He raced Melbourne this year and did it on the redline the whole way. He would not normally do an Ironman at that time of the year. He took an injury away from that and has been very quiet this year. The people he has been training with say that he is in great from. Aside from Sebastian Kienle in Las Vegas he had a very good race and went close to the repeating his form from last year which is a good sign.

Luke McKenzie came 9th at Kona last year and has been very focused on this race. The five time Ironman champion knows how to race and this year he has had a second at Ironman Cairns 70.3 and a 4th recently at Cozumel 70.3. Luke did have some injury issues earlier this year but they seem to have faded.

Luke Bell had an average race at Ironman Cairns this year on the run but had a solid 9th at Ironman New York. He was first out of the water and ran a 3:18.

Joe Gambles is still new at the long course game. He first raced at Ironman Melbourne this year. He got off the bike with the leaders and hung on for about 10kms on the run until the pace just got the better of him. Known as one of the top 70.3 triathletes around he is still feeling his way at the iron distance.

David Dellow could be a possible dark horse at Kona this year. He is feeling good and coming in with no pressure on himself. After his Ironman Cairns win this year and some very good training since then his relaxed approach to this race could work in his favour.

Josh Rix had a good race in Melbourne this year and came away with an 11th overall place in what we know was one of the toughest fields assembled in recent times. He is looking very trim and has been training up big at Boulder. It will be great to see how Josh goes and we are looking froward to a similar smile that he had when he crossed the line in Melbourne very satisfied.

Paul Matthews is one that will be an unknown entity this year at Kona. Matthews has had a solid year and had some good results. Always in the mix in both 70.3 and Olympic distance racing.

And we can’t forget Greg Bennett. He has turned his hand to long course triathlon and has done extremely well this year. He raced Ironman Melbourne but was slightly off the pace. He went in to this Melbourne under prepared and would have taken a lot away from it. Bennett is an unknown quantity and will most likely surprise (or not to those that know him well).

Mirinda Carfrae has spent this year working on her bike leg. She does not want to give away the time she has in the past to the other women who are here to win. Steffen, Cave, Joyce, Williamson and Keat are the women she is determined to keep in check on the bike. As usual Carfrae will be going for a run record. She knows no other way.

Not talked about as much as a potential winner this year is Rebekah Keat. Keat is in very good shape and after missing out at Cainrns after doing her calf 4kms in to the run she is hungry for a big win. She is running very strongly and look for Keat to upset some of the other big names if she has the perfect day.

Still a self confessed ‘Ironman Newbie’ Michelle Gailey from Darwin in Australia’s north has shown that she can run very fast at this distance. Gailey has been working hard for this race and she could be put down as a podium dark horse but with this being her first time in Kona she is coming here to get to know the race and build her experience. She is going to race for a podium don’t worry about that. With possibly the biggest smile in the sport she will be a favourite with the crowds.





Karl Hayes

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.