Kona race day: live blogging (go, Rutger)

11 10 2008

Some 1,800 athletes have earned their right to start in the mother of all triathlons today: the 30th edition of the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Favorites to win the race are Chris McCormack and Craig Alexander, but I’m rooting for the Belgian foursome of Luc Van Lierde, Marino Vanhoenacker, Rutger Beke and Marc Herremans.

Live updates (courtesy of Ironmanlive.com):

18:40: The 2008 Kona bike count results are in. As usual, Cervelo frames (415) and Zipp wheels (1,776) lead the way. Taken together, that’s enough capital to nationalize a bank.

18:53: And they’re off! An ocean swim of 3,800m. Sans wetsuit.

19:50: Men’s swim leaders

1 48:38 36 Potts, Andy Colorado S CO USA
2 48:40 0:02 178 Sanson, Benjamin Bordeaux FRA
3 48:43 0:05 159 Jacobs, Pete Sydney NSW AUS
4 51:26 2:48 35 Rhodes, Bryan Taupo NZL
5 51:27 2:49 8 Van Lierde, Luc Brugge BEL

20:02: Rutger Beke (54:50), Marino Vanhoenacker (54:41) and Bert Jammaer (54:38) completed the swim leg in almost similar times and are now chasing the leaders.

20:09: A who’s who of pro athletes is chasing the lead trio of Andy Potts, Benjamin Sanson and Pete Jacobs

* Chris Lieto (#6) at 2:20
* Faris Al-Sultan (#11) at 2:20
* Eneko Llanos Burguera (#7) at 2:20
* Chris McCormack (#1) at 2:20
* Torbjorn Sindballe (#3) at 2:20
* Craig Alexander (#2) at 2:20
* Cameron Brown (#25) at 2:20

20:16: I’m drinking a 1999 Alicante Gran Reserva. Unbeatable price/quality ratio (3,49 euros a pop).

20:29: The Ironman.com domain is having its annual network problems. On the menu tonight: roasted veal loin in madeira sauce.

20:38: Perennial emotional favorite Marc Herremans is leading the handcycle division after the swim. Go Marc!

20:39: I am a snot producing blogger.

20:42: Chrissie Wellington has taken the lead in the women’s race. No surprises there.

20:45: Celebrated the beautiful weather today with a 4-hour bike ride.

21:23: The veal loin was superb. Let’s see: überbiker Torbjorn Sindballe has taken the lead. Chris Lieto and Eneko Llanos are in hot pursuit. A number of pros, including Andy Potts, have been pulled over for drafting penalties. That’s a first.

21:26: Man, next week has hectic written all over it. Two book review deadlines, one conference deadline, preparations for the Flemish Science Week, one position paper brainstorm, two high priority paper revisions and two important faculty meetings. And oh, a wine fair on Friday and a 5.5k off-road race on Sunday.

21:41: I haven’t been to a club in quite a while, but Arab Money is a major party track. Is it me or has Busta put on about 20 pounds?

21:55: The headwind has picked up on the bike course. Ouch. Chris Lieto has taken the lead. Bravo. Stadler is on his tails, despite “heavy legs”. McCormack, Alexander and Faris-Al Sultan are too. No news yet on the Belgian hopefuls.

21:59: If you speak French, are up to speed with Belgian politics and enjoy biased journalism, watch this clip.

22:06: The leaderboard at the 45mile bike mark:

1.       Torbjorn Sindballe
2.       Chris Lieto      38 seconds
3.       Faris Al-Sultan       48 seconds
4.       Eneko Llanos Burguera
5.       Timo Bracht
6.       Andreas Boecherer
7.       Bryan Rhodes
8.       Cameron Brown
9.       Normann Stadler
10.     Paul Amey

22:08: The drama unfolds: Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack appears to be struggling. Chrissie Wellington has a flat and she can’t get the flat tire off.

