Congratulations to South Africa and WTC.
Well supporters, if it’s good enough to hold WTC accountable for the ridiculousness they too often bring to the sport we love, then it’s good enough for me to put my hand up and say well done when it’s deserved. I have waited till all the hoohah has died down, to say one of the great race weekends was had by Triathlon fans world wide at the 70.3 World Championships. Yes the online coverage was again poor, however let’s not diminish from the absolute stunning racing spectacular it was.
Women versus women.
Men verses men.
I can assess so many opinions of the day and I say to the South African public, you had a unanimous applause from all, not just on race day, but the whole week. Closely followed was the praise for the volunteers. Again was so welcomed by all who raced. Well done indeed. The attempt at this configuration of a race weekend has me thinking that WTC may have indeed worked it out. The Chattanooga positive experience was again followed up with another block buster weekend of fantastic and fair racing. It’s worth noting and passing on that many who raced were surprised and provided positive feedback from their performances in the women’s races:
'Coach, without the men there and over a challenging course, I have much work to do on the bike.'
'Coach you told me this would be different. I pedalled my heart out and I put so much time into the athletes who usually have the same or better bike split than me. I wish there were more female only races.'
Both as I have said many times before were honorable reflections from athletes who want a fair race. They got one in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The men’s race was a great advertisement for our sport on a global basis. Three of the sports greatest champions head to head, with a brilliant win for the best overall athlete in the world. It was a wonderful sporting war, and it was not the shorter course athletes that conquered, but the grizzly Ironman champion. Frodo went back in time to pull out his Olympic speed to stamp his greatness into the history books.
I would say though that it is sad that scheduling of the event this time of year has yet to be addressed. As two of the epic warriors were to fall prey to their Herculean efforts. Jan will not be at Kona this year, and Alistair was only at the ITU Grand Final in presence. The great man left it all, as it should be and the only way he knows how, on the highway at Port Elizabeth. To have the best of the best race so close to Kona is not ideal, and while I praise WTC, may I ask that the 70.3 World Champs become a July race. Those looking to Kona but want to do both can then do so, without risking their health.
The womens race - well I’m not going to say much, as I have already given out high praise for the two podium places. While Vicky Holland took the series win in the ITU WTS, one would have thought my saying that for me Lucy Charles could be England’s best Olympic distance racer or words to that effect would be taken as a positive opinion of her potential. I don’t need to say much about Annie Haug, as she personally knows while trying to follow the ITU circuit a certain coach told her she could be a champion at this longer race caper. As long as these two great competitors know how good I think they are, I have no reason to try and educate their fans. Which brings me to the bird....
All I’ll say is that in 5 of the most consistent seasons ever seen in any sport, with 7 World Championship titles, that people have little idea of the pressure to maintain that level - both physically and mentally. It’s just a tour de force that we are witnessing.
We will now move on to Kona, and hope that the male athletes and the race officials keep out of the way of the womens race, as Lucy and the bird go at it again. What a race it’s going to be. Any slip ups and the fleet footed German will be in the background ready to pounce. The hard as goats knees Aussie Sarah Crowley will also be making sure any slip ups from the front two will be punished.
So again, I want to congratulate the organisors of the 70.3 World Championships in South Africa. It was a great performance from you guys. Also to say to WTC that before we witness the farce of Kona (which I will have to report the truth on that one), well done, you have for it right at the 70.3 Championship level.
Now it is time to do the same at the big dance in Kona.Photo Credit: Ironman.com (Donald Miralle)
Join Home of Triathlon and Trisutto Head Coach Brett Sutton at his next training camp in and in Cyprus, November, 2018.