Start Gap at 70.3 New Orleans

April 20, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Analysis 

Three weeks ago, there was a discussion about the start gap between MPRO and WPRO when Angela Naeth received a drafting penalty at 70.3 Oceanside (see my analysis on Oceanside). This weekend, the discussion flared up again after the 70.3 in New Orleans when Lauren Goss posted the following tweet:

LaurenTweet

Here’s a closer look at how the New Orleans race unfolded for the Professional Men (blue) and women (red):

NOLA

You can see that the start gap was at five minutes (as compared to three minutes for Oceanside). Clearly, the front of the women were riding with a number of Pro Men who had a slower swim. 

I’ve made the following recommendations after Oceanside:

  1. Increase the gap between MPRO and WPRO to at least nine minutes. (Logistically, ten minutes might be simpler and would be even safer.)
  2. Any MPRO that is overtaken by a WPRO has to sit up until being cleanly passed and after that keep at least a 20 meter gap, even is that impacts his own race.

From Lauren’s description, it seems obvious that the men that she and Jennifer Spieldenner rode up to were interfering with the women’s race and did not observe my recommendation #2. As for the first suggestion, here’s how the race would have looked with a ten minute gap:

NOLA10

Similar to Oceanside, having a ten minute gap would have avoided any overlap between MPRO and FPRO fields. It would be great to see the recommendations taken up in future races. Even without resorting to more drastic measures such as DQ’ing MPRO that get overtaken by the leading woman, a ten-minute gap would allow the women to have a much cleaner race than what we are often seeing with a smaller gap.

Ironman Australia 2015 (May 3rd) – Predictions

April 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: PreRace 

Previous WinnersIMAUS

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2005 Chris McCormack (AUS) 08:25:44 Lisa Bentley (CAN) 09:13:20
2006 Chris McCormack (AUS) 08:20:42 Lisa Bentley (CAN) 09:19:44
2007 Patrick Vernay (NCL) 08:21:49 Rebekah Keat (AUS) 09:12:59
2008 Patrick Vernay (NCL) 08:31:32 Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 09:03:54
2009 Patrick Vernay (NCL) 08:24:53 Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 08:57:10
2010 Patrick Vernay (NCL) 08:23:54 Carrie Lester (AUS) 09:23:46
2011 Pete Jacobs (AUS) 08:29:28 Caroline Steffen (SUI) 09:29:54
2012 Paul Ambrose (GBR) 08:17:38 Michelle Gailey (AUS) 09:34:57
2013 Luke Bell (AUS) 08:30:23 Rebecca Hoschke (AUS) 09:34:55
2014 Elliot Holtham (CAN) 08:35:18 Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 09:28:43

Last Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Elliot Holtham CAN 00:49:26 04:49:09 02:53:28 08:35:18
2 Paul Ambrose GBR 00:46:29 04:46:28 03:01:37 08:37:47
3 Nick Baldwin SEY 00:50:10 04:50:54 02:56:22 08:41:19

Last year’s winner Elliot Hotham is not back to defend his title. He said that he „got so burnt out chasing points and racing Kona“ – even after winning in Australia he had to race until the end of August to collect the required points for a slot. He took a lot off time off after Kona but is now already trying to figure out how to return to Kona in 2016.

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Melissa Hauschildt AUS 00:50:46 05:19:57 03:13:57 09:28:43
2 Lisa Marangon AUS 00:49:49 05:12:19 03:23:53 09:30:50
3 Melanie Burke NZL 00:58:08 05:21:39 03:09:19 09:32:53

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:17:38 Paul Ambrose 2012-04-29
Swim overall 00:44:24 Luke Bell 2014-05-04
Bike overall 04:31:25 Paul Ambrose 2012-04-29
Run overall 02:47:20 Tim Van Berkel 2012-04-29
Total female 08:57:10 Chrissie Wellington 2009-04-05
Swim female 00:48:42 Melissa Ashton 2006-05-11
Bike female 05:00:57 Carrie Lester 2010-03-28
Run female 03:01:06 Lisa Bentley 2006-05-11

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM Australia is 05:01.

