Thursday, October 16, 2008

This week's props go to...

Obviously with Kona this past weekend I've got a lot of props to hand out. Yes, Chrissie Wellington and Craig Alexander deserve all the props in the world, but you already know that. These guys may not have finished on the podium, but they showed guts worthy of a shout-out on the race course. So, this week's props go to:

Bryan Rhodes (NZL): I caught up with Rhodsey about 20 minutes after he finished and he was a little upset with his performance. Sure, he finished 23rd, which was less than the Ironman Canada champ was expecting. However, it was the way he earned that 23rd spot that puts him on this list. Rhodsey went all out from the gun: Swimming with the second pack, riding with the leaders and hanging on for dear life on the run. He could've played it conservative and held back until the final half of the marathon (like he did in Canada and Ironman Florida last year), but he wanted to take his shot and a top-10 finish. Cheers Rhodsey--I still owe you a beer.

Andy Potts (USA): I spoke with Potts a couple of days before the race and asked him to pick his podium for the men's race. Surprisingly he didn't pick himself. He asked me for my picks and I told him I expected him to finish third. It was a bit of a fib. I knew he'd have a good go because he's a tough dude, but the realist in me didn't really think he had a shot at the top 10. Only six days after finishing second at the U.S. Open, Potts pulled off a seventh-place finish in Kona. Without a drafting call, he would've been in sixth. Not bad for a first timer. I'm calling it right now: Potts will win Kona in 2009 and he'll win Clearwater again this year.

Linsey Corbin (USA): As I was getting some follow-up pictures of the women's podium girls, I heard Mike Reily announce: "Here comes Linsey Corbin! Fifth overall and the first American." I have to admit I was a little shocked to see Linsey go so well. In hindsight I shouldn't have been. Linsey has been a rockstar since she turned pro two years ago and she's still on her way up. She has what it takes to win Kona, but she may have to wait until Wellington retires.

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