A “machine” might be the best way to describe Craig Alexander, the powerhouse Aussie triathlete with five world championships and three Ironman World Championships. “Crazy” might be another descriptor, especially for those of us who can’t fathom topping off an eight-hour race with a marathon. Decide for yourself thanks to the part-time Boulderite’s first book, As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman World Champion (VeloPress, $40), out this week.

Crowie, as he’s known in the triathlon world, teamed up with photographer Paul K. Robbins to document a year in training from pre-season strength and conditioning to injury to pivotal race strategy. It’s a venerable how-to guide to becoming a sports legend.

The book is timed perfectly. You can see the results of his hard work this Saturday, October 13, as he competes in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, with fellow Coloradans Joe Gambles, Andy Potts, Tim O’Donnell, Mirinda Carfrae, Leanda Cave, and Rachel Joyce. Boulder athletes have won eight of the last 10 championships. Here’s hoping we snag another.

Live feed of the race begins on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. MT. Watch it here.

Bonus: To hear our hometown champions dissect and discuss the life of a triathlete, check out Ironman’s web series, Ali’i Drive. And read more about our elite athletes here.

Follow 5280 blogger Rachel Sturtz as she travels to Kona to cover the world championship race on Twitter at @resturtz.

Image courtesy of VeloPress