Race Adjustments for IM Australia

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Athletes Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2006 01:43 02:10 -07:45 00:29 16 01:43 02:10 -07:45 00:29
2007 04:09 01:53 -05:32 01:03 24 02:56 02:01 -06:38 00:46
2008 -00:09 -00:01 -03:18 00:46 20 01:54 01:21 -05:31 00:46
2009 02:03 -00:18 -04:25 02:34 24 01:57 00:56 -05:15 01:13
2010 07:37 04:52 03:16 00:04 14 03:05 01:43 -03:33 00:59
2011 01:59 02:13 -02:32 01:44 13 02:54 01:48 -03:23 01:07
2012 05:09 02:20 01:15 04:04 9 03:13 01:53 -02:43 01:32
2013 11:54 01:34 -03:27 07:58 8 04:18 01:50 -02:48 02:20
2014 10:40 03:32 -02:43 08:29 13 05:01 02:02 -02:48 03:01

KPR points and Prize Money

IM Australia is a P-2000 race. It has a total prize purse of 50.000 US$.

Male Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Overall
1 1 Pete Jacobs AUS 08:24:07 08:53:49 00:45:14 04:39:42 02:54:10 102
2 4 Peter Robertson AUS 08:33:11 08:48:32 00:45:11 04:43:47 02:59:13 (81)
3 2 Paul Ambrose GBR 08:36:11 08:46:15 00:46:54 04:41:04 03:03:12 64
4 3 Luke Bell AUS 08:36:40 08:53:31 00:45:45 04:41:43 03:04:12 100
5 7 Matt Burton AUS 08:46:19 09:01:52 00:51:12 04:43:04 03:07:03 137
6 5 Nick Baldwin SEY 08:48:29 08:56:20 00:51:28 04:50:59 03:01:02 118
7 9 Carl Read NZL 08:51:53 09:00:23 00:50:08 04:58:59 02:57:47 133
8 12 Simon Billeau FRA 08:53:08 08:55:43 00:52:20 04:45:14 03:10:34 116
9 16 Luke Martin AUS 08:53:34 09:03:56 00:49:45 04:57:28 03:01:21 (149)
10 6 Petr Vabrousek CZE 08:54:46 08:59:27 00:53:24 04:55:05 03:01:16 129
11 13 Brian Fuller AUS 08:58:56 09:12:37 00:50:32 04:51:14 03:12:10 186
12 14 Darren Jenkins AUS 09:10:36 09:18:23 01:01:59 05:02:02 03:01:36 209
13 8 Graham O’Grady NZL 09:27:47 09:44:38 00:43:49 04:51:04 03:47:55 (319)
14 15 Lachlan Kerin AUS 09:41:06 09:58:20 00:48:22 05:04:31 03:43:13 (369)
15 18 Matt Randall NZL 09:49:39 10:13:12 01:01:15 05:03:03 03:40:22 (411)
16 17 Dan McGuigan AUS 09:57:32 10:15:15 00:59:59 05:01:14 03:51:19 (417)
17 11 Daniel Brown AUS 10:45:15 11:04:23 01:01:54 05:38:51 03:59:31 (476)
18 10 Josef Svoboda CZE 11:52:39 12:12:15 01:10:21 06:12:10 04:25:09 484

Female Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Overall
1 21 Lisa Marangon AUS 09:36:01 09:56:22 00:51:09 05:11:42 03:28:09 81
2 22 Melanie Burke NZL 09:41:52 09:49:29 01:02:22 05:17:43 03:16:47 62
3 24 Michelle Gailey AUS 09:41:55 09:53:53 00:51:25 05:33:12 03:12:18 75
4 23 Michelle Bremer NZL 09:42:05 09:48:56 00:56:04 05:17:56 03:23:04 59
5 25 Jessica Fleming AUS 09:50:22 10:07:57 00:58:41 05:20:15 03:26:27 (104)
6 28 Christie Sym AUS 09:55:26 10:08:54 00:56:30 05:23:04 03:30:52 (108)
7 27 Michelle Duffield AUS 10:01:23 10:08:09 00:58:47 05:30:52 03:26:43 105
8 26 Michelle Wu AUS 10:02:43 10:20:35 00:57:15 05:48:45 03:11:43 (137)
9 29 Caroline Gregory USA 10:08:31 10:29:36 00:53:25 05:45:55 03:24:12 154
10 31 Marina Jurjevic AUS 10:10:02 10:28:07 01:01:59 05:16:13 03:46:50 (152)
30 Marie Sorrell NZL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

There is a very interesting mix of athletes in this field. Pete Jacobs is the biggest name on paper, but he hasn’t had a good race since he won in Kona 2012. Hopefully, he was able to have a decent preparation for this race – then he would have to be considered the favorite. Peter Robertson and Luke Bell have both started in Melbourne but didn’t have the results they were looking for (Peter DNF’d probably hoping for a better day in Port Macquarie, Luke had 4h marathon and finished 15th). Paul Ambrose (winner in 2012 and second finisher last year) is hard to predict. Nick Baldwin has just finished 6th at IM Taiwan and is probably still be a bit tired.

