A living legend in Triathlon, Chris McCormack is considered one of the best all around Triathletes to ever compete and has now won a World Title in three different decades!
Australian Chris McCormack, known affectionately as ‘Macca’, began competing in Olympic Distance courses in 1996. The following year, he won both the Triathlon World Championships and the ITU World Cup Series! To date, no-one else has ever won both titles in a single year again. Never looking back, Macca continued to win and has become the worlds most winning Triathlete over the past decade. In 2002, always eager for a new challenge, Macca shifted his focus to longer distance racing with the Half and Full Ironman’s. McCormack won yet again, claiming victory in both his first Half Ironman as well as his first Ironman. He has since won 13 Ironman titles around the globe and on four occasions he has finished an Ironman under the mythical 8 hours, no two different courses -- a feat no other athlete has ever accomplished, In both 2007 and 2010 McCormack won the Ironman World Championship!
Setting his sites on yet another challenge, McCormack has once again shifted his efforts returning to short course and ITU racing, in hopes of making the 2012 Olympics.
|2-time Ironman Hawaii World Champion|
|13-tme Ironman Champion|
|5-time Triathlete of the Year|
|ITU Olympic Distance World Champion|
|ITU Triathlon World Cup Champion|
|23 National Championships|
|7 x World Cup Champion|
|Goodwill Games Gold Medalist|
|4 x Escape from Alcatraz Champion|
|4 x Wildflower Half Ironman Champion|
Finally Back HomeApril 23, 2009
Well I am finally back home and cannot be happier about it. The past 5 weeks have been really hectic with a lot of early season racing over some really tough races. The focus for us early in the season was to sort out these hot humid races and get some tough test sets done in a racing environment so we can carry this information across into our World Championships build for Kona.
My first race of the season was a hot and humid 70.3 event in Singapore where I grabbed a solid second place finish. I flew directly to Hawaii from Singapore for a tough Olympic distance race called Lavamanon the big Island and started to find my legs a little for the season winning my first race of the year and breaking the course record.
From Hawaii I flew directly to New Olreans for my 3rd race in as many weeks and another tough Ironman70.3 event. I was actually feeling a little jaded after two heavy weeks of racing and training and fell apart late in this race to finish second again. I was a little disappointed as I had the win in the bag, but in the hot humid conditions, the fatigue from a heavy few weeks or racing and travel came through and I lost the event in the last few miles of the run.
From the first 3 races of the season we got what we were looking for. Hot events, high humidity and lots of data. I was able to come back to Australia and have 10 easier days before getting on the plane to fly up to China for another Ironman 70.3 event in Haikou. This would be the end of a planned 4 heavy races in 5 weeks and I was looking forward to this last tough race. My form was good and a last hit out in the heat, after a week off racing seemed good to me.
The flight from Australia to China was pretty simple and the time change is only 2 hours. I arrived at the event on Friday before the Sunday race after about 13 hours of total travel time. The weather was good and I had a good look at the course. I was happy to be at this event as one of my main competitors for this years Ironman World Championships in Kona, Rasmus Henning, was racing in the full Ironman race, and I figured I would be able to get a good opportunity to watch how he raced. The Ironman started at 7:00am and the half Ironman guys were set to leave at 9:00am
Race day dawned and the weather was set to be a scorcher. By Ironman race start time the weather was 30 degrees Celsius (90 degrees) and the humidity was oppressive at a very uncomfortable 85%. I watched the Ironman guys complete the swim and then started getting my head around the tough day I was about to face. I had 2 main guys to really contest with in the event. Ironman Japan and Malaysia champion Luke Mackenzie from Australia and Aussie flyer Paul Mathews. Both were brought up by their sponsor and race event sponsor Kswiss, to win this event.
By race start for us the heat was incredible. The course was quite simple and flat but their was no shade anywhere and the wind was picking up and very hot. We kicked off the event and I immediately jumped on the feet of Paul Matthews who lead most of the swim. By halfway through the swim event, Paul had used the tricky current to his advantage and had gaped both Luke and myself to lead out by about a minute. The water was dark and muddy and very warm.
