Synopses & Reviews
When he became just the fourth man to win three Ironman® World Championships, Craig “Crowie” Alexander joined triathlon’s most elite inner circle of champions.
In As the Crow Flies, the five-time world champion reveals his approach, his training, and the relationships that delivered the record-breaking race performance he says was a decade in the making. In his own words and through striking photographs from acclaimed sports photographer Paul K. Robbins, Crowie shows what it takes to race at the elite level—and how he balances the work of triathlon with his first priority, his wife Neri and their young kids Lucy and Austin.
Alexander reflects on influential moments of his early career and his entire 2011 and early 2012 season, bringing triathletes inside his head during key workouts, training blocks, and pivotal moments in big races. Crowie struggles through injury, illness, and changing sponsorships, revealing the delicate balance between elite performance and disaster. Yet hardship on the road to Kona yielded to Crowie’s hard work and determination as he won both the Ironman and Ironman 70.3® world championships, making him the first person to win both championships in the same year.
Epic workouts, grueling travel, record-setting race performance, giving back to sponsors and the sport—these are the tools of Crowie’s trade, not to mention sleek wetsuits, cutting-edge time trial bikes, and technical footwear. And while those who know the sport of triathlon intimately will say that performance is determined by how triathletes put the three disciplines together, As the Crow Flies shows that winning major races comes from working toward excellence in every aspect of the triathlon way of life.
As the Crow Flies offers triathletes and sports enthusiasts a beautiful, intimate, and honest portrait of the life and work of professional triathlete Craig “Crowie” Alexander, five-time triathlon world champion and one of the sport’s most successful athletes.
Millions of triathletes around the world know Craig Alexander as “Crowie,” the formidable triathlete whose sheer talent and disciplined work ethic have earned him three Ironman® World Championships and the new world record. Within the sport, Alexander is respected as a humble athlete who takes nothing for granted.
In As the Crow Flies, celebrated Australian photographer Paul Robbins shadows Alexander over the course of his most tumultuous season yet. Alexander and Robbins usher triathletes into the lifestyle of a world-class triathlete. Balancing the rigors of training with family life, non-stop travel, the frailties of the aging athlete’s body, and endless obligations to sponsors and the media, Alexander describes the physical and emotional demands of triathlon—which go well beyond superb fitness as a swimmer, cyclist, and runner.
As the Crow Flies is filled with Alexander’s down-to-earth perspective on the coveted lifestyle of a professional athlete. Stunning black-and-white images will captivate the star-struck fans and triathletes with a real sense of what it takes to perform at the highest level of the sport.
Craig Alexander, known by his fans as “Crowie,” has been named one of the greatest male triathletes of all time by Inside Triathlon
magazine. He has found success at every level of the sport and ascended through the triathlon ranks to claim five Ironman and 70.3 world championships in the past five years. Craig’s dedication to triathlon is surpassed only by his devotion to family—his wife, Nerida, and two young children, Lucy and Austin. Triathlon’s first family hails from Sydney, Australia, but spends the race season in Boulder, Colorado. Paul K. Robbins shadowed Craig Alexander for over a year to capture the passion, craft, and challenges confronting the professional athlete. He has been behind the lens all his life and has worked commercially since 1985. As a former age-group triathlete, Paul knows firsthand where to look for the true beauty of the sport. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
In a tough year marked by challenges, reversals, and great performances, Craig Alexander ran into the record books, breaking a 15-year course record to win triathlon’s coveted Hawaii Ironman® World Championship for the third time. En route to Kona, he won the Ironman 70.3® World Championship, making him the first man to win both world championships in a single year. At age 38, Alexander has proven that now more than ever, he is the man to mark. Triathlon’s most decorated pro is also one of its hardest-working. After more than 15 years in the sport, Alexander remains relentless in his pursuit of improvement. His masterfully intuitive method of training and racing has made him one of the most consistent and versatile athletes racing today. As the Crow Flies
combines Alexander’s revealing insights with striking photos taken over the course of a year by acclaimed sports photographer Paul K. Robbins. Together, they create a fascinating picture of the tenuous balance between dedication and determination, patience and persistence in racing and life. Triathletes will not want to miss the chance to steal a page from Alexander’s winning playbook. “As you will discover in reading this book, it’s no wonder Craig is one of the greatest triathletes ever. As the Crow Flies
is filled with riveting stories of commitment, setbacks, focus, and keeping it old school. He is ready for what’s thrown at him, whether in training, racing, or life itself.” — From the foreword by Greg Welch, 5-time world champion
About the Author
Known to his fans as “Crowie,” Craig Alexander is three-time Ironman® and Ironman 70.3® World Champion. Named one of Inside Triathlon magazine’s greatest male triathletes of all time, Alexander is respected throughout the triathlon community both for his disciplined approach to training and his humble, down-to-earth personality. Crowie’s usual modesty is replaced by beaming pride when he speaks of his wife and longtime love, Nerida, and the couple’s two spirited children. Triathlon’s first family splits its time between New South Wales, Australia and Boulder, Colorado.
Paul K. Robbins is a seasoned 20-year veteran of the photographic industry and founder of Monde Photo, a leading photo agency. He lives and works in Australia.
Table of Contents
FOREWORD by Greg WelchINTRODUCTION COMMITMENT: Early-season trainingFOCUS: A new goal comes into viewSETBACKS: Holding it together when things fall apartGOING SOLO: Building up to the world championshipsFINAL COUNTDOWN: Returning to KonaBRINGING IT HOME: Where it all startedSUB 8: The road ahead EPILOGUEACHIEVEMENTSACKNOWLEDGMENTSABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER