If you've been reading my blogs for a while, you probably know that me and Eric Byrnes have a serious rivalry. One that some might say is similar to Chris McCormack and Craig Alexander, or maybe even the New York Yankees and every other baseball team. If you don't know who Eric Byrnes is, he was on the Arizona Diamondbacks when they won the world series and beat those stinkin' Yankees! He has now transitioned out of baseball and will be making his Ironman debut in a little over a week at Ironman Arizona!
When I first wrote about Eric Byrnes doing Ironman Arizona, I predicted that he would have a phenomenal debut. I went on to point out that he has the right resources, athletic ability, drive, and most of all, time, to do extremely well on race day. I went out on a limb and said that it was totally possible for him to finish sub-10 in his Ironman debut. Well, it was brought to my attention by a reader that Mr. Byrnes may be on track for that sub-10 finish!
Eric Byrnes recently raced in Red Rock Co.'s Soma Triathlon. The Soma triathlon is a 70.3-mile race, or a half iron distance triathlon. This is really a perfect race for anyone doing Ironman Arizona because Soma is done on the same course! I wasn't there to see Mr. Byrnes race, nor did I speak to him, so I don't know what his goals were for the Soma race. What I do know is that he finished in 4:54:45.
Now, with a time of 4:54:45, he was going pretty fast. His swim was 36:19, bike was 2:25:17 (which was the second fastest bike split in his age group), and his run was 1:48. Holy crap!
So can he go sub-10 like I first predicted? He definitely has the potential. It's tough to know for certain, because you can't just double his finishing time and assume that's his predicted Ironman time. It really all depends on how hard he was racing at Soma. If he was doing an Ironman effort for the race, then likely he would be able to maintain his speed and finish right around 10 hours. If he was going a little harder than Ironman pace, since Soma was only half the distance, then he would probably slow down slightly, putting him a little over 10 hours.
So it looks as if the battle between Byrnsie and myself is not really going to be a close one. I'm hoping for sub-12 and it looks like Byrnes will be anywhere from one to two hours ahead of me. But, it's a long day out there during an Ironman race, and anything can happen. You better be on your A game Eric (well, realistically your B game will probably good enough too, but either way, it's on!)!