The AT50: Triathlete Craig Alexander (#15)
Highlights: 2008, 2009 and 2011 Ironman Triathlon World Champion; one of only four men to win the Ironman World Championship three times; 2006 and 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Champion; oldest male winner of the Ironman World Championship; 2009 Australian Sports Performer of the Year
Quote: “I am fortunate because I came through in a golden era in the sport...The athlete you become is because of who you race."
Fact: His ability to recall obscure statistics and famous sports plays is Rain Man-like.
AT50 Point Total: 44.5
Craig "Crowie" Alexander knows his body. And not just in the way of a 15-year triathlon veteran who regularly pushes his body beyond reasonable limits. He's so attuned, in fact, that he doesn't even bother with the high-tech, fitness-monitoring formulas and gadgetry—heart rate monitor, VO2 max calculations, etc.—that have become de rigueur in the sport ("I believe most racing is done by feel," he told Triathlete Europe, "not by a predetermined set of numbers or formulas.").
He also happens to be a college-educated, certified physiotherapist (physical therapist), a fact that helped him coach himself to success in his early career, as he rose through the ranks of pro triathletes to win the inaugural Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2006. But it was after he linked up with coach Chris Carmichael, in 2007, that his performance really skyrocketed, with 2008, 2009 and 2011 Ironman World Championships, as well as a second championship at the 2011 Ironman 70.3. He's one of only four men to win the Ironman championship three times and, at 38, became the oldest male champion (while simultaneously breaking the 15-year-old course record of 8:03:56). In addition to dominating the pro triathlon scene, Alexander helps guide other athletes and passes the torch of his success at triathlon training camps.
—Megan Taylor Morrison