My Age Group predictions:
No doubt I will miss 1-2 athletes here or there as I only gauge these tips on who I remember and on what performance. No I don't scroll through every person on the entry list!
18-24 Male - Matty Burton by a long long way. A/G World Champ 2011, However I do know that James Kuyper will lead him out of the water by a good 5-6 minutes and lead for around 40-50k's on the bike.
18-24 Female - Alicia Johnson. Purely based on previous results
25-29 Male - Paul Roberts. Once again based on previous results, and has raced on this course with a solid performance. Wouldn't surprise me if someone else gets up though!
25-29 Female - Liz Gordon A/G champion from last year.
30-34 Male - My A/G!!! With no Chapman's this year, time someone else won this A/G!! My pick is Matty Craft (multiple IM World Champ finisher) and in 9hr 28 last year and is in good form so far this year!
Along with Craft, Daniel Eisenhuth (4th 2011) and Jason Nuttman (looks like a late entry from IMNZ 4hr 27min). There could be a roughy get up here, but these are my picks.
30-34 Female - Two girl race....Anna Francis from VIC or Kristy Craft (Could it be a Craft 30-34 double??) This should be close for a long long way!
35-39 Male - Mark Janson (3rd Hawaii 2010 9hr 5min) with Nathan Fitzackerly and Andrew Vicary trying to topple him.
35-39 Female - Once again am tipping a Two girl race between Jodie Barker & Catherine Thiele. Both have experience here and will be a great race to follow.
40-44 Male - Matt Koorey for me. 2nd in 2011 behind Matty Lewis.
40-44 Female - Leanne Southwell comfortable here.
45-49 Male - Chris Southwell, straight up. Did have Ricky Jeffs to lead off the bike but heard he will be supporting.
45-49 Female - Between Angela Clarke & Allison Coote.
50-54 Male - Couldn't decide between 3 Ironman Australian legends Stephen Bingham (20 time finisher), Mark Moro (11) & Allan Moustakis (14).
50-54 Female - 3 way here also between 13 time finisher Janet McAfee, Rosie Spicer & Leanne McPherson.
55-59 Male - Plain and simple for me.....John Hill, unless something goes wrong he will be done a long long way before the rest.
55-59 Female - Nancy Cullen with a similar result to John.
60-64 Male - Just for finishing, these guys are FREAKS!! But to pick a winner, I can't decide between, Peter Williams, Ron Wilson and 17 time finisher Rod Howitt.
60-64 Female - Helen Freer
65-69 Male - If Patrick got his genes from his father, I would have to go with Guy Vernay, however I think that 23 time finisher Geoff Thorsen or 13 time finisher Dieter Reithmeier could be challenging.
65-69 Female - Orginally Karla Mckinley, only starter...but I have found out that she qualified from Ironman Melbourne, so unsure if there will be any starters here.
70+ Just phenomenal that there is actually a entrant let alone a couple.
For me, the Japanese entrant Hideki Iishi.
For Overall AGE GROUP honours, Matty Burton & Jodie Barker (although this will be close)
Now let's not forget the Pro's... Now they usually get all the spot light, but not for me. By having only 7 males and 4 female entrants just shows that they are not the heart and soul of the sport. The age groupers are, so the age groupers are the ones that get my focus.
In my opinion of the Pro's, this race is the "Who cares Ironman"!!
I am going to pick Leon Griffin as he is a Vic and the Vic's need to win one up there and he has every opportunity. However I do have a soft spot for Jason Shortis. Mr 40+ and still giving the young ones a battle.
For the women...4 starters...terrible..But Michelle Mitchell for me.
For the record...I am heading up for the weekend and after hearing a rumour that it might be the last Ironman in Port Macquarie, I might start just to be part of an inaugural and final race in the same year (Melbourne & Port).
I managed to get a little bit of training done over the weekend and today, so I will definitely not be racing, just finishing! I got my blood tests back today being all clear and I will post them this week.