This time of year is always pretty predictable.
The stifling Florida temperature finally breaks, revealing a coolness that we’ve pined for months. The Jaguars falter, stumble, and crawl through the first quarter of the NFL season. Interbike causes aero weenies to drool like a teething 18-month old. And triathletes everywhere get all amped up over the big race in Hawaii. Just as retailers have started getting out their Christmas decorations, bloggers and folks who post on Slowtwitch and Beginner Triathlete are all amped up about this weekend’s race.
A quick glance across the interwebs today showed no less than half a dozen blog posts and several threads about the race. What bike will Crowie be on? Will Chrissie race? Who will be this year’s biggest sob story on the telecast? What will the most popular brand of body lube be? Perhaps a few of those aren’t really threads or posts, but one imagines that they could be.
I found myself getting caught up in the moment myself. Last week, I was planning out my next several blog posts. I’ve got several “Ten Questions With…” interviews in the hopper, including one with a particular triathlete who won last year’s race and could repeat this year. I’m working on a post about things that nag (while it might be fun to write about, that post will be less about spouses than recurring injuries). I decided that I’d take a stab at predicting who I thought would win the race in Kona.
I went so far as to collect data on each of the pros who are eligible to race. I captured data elements such as their Kona finish last year, their races from this year (number of starts, number of 140.6 victories & podiums, number of 70.3 victories & podiums), including their PR splits for each leg of the race, and any information I could find relative to their current injury status. My dream was coming up with some fancy algorithm that could mathematically compute who the winner will be.
Then I decided, why the fuss? It’s just another race. I won’t be there. Heck, I won’t even be watching it online this weekend. I’ll spend most of my day Saturday getting ready for my personal Kona. Of course, definitively speaking, my Kona may be slightly different from yours. My Kona just happens to be my A-race of the year. The race that I am hopefully peaking for: Rev3 South Carolina.
At the end of the day, I suppose I understand why people are so infatuated with this one particular race. It certainly gets the most publicity of any race out there. There’s certainly drama involved in the race. Folks lay it all on the line for that race, and some finish heroically. Others don’t finish. But, guess what? That happens at every race, be it a local 5k or a top-notch Half Rev. Frankly, I’d rather be performing my own final pre-race workouts and bike check in than worrying about a race happening way out in the middle of the Pacific.