Australia’s Craig Alexander announced his retirement from long-distance triathlon last weekend after crossing the line in fifth place at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne.
“I want to pay tribute to my wife Neri, and all the people who have supported me over the journey,” he said. “I feel like my body is a rental car and I’ve been racing with the handbrake on for a while now. I don’t want to be fifth, I want to be the guy on the podium spraying everyone with champagne.”
The three-time Ironman World Champion, 40, left the water two minutes behind the race leaders and was unable to make up enough time to reach the podium despite a 2:42:53 run split, crossing the line in 8:05:47.
“It’s hard because I want to win, but I’m not what I used to be,” he said. “That marathon hurt me more than any marathon I’ve ever run, I dug as deep as I could, I put myself in a terrible position. I salvaged a top five, but I’ve never been happy with a top five.
Alexander added that he now wants to spend more time with his family, and devote more attention to coaching athletes such as Paul Matthews, who took second place in Melbourne. He also intends to continue racing Ironman 70.3 races, but has no immediate racing plans.
Dirk Bockel (LUX) and Caroline Steffen (SUI) won this year’s Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne, while Britain’s Daniel Halksworth and Harry Wiltshire placed 11th and 12th respectively in the men’s race. The highest-placing British woman was Janet Livesey, who came 72nd in the women’s race.
(Main image: Delly Carr)
Fifth today at #IMMelbourne. Bad swim, decent ride, good run. Thank you for all of the support out on the course. Humbling & appreciated
— Craig Alexander (@CrowieAlexander) March 23, 2014