The race is over, the training complete and all that's leftover is raw emotion. In episode 8 of The Road to Kona, Craig Alexander sits down with us to go through everything that happened and to analyse all that went right and wrong.
When it comes to his feelings about the race, Craig doesn't hold back. He is clearly gutted. While he admits that there is no disgrace in placing fourth in the ironman world championships, it's difficult to hide your feelings at the end of such a long and arduous journey.
Craig Alexander describes his physical condition as he came across the finish line. He describes the pins and needles feeling, the extreme pain and what it was like to hang on by a thread for so long. Surprisingly, Craig says there is satisfaction that comes from the pain. It's his evidence that he gave the race his utmost.
In hindsight, Craig admits that there were times he should have been more patient during the race, such as staying with the group during the ride. There were instances when other cyclists pulled ahead and he knew should have been up there with them but he hadn't the strength.
Despite his regrets, Craig accepts that there is no one else to blame in this sort of competition. He recognises that other athletes made smart, well thought out moves, which earned them their final place.
Craig Alexander makes peace by the fact that he prepared for this race better than ever before and that offers him satisfaction. Paradoxically, it also contributes to the residual disappointment of falling short of his goal. The mystery of how everything comes together in an ironman race is something Craig will continue to contemplate.