Our collaborator on Ultradistance issues, Marcos Bonilla, tells us about the return of one of the toughest tests in the world, the Ultraman from Hawaii.
Ultra-distance triathlon lovers... the time has come: THE UM OF HAWAII IS BACK! And we once again recover that routine in which a month after the Ironman (the pretty girl), the Ultraman (the distance of the "weird") arrives, that discipline that nobody follows, and in which only those of us who compete in it we know the names that are repeated.
Once again with hair like spikes, and with the desire to see that magical 515 km route, where the Big Island, the largest Island in Hawaii, is turned around in those 3 hard stages.
This year, the 36th edition will be held on November 25, 26 and 27, and it will have a participation of 42 triathletes, a good fact; taking into account the situation of the last two years with the Covid, and the poor attendance of triathletes classified in 2019, in which they were only half the amount of this 2022, 21 triathletes, giving rise to less competition than years behind.
The normal thing is a competition of between 45 and 50 triathletes, so this year we can "find ourselves with a song in our teeth"... After what we have been through in sport; just the fact of celebrating it is a success.
Other years, apart from analyzing the favorites for world champions, the girls, the Spanish, the classics... I always presented you with my personal bets in the general and all sectors (something that amused me a lot, modesty aside, due to my high percentage of success).
This time, with the lack of references in the last two years, we will go directly to the point to give you the most important data that must be taken into account when following the UM.
As always, let's start with "the shortlist", the favorites to win.
Following the trend of recent years, we find ourselves with great absences of the important ones... Which makes us shorten the list in the only two, of this edition, who have been world champions in Ultraman:
Rob Gray (46-year-old South African) champion in 2017 (I lived that year in situ), runner-up in 2016 and 2018, and 3rd in 2019. And Richard Thompson (36-year-old Australian) champion in 2018.
Therefore, they already coincided in 2018, where Thompson prevailed, with a great bike sector in the 1st and 2nd stage.
Rob Gray was the only one who was able to fight "something" on the bike against Thompson, in what seems to be repeated this 2022, unless some surprise arises or another triathlete is especially inspired that day, but I doubt that any of the triathletes can approaching 4 hours 05 minutes in the 145 km of the 1st stage, and 8 hours 20 minutes in the 280 km of the 2nd stage, which Thompson set on the bike...
In the same way that I can say that few will come close to Rob Gray's 2 hours 44 minutes in the swim, and I think it is easy to predict that he will leave the water first, and before reaching Volcano he will be passed by Thompson.
For the third stage, knowing that neither of them is lame, Rob Gray may have a better race, although Thompson will surely have enough time to stay ahead in the general classification.
To finish, I think I can get wet and say that Richard Thompson may be the "over" favorite to win Hawaii this year.
Regarding the female category, we are in luck; We have 10 participants, the highest participation so far, exceeding 9 in 2018, and increasing to 4 in 2019.
As the favorite of the women to world champion, there is no doubt either, we have the Canadian Tara Norton, 50 years old, champion in 2018 and 2019, although I think that this year some of the "master40" triathletes will make it a little more difficult than in recent years.
They will also give war; Fiona Siemelink, y Shanon Callies; who finished in the top 4 in 2018 and 2019.
You can consult all the athletes in the following link
The ultraman classics
And linking to our classics from all years, I want to make special mention of the oldest person in this edition; the American Diane Anderson, with 67 years. Let this serve as an example.
Let's go with the mythical and classic ones from Hawaii; the "dearest" Juan Craveri, the Argentine will complete his 10th Hawaii and 17th ultraman. And, my favourite; the great Garry Wang, 54 years old, the triathlete who has participated in the world championship the most times in all of history... if he completes it this year; next year he will be able to make his 20th Ultraman of Hawaii.
I end my analysis with the Spanish, to whom I send all my energy; I start with the one I think will end up in the best position; Marc Gallietta, 48 years old, (although in some ultraman he appears as American and in others as Spanish, I put him with us), an ultraman expert, in which of his last 6 we highlight the 5th place of the UM Florida in 2017.
I think the lack of some of the top 5 triathletes in Hawaii can do him a lot of good.
Luis from Above 53 years old, he made 11th of 41 participants, in Florida this 2022, and previously made 1st of 5 in an Ultraman that was organized in Cozumel, Mexico.
He has extensive experience in IronMan distance, and other races outside of ultra-distance outside of triathlon, he will surely do a good job.
Miguel Madrid Lopez, 50 years old, has done the UM of Australia, and this 2022; he was 17th of 30 participants in the recently created UM of Arizona. I also think that he will do it like a fable, bringing another place to the Spaniards in an entire world championship.
We wish you all the luck in the world and the best of experiences in Hawaii, as always; I send you a lot of strength, and of course, rest assured, that at least I; I will be cheering from Spain, while I reiterate myself in encouraging everyone to follow them through from https://ultramanlive.com/ y http://ultramanworlds.com/
ALOHA, OHANA, KOKUA.
Article made by our collaborator Marcos Bonilla, an ultra-distance triathlete who among his most outstanding results has a 6th Ultraman in Canada and a 9th in the Ultraman in Australia.