Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Ironmanlife: Twitter battles heating up

(Kevin Mackinnon catches up on the latest competition between Julie Dibens and Mirinda Carfrae)

As much as I feel that we couldn’t be much better represented by our two current world champions, Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington, there’s only one thing that we’re missing these days with their current domination of Ironman World Championship – neither are exactly renowned for their trash talking.

Can you imagine how much fun it would be to hear Chrissie actually predict that she’s going to finish two postal codes ahead of the next woman at next years race? Or for Chris Lieto to get the K-Swiss folks to put “you’re not going to catch me today, Crowie” on the back of his race singlet, and Alexander to come back with “sorry, mate, remind me again where you finished in Boise?”
(In case you aren’t quite as much of an Ironman junkie as I am, Alexander beat Lieto to the line in Boise in a sprint finish.)

Remember the good ol’ days? The days when Macca was playing head games with Normann and Faris? When reporting on the press conference in Kona was not unlike a pre-fight presser in Las Vegas? When post-race parties included shoving matches between some of the best in the sport?

Alexander isn’t one to get involved in those kind of games – I know that Chris McCormack has tried to bait his countryman in the past, without much luck. When I asked him why we didn’t see any jawing between the two, Macca said it just didn’t work.

“Crowie just tells me to shut up,” McCormack said. Hard to get much back-and-forth when the guy simply ignores you, isn’t it?

We did get a hint that Chrissie can actually do some trash talking last year – she did talk about a few guys getting “chicked” when she races. Bottom line, though, is this is a woman on her way to becoming a world-leading politician. There’s no way we’ll ever get anything too outrageous from her about her female competitors.

Luckily enough, though, we have some new players on the Ironman front who appear to be quite happy to take each other on the public stage. How competitive are Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Dibens? These two are even racing to see who can get the most followers on Twitter.

“woop woop – just made it to 900 followers – thanks for supporting people!” wrote Mirinda.

“getting close to 1000 followers. Will it just be like most of my races with @mirindacarfrae…after my strong start she pips me to the post,” tweeted Dibens.

“ha yeah right – you are like 50 up on me…. You might have too much lead on this one… But a race is a race & you are on!” replied Mirinda.

“yeah. I beat the rinsta @mirindacarfrae in our battle to 1000 followers. probably the only thing i will beat her in. But i’ll take it. 1-0,” gloated Dibens. (OK, maybe not exactly gloated, but I might as well see if I can stir up a bit more action on this front!)

“damn it!!! Might be a sign of what’s to come this year – dibens domination??? Race ya to 2000!!!” Mirinda replied. Dibens domination? She doesn’t seem to be ready to watch that happen anytime soon.

The two should follow their twitter race up with some exciting Ironman racing, too. Carfrae set a world best in winning the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship in 2007. Two years later she competed in her first Ironman in Kona, setting a marathon course record on her way to the runner up finish there.

Dibens (left) was so dominant in Clearwater last year that she was riding with the lead men’s group for a while on the bike ride. Wellington has said that when she’s riding with Dibens she often finds herself hanging on for dear life.

So right now Dibens is up 1-0. Neither gained any ground from my signing up as a follower today – I managed to move Dibens to 1,012 folllowers and keep Carfrae just 30 behind at 982.

Let the games begin! Maybe we can get Chrissie Wellington in on the action. In fact, with her right wrist in a cast right now, she probably has just the handicap she’ll need to keep things interesting.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, mackatakdad has a grand total of two followers – I’ll quite happily stay clear of Mirinda Carfrae or Julie Dibens in any sort of a race.

(Reach Kevin Mackinnon at kevin@ironman.com)

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