  • Peter Robertson: 34% (2-1)
  • Paul Ambrose: 19% (4-1)
  • Luke Bell: 17% (5-1)
  • Pete Jacobs: 13% (7-1)
  • Nick Baldwin: 6% (17-1)
  • Matt Burton: 4% (22-1)
  • Carl Read: 4% (27-1)
  • Petr Vabrousek: 2% (40-1)

Female Race Participants

Lisa Marangon is always close to the front – last year she finished second to Mel Hauschildt and has to be considered the front runner for this year. But she faces strong competition in Melanie Burke (recently third at IM New Zealand), Michelle Gailey (coming back after injuries and a 2014 scare with skin cancer) and Michelle Bremer (athlete with the best rating).

  • Lisa Marangon: 53% (1-1)
  • Melanie Burke: 16% (5-1)
  • Michelle Gailey: 15% (6-1)
  • Michelle Bremer: 12% (7-1)
  • Jessica Fleming: 3% (32-1)

Kona Still #1 Goal for Raelert-Brothers

April 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Interview 

In March 2011, K-Swiss announced that they would pay 1 million $ to the German brothers Andreas and Michael Raelert if they finish 1-2 in Kona later that year. Both were considered strong contenders for the October race: Michael hat recently become the first 70.3 champ to defend his world title (winning both the 2009 and 2010 titles in Clearwater), and Andreas had two great Kona results in 2009 (3rd) and 2010 (2nd, only beaten by Chris McCormack after running with him until the last aid station).

Since then, the brothers struggled a bit to put together solid seasons. In 2011, Michael was slated to give his IM debut in Frankfurt but had to cancel because of hip issues and decided to wait another year for his Kona debut. Andreas posted a fantastic world best time of 7:41:33 in Roth, but still had to validate his Kona slot by „walking“ IM Regensburg in order not to aggravate a slight injury. He posted another podium result in Kona (3rd behind Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs). In 2012 they both qualified for Kona, but only Andreas had a good race (2nd behind Pete Jacobs) while Michael finished 31st.

MensBikeString
Michael Raelert at the front of a bike pack in Kona 2012 (Photo: Jay Prasuhn).

2013 saw them both struggle with injuries: Michael hurt his knee when he crashed with his mountain bike. He still managed to finish 7th in IM Germany, but then had to undergo a procedure to remove inflamed tissue. Andreas won IM Austria in a fast 7:59, but tore some muscle fibers in his glute. For the first time, he DNF’d in Kona. 2014 didn’t start much better: Andreas still wasn’t completely healed from his injury, had a DNF in Frankfurt and barely managed to get a last minute Kona slot after racing in Mont Tremblant. In Kona, he was in a good position until the middle of the run when he had severe stomach problems and had to walk home. (He still finished in 10:49 with a run time 45 minutes slower than his bike.)

Michael crashed again on his mountain bike in the spring, but even though he hurt his face the injuries healed quickly. He was on fire in the second half of the year, winning a number of 70.3s in Australia and also the inaugural Challenge Bahrain.

AndiBikeMallorca
Andreas Raelert getting ready for the 2015 season in Mallorca (Photo: Raelert-Brothers).

I’ve had the chance to discuss their 2015 plans with them.


Thorsten: What’s your focus for the 2015 season?

Michael: We are still working on some of the details, but Kona will be the main focus for both of us. I have already started my season, my next race will be 70.3 Mallorca (early May).  I’m not sure where I’ll do my Ironman race, but it’s great to already have enough points.

Andreas: I will start my season at 70.3 St. George and will race at Ironman Texas.

T: Andreas, what’s your view on having a good summer IM and performing well in Kona? Other than in 2014, the winner rarely had a big result in the summer.

