The 2018 race was incredible. The fastest in history due to the conditions was pretty much a good day for everyone except those hoping for consistency in anti-doping sentencing and a little less hypocrisy in sport and cycling.
The tale of the tape says that "Vino" is an excellent 45-49 age group Triathlete but perhaps had the water wings on for the 3.8km swim with a 1hr 13min 51sec.
The 180km bike was another matter. To no one's surprise, he recorded a time of 4hr 18min 6sec, the second fastest in his division and 103 overall. For context, Aussie Cameron Wurf, a decade younger, also a former road pro and now full-time Elite Ironman Triathlete, set another record with a 4hr 9min 6sec.
Vino's run was a solid 3hr 33min 53sec for seventh in his division. Add some improvements on the swim and run, faster transitions and Vino is a future sub-nine hour Ironman. Amazing.
However, while I was admiring Vino's performance I was also thinking of a race that could and should be. Alexandr Vinokourov v Lance Armstrong. Just like the good/bad old days but on a different stage. I'd like to see that.
Lance came to cycling from Triathlon and the rest is history. But I'm pretty sure that Ironman fire still burns bright. And for what it's worth, my money would be on the not seven-time Tour winner to win that battle.
To see Vino, with his prior record of a doping offence, on the Kona lava, you see the hypocrisy of anti-doping writ large.
He gets to run a team. He gets to race in all manner of sanctioned events but Lance does not? Vino served two years but Lance's time is forever?
Time and recent events surrounding state-sanctioned doping (looking at you Russia) tell us that Lance's "crimes" don't add up to anything like a lifetime ban. Four years and let him and us move on.
His offences were not much different to Vino's yet here we are. One guy serves his time and gets to move on like a normal citizen and the other remains a cautionary tale for what, exactly? Don't be a dickhead? You get less for murder.
Heck, with his recent announcement to sponsor a Continental team in Canada through his cannabis product business, even Floyd Landis is allowed post ban involvement in cycling. Think about that for a minute.