Chris McCormack, Chrissie Wellington win Ironman Triathlon

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Normal" in the 2007 Ironman Triathlon World Championship was only the fact the sun rose in the east, as shortly past the swim start the day brought forth a hot and cloudless Hawaiian sky; injuries and illnesses to many; DNFs for two years worth of defending champions; and a first-time winner.

Australian Chris McCormack, placing 2nd in 2006, passed Aussie Craig Alexander in the marathon and further scorched the Queen Kaahumanu Kaʻahumanu Highway with a 2:42:02 run to claim the world title in 8:15:34.

In even more excitement, rookie (her first Ironman length race was seven weeks ago in Korea) Chrissie Wellington, from Great Britain, claimed the women's title finished in 9:08:45.

The 6:45 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time start to the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile time-trial, and a 26.2 mile marathon saw a cascade of unfortunates to favorites. Defending 2006 champions Normann Stadler and Michellie Jones and 2005 champion Faris Al-Sultan were struck down with stomach ailments; six-time winner and 2005 champion Natascha Badmann totaled her bike after crashing into road cone; and Luke Bell was sidelined with a leg injury.

But a sense of "normal" returned later in the day as the temperature and winds rose and as many of the 1,788 starters completed before the October 14, 2007 12:00am deadline.