History Made: Craig Alexander Shatters Ironman World Championship Kona Course Record, Tallies Third Hawaiian Crown in Epic Fashion
Craig Alexander was already a beast prior to the 2011 Ironman World Championship in Kona.
Now you can mark that down…officially. The previous two-time World Champion added yet another glorious crown to his collection. But this wasn’t just another title…if winning such a coveted and challenging race was ever considered ordinary. This time, he shattered Luc Van Lierde’s 1996 Kona course record, finishing in an astonishing 8 hours, 3 minutes, 56 seconds.
Even as he suffered through some cramping through the grueling final stretch of the race.
“I wish I could tell you how it feels,” Craig said, sporting his Oakley Red Ruby Radar performance eyewear. "It’s unbelievable. I wish everyone in the world could feel what I felt in that mile. It’s the finish I’ve been dreaming of.”
The pain mattered not.
He smashed through the finish line, collapsed to the floor and embraced his wife and kids as he wrapped up the day and emerged with the greatest single performance for an Aussie in Triathlon history.
The key to this glorious triumph: An amazingly phenomenal bike performnace that trumped any of his previous bike splits in years before by a huge 13 minute margin.
His rivals’ exploiting any weaknesses in his bike game last year may have accounted for his fourth place finish in 2010. But this year, he proved why he’s one of the greatest endurance athletes on the Planet: he improved…dramatically.
No longer was he playing defense on the bike like he may have in previous campaigns.
“I knew after Las Vegas (this year at the World 70.3 – where he claimed a victory) I had great form and I just went in with a different mindset – I’m not going to react to people,” he continued. “I’m going to race like a guy who’s won twice here – that doesn’t mean you’re going to win it again, but have a bit more confidence, don’t be so subdued. That can always end in tears too, but I’m really happy with the way I responded to the moves when I had to.”
With that, he became one of the oldest competitors to win the pro title in Kona.
“I’ve only crossed the line a couple of hours ago – my legs will beat up on me if I start talking another Ironman,” he said of his will to chase another crown in Hawaii.“I will let the dust settle and we’ll see. I really am proud of this win – out of the three I’ve won here, I think it was the best.”
Congratulations to Crowie for making history and grabbing glory!