Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kangaroo imitates the 10th fastest Kona Ironman finisher

See 1994 Ironman triathlon World Champion Greg "Kangaroo" Welch perform possibly the best Pauli Kiuru imitation ever - LOL!   

For those of you who just asked 'Pauli who?', he is the most succesful Finnish triathlete. I know him personally as the badass who beat me by 2 hours 20 minutes in Kona 20 years ago :-) 

One of his most famous stunts happened in Ironman New Zealand 1990, when he got lost just before the finish line, then found his way back to the run course and sprinted to beat Ken Glah just in time to win the race by the narrowst margin in Ironman history.

Unfortunately the video below is pretty bad quality, but please at least check out the amazing battle to the finish line around 2 minute mark.

Some of you may also remember Kiuru for almost beating Mark Allen in Hawaii Ironman 1993. Although Mark eventually passed Pauli on the run (Dave Scott observed that Kiuru seemed to give up way too easily, although Pauli claimed cramps forced him to slow down), we should keep in mind that Mark's finish time 8:07:45 is the 3rd fastest in Hawaii ever. And, interestingly, Pauli's 1993 finish time 8:14:27 still ranks 10th fastest in Hawaii.

Here's a list of top ten fastest finish times in Kona ever:
  1. 8:04:08 - Luc Van Lierde (Belgium). 1st place in 1996 (swim 51:05, bike 4:28:06, run 2:55:16).
  2. 8:06:07 - Thomas Hellriegel (Germany). 2nd in 1996 (54:22, 4:24:50, 2:46:55).
  3. 8:07:45 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1993 (50:40, 4:29:00, 2:48:05).
  4. 8:09:08 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1992 (51:27, 4:35:23, 2:42:18).
  5. 8:09:15 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1989 (51:17, 4:37:52, 2:40:04).
  6. 8:10:13 - Dave Scott (USA). 2nd in 1989 (51:16, 4:37:53, 2:41:03).
  7. 8:11:56 - Normann Stadler (Germany). 1st in 2006 (54:05, 4:24:50, 2:46:55).
  8. 8:13:07 - Chris McCormack (Australia). 2nd in 2006 (53:51, 4:29:24, 2:46:02).
  9. 8:14:17 - Faris Al-Sultan (Germany). 1st in 2005 (49:54, 4:25:24, 2:54:51).
  10. 8:14:27 - Pauli Kiuru (Finland). 2nd in 1993 (51:05, 4:28:06, 2:55:16).
So only these eight superfast guys have finished under 8:15 in Kona. As you may have noted, Greg Welch is not on the list, as his best time is 8:18:57 (1996, 3rd place). Of course time is not everything. After all, Greg took the title in 1994, but Pauli wasn't able to realize his dream of conquering Kona. 


Jamie Organ said...

Pauli was my Triathlon 'idol' during my early years in the sport. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but there was an 'x-factor' about him. "Zee Heart Monitor iz my vepon" LOL! He was just cool in his own way.

Jakuko said...

Yeah his 'Finglish' was pretty funny. Thanks for stopping by to comment. I feel the same way about him. Hope to see him compete in Hawaii once again one of these years like some other old masters have done.