Craig Alexander, Ironman CDA 2011
This weekend the Inland Northwest and the thousands of athletes, spectators and volunteers in the Lake City for the 9th annual Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene will be part of triathlon history. Never before has a 2x Ironman World Champion graced the beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene to race this venue. On Sunday that will all change when Australian, Craig Alexander suits up to tackle North Idaho’s scenic 140.6 mile course.
Crowie has been the talk of the triathlon community all week after rumors started circulation about his possible entry. Ironman Coeur d’Alene wasn’t even on his radar this season but due to an illness prior to Ironman Australia, he was left with few options. Not only did Alexander want to race on his home soil he needed to race at least one full distance triathlon in order to return to Kona in October base on new qualifying rules. Crowie’s misfortunes will be a rare opportunity for the age group athletes to share the same course as one of the best in the sport.
Former Ironman World Champion Lori Bowden (’99, ’03) did take the start line here in Coeur d’Alene in 2004 but pulled out half way into the run because of severe blisters. If and when Craig Alexander crosses the finish line on Sunday afternoon, he’ll become the only former Ironman World Champion to ever start and finish the event.