22:23: Faris Al-Sultan is looking really strong on the bike. Rebekah Keat has given a spare tire air canister to Chrissie Wellington. What a gesture.

22:28: Tale of the tape 3:44 into the race: a brutal, brutal headwind!

22:35: Macca appears to have dropped out of contention.

22:37: It gives me great pleasure to announce that Celia Roberts will give a keynote address at the 2009 Discourse in Organizations workshop.

22:40: Norman Stadler on his bike is smooth poetry in motion. And I hate to admit it, but watching triathlon on live stream television is like seeing your grandparents make out. Poor, poor television.

22:45: This is turning into my longest blog post ever.

22:48: Macca has pulled out of the race and Marc Herremans is leading the handcycle division!

22:56: 70 miles into the bike race, Sindballe, Lieto and Al Sultan are still in the lead.

23:00: A mix that never gets old is Bullion’s Mixed up in love. Killer selection and mixing.

23:01: Marino Vanhoenacker is 2:15 behind the chase group.

23:26: Something tells me Faris Al Sultan is in it to win it. Again.

23:32: 4:40 into the race, 3 Belgian athletes are in the top 20 at the 90mile mark.

1 4:23:08 3 Sindballe, Torbjorn Horsholm DNK
13 4:31:42 8:34 41 Beke, Rutger Heverlee BEL
15 4:31:49 8:41 68 Van Lierde, Frederik Menen BEL => !!a rookie at Kona!!
20 4:33:51 10:44 5 Vanhoenacker, Marino Jabbeke BEL

23:42: I wonder how Luc Van Lierde and Bert Jammaer are doing.

23:45: Norman Stadler is making his move!

23:50: I’m hoping for a marathon showdown between Chrissie Wellington and Yvonne Van Vlerken.

23:58: Memo to self: keep an eye on Fortisaction.com, an investor-run initiative looking to start legal action against Fortis.

00:03: Let’s hear for another network timeout.

00:07: “We can barely hear our spotters on the radio because of the wind noise.” Holy cow.

00:09: Torbjorn Sindballe has entered T2. A marathon awaits.

00:12: wow-stories so far: wind, wind and more wind, Rebekah Keat’s show of sportsmanship and Macca’s mechanical problems.

00:16: My running schedule has just reminded me that tomorrow brings another interval session. 8x1500m (500m easy followed by 1k @ 4:30).

00:33: We’ve got quite a race here. Sindballe is (still) in the lead, Stadler, Lieto, Llanos and Al Sultan are chasing him. Cameron Brown and Craig Alexander are coming on strong, too.

00:54: The 2004 and 2006 winner Norman Stadler is in the lead. He seems to be unstoppable in even years.

01:10: Division positions and bike splits for:

Rutger Beke: 13th pos (04:34:44)
Frederic Van Lierde: 16th position (04:40:22)
Marino Vanhoenacker: 26th position (04:46:19)
Luc Van Lierde: 39th position (04:55:42)

01:11: Homer tired.

01:14: I’m wide awake again. Rutger Beke is currently in 9th place, 4:40 behind Stadler. I have to admit, I wasn’t counting on Beke to do much damage. Give ’em hell, Rutger.

01:18: Even though anything is still possible in the women’s race, Chrissie Wellington has opened up a massive 8:30 gap on Belinda Granger and Yvonne Van Vlerken.

01:22: How cool is Louis Garneau gear?

01:25: The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.

01:27: Bert Jammaer appears to have dropped out of the race.

01:29: Craig Alexander just overtook Chris Lieto as the latter stopped to stretch.

01:34: Llanos has passed Stadler to take the lead. What a race.

01:35: Let’s give the live stream another shot…”Rotke Bekkie is flying across the course”…Enough with the smalltalk already. Show me the race!

01:43: Rutger Beke is in 7th place! 3:45 behind Llanos and Stadler. Phenomenal.

01:48: Rutger Beke is in 6th place at 3:40 behind Llanos. Still 13 miles to go.