A: That is very hard to tell. Sebastian showed that he can perform well in Frankfurt and in Kona. But you can only do that with a strong base and smart periodization.

T: It seemed that you really wanted to perform well in Kona 2014 even after qualifying very late. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to collect some solid points and take your chances in 2015?

A: It’s next to impossible to race Kona „going easy“. It is a special race, and I always want to race my best there. Racing well in Kona is why I’m in the sport, it’s what I love. I still want to see the name „Raelert“ among the Kona champions. Having a 1 million $ prize on winning there was a great sign of respect, but it doesn’t influence how I race.

T: You’d be the oldest first time winner (currently Craig Alexander with 35 years) …

A: I don’t think winning Kona is a question of age, but how well you feel. Crowie has shown that you can still perform well if you manage to focus on your training. I’ll be doing Triathlon as long as I believe I still have a chance to win – at least for another two or three years. It would be great to stay injury-free and know in May where I stand and then be able to focus on preparing for Kona.

T: Michael, when you won your two 70.3 Championships you were dominating that distance. Was moving up to the full distance too early?

M: With Regensburg, Kona and Frankfurt I have only done three IMs so far, so I haven’t really moved up yet. The training volume is pretty much the same, regardless of whether you are training for Olympic Distance, 70.3s or Ironman races, the difference is more on the mental side of racing, of being patient for a long time.

T: Are you back to 100% now?

M: I think I was doing pretty well over the middle distance lately :-). I still have some catching up to do on the run, after all I missed thousands of kilometers when being injured. I’m working hard to improve some more.

T: Did you or your coach Wolfram Bott make any changes to your training because of the injury?

M: I think it’s important to take your time and not make the second step before the first one. When we started to work with Wolfram in 2012, it was to add some new stimuli to our training. Now he also takes extra care to make sure we’re doing the right things. There are situations where I need someone else to tell me when to back down a bit.

T: If you qualify for Kona, how will you approach the race? Just as a learning experience?

M: I’m similar to Andi – just participating is not enough for me. When I start, I want to compete for the top spots.

T: You are marketing yourself as a single brand „Raelert-Brothers“. How is that working out?

A: We love it that we have our little family business – in addition to Micha and me there is also my girlfriend Julia and our middle brother Sven. Together, we have found a lot of loyal partners. Most recently we have added Swiss Side with their fantastic aero wheels.

T: Thank you for your time. It would be great to see both of you have a successful 2015 season!

Ironman Taiwan 2015 – Analyzing Results

April 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: RaceResults 

Course Conditions

This was the first time for a full-distance Ironman-branded race in Taiwan. The typically hot conditions and the hilly bike course did not allow for fast times, a race adjustment of 8:37 is similar to Switzerland or Mont Tremblant.

Male Race Results

Ex-Pro bike racer Domenico Passuello exited the swim two minutes after early leaders Rod DeKanel, Fredrik Croneborg and Cam Brown. He quickly rode up to them, then built an eight minute lead into T2. After a solid 2:55 marathon he continued his winning streak (he won 70.3 Putrajaya a week ago), but still needs another 1.100 points for a Kona slot.

DomenicoTaiwan

The race best marathon (2:49) allowed Fredrik Croneborg to finish second – again coming up just short of a win (he was also second at IM Malaysia), but he is now safe for a Kona slot. Third place went to Patrick Evoe who had to play catch up all day after a slower than normal swim.

Cam Brown said after the race that he had „nothing in the tank“, he still finished fourth and now also has a safe Kona slot.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to expected Prize Money
1 Domenico Passuello ITA 00:52:25 04:32:16 02:55:52 08:25:54 -17:42 US$ 5000
2 Fredrik Croneborg SWE 00:50:35 04:42:57 02:49:48 08:28:37 -07:02 US$ 2750
3 Patrick Evoe USA 00:55:41 04:42:27 02:57:06 08:40:58 -07:24 US$ 1750
4 Cameron Brown NZL 00:50:56 04:42:29 03:04:22 08:43:13 24:11 US$ 1250
5 Patrick Jaberg SUI 00:52:21 04:40:53 03:05:47 08:44:46 -07:33 US$ 1000
6 Nick Baldwin SEY 00:52:24 04:53:01 02:54:32 08:45:59 04:01 US$ 750
7 Mauro Baertsch SUI 00:52:41 04:47:51 02:59:18 08:46:33 -11:42
8 Karol Dzalaj SVK 00:52:13 04:45:35 03:01:12 08:46:40 -08:16
9 Mike Schifferle SUI 00:58:23 04:37:51 03:04:12 08:50:43 -04:43
10 Samuel Huerzeler SUI 00:52:05 04:56:15 03:05:16 09:00:29 04:32
11 Deak Zsombor ROM 00:58:18 05:03:50 03:14:21 09:22:39 -07:19
12 Henrik Oftedal NOR 00:57:53 05:01:04 03:26:00 09:31:35 21:56
13 Rod De Kanel FRA 00:50:35 05:06:02 04:07:20 10:12:45 n/a
14 Daniel Brown AUS 01:02:00 05:26:48 03:59:06 10:34:43 n/a
Josef Svoboda CZE 01:14:27 DNF

