By Andrew Mitchell
A look back through the news bulletins posted at Ironmanlive.com sums up last weekend’s 2006 Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii — cyclists throwing up in transitions, runners suffering from cramps and dehydration, top athletes pulling out with heat exhaustion.
And this was a good year, with lower temperatures than in past years and only a light wind on the cycling leg. The result was that the athletes may have pushed it harder than they would have in a normal year, with Normann Stadler even setting a new bike course record. Temperatures did rise for the marathon, resulting in slower run times for the top athletes.
Four Whistler athletes qualified for this year’s Ironman Championships, although Christine Suter was forced to pull out after injuring her foot in the Squamish Triathlon.
Her husband Paul competed, placing 101 st in the 45 to 49 age category with a total time of 11:24:10. He finished the 2.4 mile/3.86 km swim in 1:09:15, the 112 mile/180 km bike in 5:49:21, and the 26 mile/42.2 km marathon in 4:17:17, with just over eight minutes in the transitions.
Whistler’s Mike Edwards placed 190 th in the 35 to 39 age category, finishing the swim in 1:28:57, the bike in 5:53:53 and the run in 4:15:25, for a total time of 11:49:48 including transitions. That was almost an hour and a half slower than his qualifying time at Ironman Canada in August.
Marie-Anne Prevost, who placed second in a qualifying event in Idaho, placed 25 th in the women’s 30 to 34 category with a total time of 11:02:56, the fastest of any Whistler athlete. She completed the swim in 1:19:46, the bike in 5:48:52, and the run in 3:45:54.
Although Canadians have done well in past Ironman Championships, the top male was Victoria’s Mike Neill in 30 th place with a time of 8:52:29. For the pro women, Lisa Bentley of Ontario placed third in 9:25:18.
Complete results are online at www.ironmanlive.com.