01:50: The 30th edition of IM Hawaii is 7hours and 5 minutes old.

01:52: Craig Alexander is on sub 2:40 marathon pace. Read that again.

01:56: Chrissie Wellington is tearing up the women’s race. Yvonne Van Vlerkenburg – looking very, very strong – is 10:16 behind.

01:58: Craig Alexander has just passed Normann Stadler, who keeps stopping to stretch his hamstring.

02:02: Craig Alexander has taken the lead in Energy Lab. A Jordanesque move.

02:03: Cameron Brown has passed Normann Stadler and is running in third position.

02:06: Run positions for:

Rutger Beke: 5th position
Marino Vanhoenacker: 17th position
Frederic Van Lierde: 47th position

02:11: and now a word from our sponsor. Shit, it’s an actual interview with our sponsor.

02:13: Priceless, quizzical look on the English-speaking color guys when their German colleague is giving race updates in German.

02:16: The first five men through the turn at the Energy Lab.

1 7:23:32 2 Alexander, Craig Sydney AUS
2 7:24:16 0:45 7 Llanos Burguera, Eneko Vitoria-Ga ESP
3 7:26:36 3:04 25 Brown, Cameron Manukau NZL
4 7:26:58 3:26 41 Beke, Rutger Heverlee BEL

5 7:27:16 3:44 15 Bracht, Timo Eberbach GER

02:20: Dead ironmen walking on the course.

02:27: Craig Alexander is averaging 6:07 miles. That’s an insane **3:47 pace/kilometer**.

02:31: with 10k to go, Rutger Beke is in third place.

02:38: I’m so tired/hyped up, I’m thinking of gulping down an energy gel. On second thought, let’s stick to Fruittella.

02:45: The commentators are speculating about whether Chrissie Wellington is vomiting or answering nature’s call.

02:47: “Rotke Bekkie is still running in third”

02:50: Approaching the 37k mark, Craig Alexander is still running at an extraterrestrial 2:40 marathon pace.

02:52: Rutger Beke is 4:10 behind the leader.

02:54: This race is 8:09 old.

02:56: Craig Alexander is starting to celebrate. He has about 2 miles to go.

02:59: It’s 42 degrees Celsius in the Energy Lab.

03:00: Craig Alexander has zipped up his race top and has taken an Australian flag from the crowd.

03:02: Your 2008 Ford Ironman World Champion: Craig Alexander.

03:03: Craig Alexander came in second last year in his first attempt. He’s the first man to claim both the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World titles.

03:04: Unofficial time for Craig Alexander: 08:17:46. What a stylish athlete.

03:05: Craig Alexander has just crossed the finish line and he’s casually giving an interview.

03:08: Shit, another network timeout. I wanna see Rotke Bekkie cross the finish line.

03:09: It’s official. Rutger Beke comes in third in a time of 8:21:23. Fan-tas-tic.

03:16: The first five men’s splits:

Place Time Tot Dif Numb Lname Fname City Pro Cnt Swim Tr1 Bike Tr2 Run
===== ======= ======= ==== ==========================
1 8:17:45 2 Alexander, Craig Sydney AUS 51:43 1:41 4:37:19 2:04 2:45:01
2 8:20:50 3:05 7 Llanos Burguera, Eneko Vitoria-Ga ESP 51:39 1:48 4:33:27 2:10 2:51:49
3 8:21:23 3:38 41 Beke, Rutger Heverlee BEL 54:44 1:50 4:34:45 2:16 2:47:49
4 8:21:46 4:01 31 Schildknecht, Ronnie Ruschlikon SWI 54:56 1:58 4:34:26 2:08 2:48:20
5 8:23:04 5:19 15 Bracht, Timo Eberbach GER 52:25 1:37 4:35:25 2:30 2:51:09

Rutger has turned in an out-stan-ding race, capped by a phenomenal marathon.

03:17: that’s it for me. what a race. g’night.

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