Championship thoughts and a sad loss to the sport

TriathlonWorld.com's weekly Crank column offers up his thoughts on the Championship, mixed relay and mourns the loss of one of triathlon's legends, Nick Munting.

| June 7, 2017 | NEWS

Sebastian Kienle heads out of T1 at the Championship.

Sebastian Kienle heads out of T1 at the Championship.

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

The Championship was run and won this weekend. The race was a good one and attracted an OK field. But what happens when you win? Do you call yourself a “Championships winner?” It’s not a world title. It’s a bit lost. Which is not to say this wasn’t a good event. Where it is intended to sit in the world of tri is a mystery.

The 20 m drafting rule is liked by most pros and was adopted by the Championship on the weekend. If long course tri is to be taken as an individual pursuit, then this rule has to become the norm. But this rule can only work if the course can support it. Going forward designers need to take the 20 m rule into consideration when they are coming up with new bike courses.

Sebastian Kienle was a man on fire this weekend taking all before him, except that flyer, the Colonel. The Colonel is a jet and proved it once again. Kienle underlined his class again, too. Both men were the stand outs in this race.

It was good to see Michael Raelert back in action too. This man is a sublime talent.

Annabel Luxford too is all class at this distance and proves how consistent she is everytime she takes to the course. Once again Luxford quietly makes her way around a course with little fanfare to secure another podium. She is one of the most under-rated athletes getting around.

Marko Albert is a great dude off the course and took his swim/ bike combination to 70.3 Victoria for a good win alongside women’s winner Kelsey Withrow.

The "Welcome Back Kotter" award heads to Ty Butterfield after his return win at 70.3 Raleigh. Butterfield is an undeniable talent and he held off a good field to get the win.

So Ironman is acquiring running races like a champion. More on this to come.

Kris Gemmell was asking whether more people wanted to see the triathlon mixed relay on LinkedIn. A curious post, for sure, but it did get us thinking. There can be no doubt that the event is exciting. Mixing and creating equality amongst the genders etc. has always been a trademark of triathlon. Not sure this is an Olympic event though. It would be a chance to add to the medals to be won at a Games and this raises the profile of the sport. Given the nature of sporting consumption, though, it might be a better bet than the "long play" version we have right now.

Sad news about Nick Munting this week. Nick was an amazingly passionate advocate for triathlon. I can recall a trip with him on the way to Busselton with Eneko Llanos. Llanos fell asleep early and I was treated to a triathlon history lesson as the miles ticked by. And, by the end of the trip, I knew more about the sport than I needed to. You couldn’t fault the raw enthusiasm. Nick, RIP mate.