Despite some rumors that he may pass on Kona, Chris McCormack’s camp says that he will be racing at the 2012 Ironman World Championship.
The last two years for two-time Ironman world champion Chris McCormack have been somewhat of a whirlwind. After winning the big event in Kona in 2010, McCormack announced that he would be returning to draft-legal racing with the goal of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Australian team.
“I thought, ‘Why not?’” McCormack told Triathlete.com at the beginning of the Olympic qualifying process in March of 2011. “There’ll be no regrets at the end of my career. At least I’ll have tried and the only failure I thought was not trying, and I can live with whether I make the team or not.”
Even with fairly strong showings in a few ITU World Triathlon Series races, McCormack was left off of the team. While a shift in focus away from long-distance racing for such a long period of time would leave Kona off the plate for the majority of triathletes, that was not the case for McCormack. Because he has won the Ironman World Championship within the last five years, McCormack had the luxury of avoiding the Kona Pro Ranking (KPR) qualification system. The only requirement for McCormack to make it to the Kona start line would be an Ironman finish to “validate” his start.
In March of 2012, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) purchased Australia’s USM Events and changed Challenge Cairns into Ironman Cairns; a move that proved to be beneficial for McCormack. Because of a past agreement, McCormack was contractually obligated to race Challenge-turned-Ironman Cairns. Despite being “under prepared” heading into the Cairns race, McCormack finished ninth and validated his Kona spot.
Adding fuel to McCormack’s desire to return to Kona was the announcement by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong that he intended to race the Ironman World Championship this year.
In June of this year, the WTC imposed a ban on Armstrong after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed him of its intent to file charges against him. With Armstrong more than likely out of this year’s Kona race, there was some chatter around the triathlon community that McCormack would also decide not to race.
McCormack reacted with the following tweet: “That’s a shame! Kona this year, doesn’t seem like much fun anymore!”
Despite the initial reaction from McCormack, his camp has confirmed to Triathlete.com today that he is “100% in” for the 2012 Ironman World Championship.
McCormack will next compete at this weekend’s ITU Long Distance World Championship in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
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