So here I go again, trying to tip the winners of the age groupers at Ironman Western Australia 2012. A race that I have finished 3 times and have fond memories as it was my first Ironman in 2008 9hr 27min and also the race in which I qualified for my first Hawaiian Ironman. 20120 9hr 6min.
Getting straight into it:
Female 18 - 24:
Helen King - Returning champion from 2011
Male 18 -24:
Amos Gollach 3rd 2011 and also coming back from Hawaiian Ironman 2012 which he will have a fair bit of carry over fitness.
Luke Burton 9th 2011
Female 25 - 29:
A toss up between Kimberley Russell and Kacey Willoughby, both these two podiums at their respective Ironman races earlier in the year and both missed out on Hawaiian spots. I am pretty sure they both will be fighting tooth and nail until the end to gain that spot.
Kimberley Russell has the experience of knowing how to get a spot after racing Kona in 2010.
Male 25 -29:
Once again a split decision between Brad Wall and Levi Maxwell. One has no pressure after returning from Kona and the other has all the expectations on him after enduranceteam.net had 9 (i think) athletes race Hawaii in 2012.
Going on how Jarrod gets his athletes to the start line, Levi gets my nod here.
Female 30 - 34:
Returning Champion Marina Jurjevic is back, after racing Hawaii and struggling to get her mojo back I think there will be a new champion in this age group. However Marina knows how to win, and with the fitness from Kona, I know that she won't be far away.
Nera Jerab 9.48 at Ironman Melbourne and Julianne Schliebs are my picks in this age group.
Kim Michell might be a podium chance if she can produce on the day.
Now into my favourite category Male 30 - 34:
Unlike last year, I think this will be a fast year in this age group, the following names explain why:
Sub 9 will win this one, my tips for the win are between Daniel McPherson, Leigh Chapman (if taking it seriously), Charles Rodgers (12th 30-34 Hawaii 2010) & Jarrod Owen. 3 of the above 4 have been to Hawaii previously and Jarrod is a 70.3 superstar and to my knowledge this will be his 1st Ironman. I am looking forward to watching this battle.
Female 35 - 39:
My tips in this age group are Venessa Colless or Sarah Egan though. Venessa finished 5th in 2011 and Sarah had a great race at Ironman Melbourne.
My new age group in 2012: The boys that fly
Male 35 - 39:
Throw a blanket over a handful again here, but as per the previous male age group, I will name a few and then try to pick the winner.
Assad Attamini - Sub 9 2011
Mark Jensen - Podium Hawaiian Ironman 2011
The Vicary Boys - Any PIS athlete who is serious will almost always give it a shake
Ross Jackson - In my first Ironman here, we ran together for 30k and finished 1min apart, he will be there abouts.
Corey Chapman - Surname speaks for itself
Ben Scull - PIS athlete
Although there are a few to choose from, I am going for Assad or Mark Jenson. I think that these two have a little more then the rest, but will be a cracking race all the same!
Female 40 - 44:
For me, this was the easiest to pick.... Michelle Boyes. A clear class above the rest of the girls in this field.
Men 40 - 44:
As above, was easy to pick the favourite.... Bradley Hosking..... Sub 9 here, top 10 as an age grouper, too good for this age group.
Before I found his name, these were the guys I had listed whom I think will be fighting for 2nd:
Matt Illingsworth - Uber Biker
Bevan Colless - Rode with this guy in 2010 and has good all round ability
Richard Kay - Will be close this year after some experience.
Female 45 - 49:
With the first few from last year not racing, I think that the race will be between Jane Handy & Fiona Longden.
Male 45 - 49:
Shaun Cattonach is the only one that's name rings a bell here.
Female 50 - 54:
Returning Champ June Ward should go back to back however 3rd place from last year Mary Mitchell should give her a run for her money.
Mens 50 - 54:
A local rivalry here, both men returning from Hawaii with one of them finishing 2nd. He always gives it to me if I don't mention him, but this time I think he will pick up the "W".
David Boyes, with Murray Bridgland the only other one to challenge him.
If David wins here, I think it will be a great weekend for the Boyes family with Michelle also being my favourite as above.
Female 55 - 59:
Nancy Cullen here for me...Far too good for this field.
Male 55 - 59:
The standout here for me is John Hill, that name speaks for itself.
For me, I am really hoping that Adrian Ball finally has the race he deserves! I have been working with Arch for a few years and after finishing 4th at Shepparton 70.3 a few weeks back he is in the best condition heading into an Ironman than ever previously.
Female 60 - 64:
Stab in the dark with this one.... Pamela Williams
Male 60 - 64:
A 3 way tussle between the 2nd, 3rd & 4th form 2011. Could go either way.
Ray Schliebs, Ron Howett & Geoff Graham should battle this out.
Female 65 - 69:
The ever lasting Karla McKinley is the only competitor in her age group.
Male 65 - 69:
A 2 way battle between Geoff Thorsten & Cyril Tolsen for me.
Male 70 - 74:
Anther stab in the dark....Hideki Ishii
Male 75 - 79:
As above, flying blind.... Yetaka Kojima
My tips for the FASTEST AGE GROUPERS are:
Female: Between Michelle Boyes (40-44) & Nera Jareb (30-34)
Male: 3 options here between Leigh Chapman (30-34) Assad Attamini (35-39) & Brad Hosking (40-44)
And as for the Pro's.....
If Rebekah Keat doesn't win this one by 30min or more, it will be a fail in my eyes. She is a class above the rest of the field and that should show come Sunday.
But as in 2010, an upset can be caused and I don't think Keat handles the pressure to well in a big situation. So if one of the other girls is willing to push her, an upset in 2012 might be on the cards. Here's hoping she can prove me wrong!
With the recent addition of last years winner Timo Bracht, the field looks pretty good.
Through in Matty White who is just finding form, Jimmy Johnsen who is in form, the man who just keeps running people down Jason Shortis, Mitch "crashed into a truck" Anderson, Josh Rix (returning from Hawaii) & surprise packet at Ironman Melbourne Todd Israel, there are many who can get into the top 3.
For me, I am going for Matty White to take his maiden win.
I look forward to watching up close to see many battles form and unfold.
PS...I am unsure if all who I have named are starting and have left out some of the contenders whom I know that are not starting.