Firstly, I would to thank everyone in their keen interest in the tips that I do and for the suggestions.
What you have to remember is the "John Smith" that you send through as a "chance who is flying" is most likely true compared to their previous training, but doesn't mean that they will cut the mustard against the competition in their age group.
No doubt I miss some, add some crazy choices, but at the end of the day it started out as fun and just grew form there. Some age groups I really have no idea about, but still enjoy throwing a name out there to see how I go. Hence why I am a terrible punter!!
Anyway, with the field size the way it is (over 2000) and the number of first timers (750 odd), I have no doubt that there will be some "roughies" that sneak under my radar. I am no Bruce McInvaney and have no idea about 80% of the field. I only go by the little amount research that I do.
So, if I have your name on the list, it is because I think that you are a chance in your age group (doesn't mean you have to believe it and change your race) & if I don't have your name it doesn't mean that you are not a good athlete, just that I think (it is only MY opinion) that there are better athletes in your age group. ( I don't need all the hate mail, I don't change the race, play god or anything like that, I just throw up MY likely winners!) Geez there are some precious people out there!!
Enough of the pre selection crap, just wanted to clear the air before I offended some people!!
With Matty Burton turning pro and aging up, there has been a big void left in this age group and I have 3 contenders who should battle it out:
111. Robert Hyland - 3rd here last year in 9.52
114. Patrick Nestel - 4th here last year in 10.19
115. Aaron Newman - 10.23 IMWA 2012
Pick a number, any number.. I have no idea with this, however there are only 3 in the age group so I will go eenie meenie miney mo and end up with:
126. Kate O'Neill
With last year's fastest age grouper TMC's Greg Farrell (8hr 48min) also turning pro, this field has a lot to live up to.
My outright favorite here is:
206: Anthony Rule, been to Kona a few times, yet to hit the mark there. Usually races in NZ and destroys fields, so will see how he goes in Melbourne. Has moved to QLD to aid his training, and no doubt wants to have a crack at the a/g record. Can he do it?
The only other one I could see was:
176. Clint Kimmins, I am unsure how he will go here, been racing a lot, and already got his ticket to Kona from IMWA where he won his age group. Cairns 2012, Busso 2012 and now Melb 2013, just how much has it taken out of his legs...If he races?!?
This is where the competition really heats up:
236. Lauren Jones, last years winner is back to defend her title, 10.05 2012 Melbourne
I believe her main competition is going to come from:
230. Jacinta Collier, it's in the blood lines
232. Tracy Douglas 4th 2012 Melbourne
233. Katy Duffield from what I could find, did her last IM in 2010, Busso in 10.27, should push here.
And a roughy:
250. Rebecca Schlieckman ( no real reason!!)
This is where my interest as a coach shines in also!!
However I know 1 man that is very happy that I have aged up and Rob Creasy raced IMNZ and he is also my favourite to take the 'W' here:
262. Hayden Armstrong, 3rd last year in 8.58, know how to get the job done and with no real weakness will be on the podium again (barring mechanical). He just does the right things race in race out and if you are to beat him, you'd better be on your game!
The biggest chances I can find to beat him is:
347: Stephen Hadley, is more of a 70.3 specialist with the swim being his weakness. The only doubt I have here is that inexperience and a touch of ego on the bike might let him down. If he controls the bike he should be up there. Often posts about how much he smashes training and then if things don't go well, says he doesn't do much!! Handed it to me at Geelong 70.3 recently after getting off the bike together. Last IM was Hawaii 2010, will this help or hinder. Will either podium or be out there for a long time.
437: Jarrod Owen a 70.3 specialist who can run the house down!
467: Pablo Safrana: As per Hayden, just knows how to get the job done. Am unsure if he is racing here due to being overseas for some time, but am confident if he toes the start line, he will be up there. You don't go 9.25ish at Hawaii if you are a mug. Went 9.08 last year.
487: Aaron Steel: The big guy won't be on anyone's radar but I am telling you that he can move. Will be interesting how he goes here but has been in good form over the 70.3 distances!
485: Lucas Spargo: Same deal as Aaron, should be around the mark.
294: Sam Chapman: Only if related to Trent & Leigh, otherwise nothing!
