- Oct 11, 2010
- MACCA Makes Ironman Kona Even More Magical
We've been having quite a week here at the TEAM CLIF BAR House on Ali'i Dr in Kona. Between athlete visits & interviews, new CLIF SHOT Energy Gel sampling, the Triathlounge set-up, and grilling all sorts of stuff on the BBQ it's been pretty much non-stop this week. Lots and lots of good stuff all week and - honestly - I really didn't think it could get a whole lot better.
Until, of course, TEAM CLIF BAR triathlete Chris McCormack won one of the most exciting triathlons we've ever seen. That's when the week went from great to simply ridiculous. But before I go into just how rad Chris was out there on the race course yesterday, it's important to point out that it certainly wasn't just Chris who made the men's pro race something very special from the start. You can get all the race deets on UniversalSports.com, so I'll keep it simple here. From the cannon blast it was ON - in a big way. It was a brawl. This year the contenders definitely brought their guns to the gun fight. It was the type of triathlon that creates more triathlon fans. Folks who tuned in to follow the race were treated to a show - a battle - and, as always, endless stories of inspiration. In the 120-degree island heat, pros and age-groupers put on one hell of a cool show.
Chris looked super solid from the start. He came out of the water right where he needed to be and completed the bike course in perfect position to take the lead during the run. And when Chris ran he really ran. More than a few eyebrows went up in amazement when we heard that he'd taken back a minute in the first two miles. But it wasn't just Chris who was tearing up the run course. It seemed like a good number of the pro men were more than willing to put it all out there - DNF it or win it - option A, or option B. Option C wasn't in the mix. And it made for a truly spectacular race. When I grabbed the camera and dashed from the Triathlounge to get some shots near the finish I could only hope that Chris would be the guy I'd see first. As I bolted out the door Chris and Andreas Raelert were running right beside each other on the TV screen - Andreas had caught Chris at mile 22. We had no clue how or if Chris could respond to Andreas' remarkable pace. When Chris rounded the corner onto the finishing stretch of Ali'i he was the only guy in the view finder - he was solo. The crowd was loud. Very, very loud. And Chris looked good. After racing all out for over 8 hours, he'd even remembered to pull the foam from his top and zip it up so the logos were visible. That is so 'pro'. Winning the IM World Championships again, at 37 years of age, in a race for the ages, is pretty dang 'pro' too.
Clif Bar & Company owners Gary Erickson & Kit Crawford found me on the course and we high-tailed it to the finish to find Chris. We ran along like giddy little kids. Yes, technically I was skipping, but let's keep that between us. Gary put my ball cap on and it was way too big for him - when he smiled a huge grin, with the big TEAM CLIF ball cap over his ears, he really did look like a very happy little kid. And I probably just looked like a very happy middle-aged dude, with questionable skipping skills, who'd lost his voice from screaming "MACCA!" a few hundred too many times. When we eventually caught up to Chris we couldn't actually get behind the stage to congratulate him. So, to our amazement, after swimming 2.4 miles, spending 112 miles on the bike and busting out a crazy-fast 26.2 mile run to win the biggest triathlon in the world, Chris somehow staggered over to see us so we could give him some hugs and congratulate him in person. The day was so good we kept it going - for 22 hours. Back at the Clif Bar Triathlounge the band changed its name - again - to Sub 17, and they tore it up. We ate pizza, drank some beer, and when Chris walked through the Triathlounge door around 11pm we popped champagne corks out onto Ali'i Dr, where just hours before Chris made the magic happen.
- Posted by:
- Le Sensation American