It’s a fact. The most elite triathletes on the Planet rely on Oakley technology on the course. Exhibit O: Yet another epic Ironman World Championship in Kona – where Oakley Team Star Craig “Crowie” Alexander shattered the World Record by finishing in an astonishing 8:03:56. All while Chrissie Wellington, finding redemption from a disappointing 2010 and rough start to the year, powered through to victory from behind with an 8:55:08 performance of her own. But Oakley’s presence definitely isn’t ever limited to racking up Ironman Title after Ironman Title. The O has been a more-than-prominent part of the mix at Kona for the better part of the decade. And it started with one man. Greg Welch.
History Made: Craig Alexander Shatters Ironman World Championship Kona Course Record, Tallies Third Hawaiian Crown in Epic Fashion
Craig Alexander was already a beast prior to the 2011 Ironman World Championship in Kona. Now you can mark that down…officially. The previous two-time World Champion added yet another glorious crown to his collection. But this wasn’t just another title…if winning such a coveted and challenging race was ever considered ordinary. This time, he shattered Luc Van Lierde’s 1996 Kona course record, finishing in an astonishing 8 hours, 3 minutes, 56 seconds. Even as he suffered through some cramping through the grueling final stretch of the race.
Fourth’s the Sweetest: Chrissie Wellington Claims Glorious Ironman World Championship Title in Kona From Behind
It was all but over at the Ironman World Championship in Kona for Chrissie Wellington. Oakley’s elite team Triathlete exited the water close to 10 minutes behind then-leader and fellow O team standout Julie Dibens. But every media personality, industry insider and die-hard fan had a common thought in the back of their minds. When Chrissie is on the course, don’t ever count her out. And they were right. Big time. Displaying just why she’s considered one of the premiere endurance athletes, Chrissy charged hard on the bike and blazed on the run to edge out defending Champion and fellow O athlete Mirinda Carfrae by less than three minutes, finishing in 8:55:08 for her fourth coveted Ironman World Championship Title.
The premiere – and most most intensely challenging – endurance sports event on the Planet is upon us. Indeed, Ironman World Championships in Kona are less than three days away. And at the Oakley Athlete Safe House in Keauhou Bay – a splendidly tucked away property consisting of several mini-houses, picturesque scenery and its own dock on the water – the ‘calm before the storm’ is literally the feeling floating around in the salty air. Former Ironman World Champion and current Oakley Triathlon Manager, Greg Welch, a maestro of sorts during the week of the revered competition every year, is busy showing extra care for the elite athletes walking in and out of the house in the days leading up to the race (on top of serving as “The Voice” of Ironman Kona for countless official functions and the live web and telecasts). Yes there are pep talks. Sure, there are pleasantries. But the most important part of each athlete’s visit to the Safe House is, of course, their gear selection.