By the time I ran from the water to my bike, a distance of about 200 meters, I was cooking. The heat was just incredible and the Ironman guys were well and truly on the bike course. We were about to start our 90km bike lap.
I put the hammer down and rode across to Paul Matthews and Luke had tagged me on the bike. We came together as a threesome about 5 miles into the bike race. I assumed that it would stay like this for most of the bike ride as it was a course that was difficult to get away on because of the flat profile and the tricky winds. By 20 miles, Paul began to struggle big time in the heat and dropped off. I immediately put the hammer down and then it was left to Luke and myself. Luke started struggling in the heat around 40 miles and I attacked him and got a gap out to about a minute very quickly. I was feeling good, but my only focus was hydration and being careful. The heat was unbelievable. I cannot describe it. I was watching ambulance after ambulance on the course putting Ironman competitors who could not get through the bike course and were collapsing into the back of them. It was like a war zone.
I got off the bike feeling very controlled. I knew I had been in the sun a long time and was feeling very exposed but I only had a 13 mile run to get through and I would win the event. That was my mindset. I had no idea at this stage my lead on Mackenzie or Matthews and was relieved when I got to the 1 mile marker of the run to see Luke come in. I knew I had a little over 5 minutes at that stage. I was trying to be cautious out their as the mercury was now well over 42 degrees (110) and the ambient temperature from the road was even higher. I was really starting to cook up but my mindset was about keeping a tempo. By 3 miles into the run this entire mindset was gone. It became a simple run for survival. The aid stations were spaced about 2km apart and the heat had melted all the ice. I saw Luke and Paul at about8km mark and they were in a bad way. I knew that for me I had the race won, but I had to finish. It was o hot that by mile 4 I was honestly thinking that it might not be possible. I wish I could describe this heat. I wish I had better words. It was incredible.
I was walking every aid station and taking the time to drink. I was covering myself in water and carrying as many sponges as I could possibly hold. I would then put my head down and focus on getting to the next aid station which was about 8 minutes of running away each time. Every time I left and aid station I questioned whether I would make it to the next one. It was that big a struggle. I stayed in this mindset and was able to run my way to win this event. I crossed the line in 4:04 which was a real buzz for me. I have never been so happy to see the end of a race in my life. The last 2 miles was really ugly but the huge crowds in the town and the young kids running alongside me got me to the end. I crossed the line so relieved to have finished and my first words to the organizers were, concern for those behind me. I told them they needed to send people out with more aid to help people. I went straight to the medical tent and covered myself in ice and water and tried to cool my body down. The temperature in the shade at the finish line read 44 degrees (120) and the humidity was close to 90 %. I waited for Luke to finish. He was about 22 minutes behind and together we watched others cross the line. In my race only 60 percent of the field finished. It was that tough.
I have raced for 13 years as a professional and almost 20 years in the sport of triathlon. This was without question the toughest triathlon event I have ever done for so many reasons. It was probably one of the hottest days I have ever been in, let alone had to race in. I had great intentions after my event to go and watch the guys finish and complete the Ironman. This went out the door. It was just too hot. I traveledacross with 5 mates and only 2 of us made the finish line. To the Ironman guys who raced, you are my new hero's. Rasmus Henning went on to win this race, in the slowest run time to ever win an Ironman.Don't let that fool you. Anybody who got to the finish line of that event is a champion and three of the toughest blokes I know never got to the end. It was a race of survival and trying to deal with an incredible day. I know that different physiology's handle this heat differently and to those that never made it, hold your head up high. This will be an event you can talk about forever. It was in my books the toughest triathlon conditions our sport has ever seen.
I will post in the next few days some photos from the event to give people a view of the day. sorry for the long post but I needed to get something up. Thanks for all the emails I have received from people. I really appreciate it.
December 1, 2012
April 5, 2011
March 19, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 9, 2010
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December 17, 2009
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February 27, 2009