413: Angus McGilvray: 9.15hr 2012, spends a lot of time looking in the mirror at the gym. But will be around the mark 5-10th my pick.
455: Marcus Randall: 5th Cairns 2012 when Brett Carter (Now TBB) tore the field apart, should be competitive for 4-8th I think.
& Lucky Last:
Whenever there is a Team PIS athlete racing, you always have to be weary, this race it is:
470: Michael Schembri, all the boys are talking him up, wonder if he is the goods or will crack under the pressure! You will see the flying Red & White stripes at every race!!
I have a smokey in this field, it is his 1st IM and can swim/ride well, the unknown is his run at this distance, will go either way. I am backing him for a 3.30 run to have a 9.20-9.30 day!! Should be around the mark for a Kona Spot, only because there is so many!
Female 30 - 34:
There are some seriously fast girls here:
575: Rhiannon Snipe
536: Bernadette Dornom
537: Elizabeth Dornom
542: Dimity Gannon
You can throw a blanket over the above 4!! All podium in Ironmans and will do again here, others to watch are :
522: Melanie Ades, won't be far off the pace.
530: Jennifer Collier, it's in the blood.
569: Lucy Piper.
Ok, the age group that matters the most (TO ME!!)
This will be the best line up outside Hawaii that I will ever race in, I am excited to be a part of this race and line up again against, Sam Hume, Damien Angus, Ollie Allan etc. I think on an equivalent day to last year, there could be upto 7 break the 9hr mark, will be a closely contested race and sticking to your own plan will be the key.
595: Ollie Allan: 2nd & sub 9 in 2012, has battled with injuries since, unsure if he can repeat it.
596: Damien Angus: Is on fire atm and should lead off the bike again.
609: Mark Bellow: rode a 4:3x at Busso a few years ago, might be able to ride with Angus if he can get close enough out of the water.
704: David Green: 2012 Kona Finisher, ride/runner, unsure how much he will give up in the swim and if he can bridge the gap to the super runners.
705: Travis Greening
737: Sam Hume: Back in form with a great Hawaii 2012 (2nd 35-39) and then Geelong 70.3, is the man to beat for sure!
791: Kristian Manietta: Has gone sub 9 at Busso before and I know he is itching to have a good crack here, will have to rely on his run to be a chance.
792: Glenn Martinovich: The WA boy will be around the mark, but will be looking at 6-10th I feel.
820: Stephen Natoli: 9.14 2012, does go well, a bit off the leaders though.
833: Matt "THE PUMPER" Palmer: has had the pump out all week inflating his tyres, is he in good form or trying to get inside the heads of the others. Talk the talk, now time to Walk the Walk!
848: Matt Rae: Can get the job done, 4th Cairns 2012.
915: Stephane Vander Bruggen: Will have to rely on getting out of the water in good shape, nailing a fast 130 and then a solid last 50. Will need to have a good lead to be any chance of a podium.
936: Brenton Yates: 9.13 2012, will be around the mark again.
940: Ross Young: Runs like a pro, but how much time will he give up. Will go sub 9, but how far under. On his best day will be in the top 2, but with only 1 IM under his belt (Hawaii 2012) the others might try and work him over a bit on the bike.
Throw in many form last year who were around the 9.20 - 9.30, every second will count here in the battle to get to Hawaii. TMC has 4 good chances here if the day goes well (incl myself).
Ok, with me... This is where I stand. I have only been swimming 3 times a fortnight in the open water and am looking at just breaking the 1hr mark . I know that I will be giving up more time here as last year I swam 57. My biking is where it is at, knowing that there will be a super strong bike field out there, I have made this my focus for this race and not long ago I did 1000k in 10 days incl 4 x 150k+ rides in 8 days, topping out at 215k. It is where I will need to make my move, hit them hard and keep to my race plan.
4:35hr is my ride goal.
All going well, should have a 5-8 minute lead off the bike to the contenders, not to the chumps as no doubt someone will ride with me and won't be able to run, I am talking about the above, the serious guys!!
The run will determine my race again, after running a 3:11 last year and being run down, I know that it will happen again, I just want to limit the amount of people who do it. I have my run plan, but will keep that close to my chest, but at worst will run a 3:15, not good enough for the 'W' but should keep them honest!!
Part 2 will be up later today!