You may remember a while back I shocked the world with the world wide announcement that Mr. Eric Byrnes (yes, that speedy son of a gun that played for the Arizona Diamondbacks) was going to be racing in the 2011 Ironman Arizona. Well, I made a couple of attempts to contact Mr. Byrnes because I wanted to pick his brain and find out just how excited he is to be making his Ironman debut in Arizona. Apparently I don't have the connections and pull that I thought, because I received no response. On that note, the rest of what you read in this post is complete speculation.
If I had to guess, Eric Byrnes just finished up doing a 100-mile bike ride, followed by a brick run of about an hour or so. And chances are that he didn't even break a sweat. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy to take something, or anything for that matter, lightly. When he played for the Diamondbacks, he was always giving 100%. Now that he has transitioned out of the baseball world and is dabbling in the triathlon world, I'm sure he's doing the same. He probably has found himself a wonderful coach and some top-notch training partners. True, when he played baseball, he didn't really have a typical triathlete body. But I'm sure he's slimmed down a bit and I'm guessing that he has very strong cycling legs. He also strikes me as the kind of guy who won't stop unless his heart stops.
But the all-important question is: Has Eric Byrnes been training enough? I'm sure he has been. In fact, if I had to throw out a finish time prediction, I would put his finish time very close to what I'm hoping for...twelve hours. And if I'm correct, that means I'll be racing neck and neck with Eric Byrnes for those twelve hours.
He'll probably get off the bike before me, which means I'll be playing catch-up on the run. If at some point I catch up to him, I'm just going to pace right behind him until the very end, and then blow by him just before the finish and basque in all the glory of beating Eric Byrnes in an Ironman triathlon! Realistically, if I catch up to Byrnesie at some point, I'll probably ask him if it's ok that I jump on his back and he carry me the rest of the way.
Only time will tell how this plays out, and it's almost that time! Just know that I've got my eyes out for Eric Byrnes out on that course. And if I pass him, I might try to distract him by asking for an autograph...anything I can do to get a little time advantage, right!?