The race gun goes off in episode 7 of The Road to Kona. Ironman champion, Craig Alexander takes us along on his trek of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycle and a 42.2 km marathon.
Craig Alexander shares with us all the critical moments, beginning with the swim. As soon as the gun goes Craig is thinking about where he needs to be. The first priority is getting into the right position, tucked in with the front group. Craig stays strong in the swim, but so do many others, and about twenty-five athletes finish together.
We see footage in this video of the cycling phase, which is where the attacks really started for Craig. He knows he is a target for the other athletes since he is the defending champion. Craig describes the group dynamic that went on during the ride and the mentality of the breakaway and how that motivates everyone to push harder.
In this episode, we're taken through Craig Alexander's moment of realisation where he accepts that he is going to face a hard chase in the marathon as some strong runners set off about eight minutes before him. Still, with the knowledge that he can run a six-minute mile, Craig maintains hope of winning the triathlon.
The first 16 km of the run go well for Craig, but when he's 11 km from the finish, and there are still a few runners ahead, he knows something dramatic will have to happen for him to win. Luck is not with him at that moment however and Craig gradually loses his technique and morale as he comes up to the finish. The disappointment he faces at the end is palpable because, as he says, he came here to win.