Female Race Results

It was almost six years ago that Dede Griesbauer won IM Brasil in 2009. She went through a long period of dealing with injuries sustained after crashing at IM Germany 2011. At 44 years of age, she is now back on full form: She finished second at IM Mallorca and also won her first 70.3 at Taiwan at the end of 2014. She’s had another great race in Taiwan: Close to the front at after the swim, then quickly building a lead on the bike, and finishing off her race with a 3:17 marathon to win by more than ten minutes.

DedeTaiwan

Second place went to Dimitry-Lee Duke who had the strongest marathon. Kim Schwabenbauer took third spot, posting a new swim PR just over an hour, had a solid bike, but then didn’t quite have the run she was probably hoping for.

Because there are fewer WPRO slots for Kona, they need more points and none of the Taiwan athletes has enough points for a safe slots.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to expected Prize Money
1 Dede Griesbauer USA 00:51:10 05:05:19 03:17:16 09:20:23 -24:38 US$ 5000
2 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 00:58:08 05:16:14 03:10:17 09:31:31 -08:11 US$ 2750
3 Kim Schwabenbauer USA 01:00:08 05:15:41 03:15:53 09:38:35 10:45 US$ 1750
4 Shiao-yu Li TWN 01:07:10 05:22:36 03:14:57 09:50:52 07:30 US$ 1250
5 Keiko Tanaka JPN 00:54:39 05:21:01 03:34:05 09:55:41 14:28 US$ 1000
6 Eva Potuckova CZE 00:51:18 05:27:31 03:32:42 09:57:47 n/a US$ 750
7 Alena Stevens SVK 01:01:01 05:31:40 03:38:23 10:18:01 n/a
8 Angela Kuehnlein GER 01:01:03 05:30:53 03:42:52 10:21:28 00:33
9 Maki Nishiuchi JPN 00:54:38 05:39:58 03:42:54 10:24:44 13:39
10 Samantha Morrison USA 00:51:06 05:40:57 05:57:17 12:37:04 n/a
Camilla Lindholm SWE 01:10:54 05:27:09 DNF
Caroline Gregory USA 00:57:14 05:45:33 DNF

Photo Credit: Finisher Pix Twitter account (@FinisherPix)

70.3 Oceanside: Analyzing gap between MPRO and WPRO

April 6, 2015 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Analysis 

Drafting Penalty for Angela Naeth at Oceanside

At Oceanside 70.3 the Pro Women caught up to the Pro men. Alicia Kaye (who eventually finished fourth) describes the situation in her blog post on Oceanside:

[A] pack of pro men came by me [at around mile 30] .. From this point on, I had a pack of pro men around me until T2.  It was extremely frustrating and it clearly affected the women’s race. On some occasions the pro men around me were not doing strong passes, causing me to sit up and put on the breaks to get a 12m gap in between us within 25 seconds.  Multiple pro men ‘slotted in’, in front of me when I was spaced at 12m.

Riding in this group, she saw how fellow Pro Angela Naeth received a drafting penalty:

As we entered Camp Pendleton everyone in the pack moved to the right to get fluids at the aid station. I moved left to make a pass since I was not using the aid station.  Angela grabbed a bottle then moved left but wasn’t proceeding past the people on the right.  I yelled for her to move and she moved forward immediately; I needed to get by her within 25 seconds and the clock was ticking!  I pushed hard to get passed her and shortly after I heard the referee give her a blue card for drafting.

Here’s how Angela describes the situation in her blog post:

At mile 30, as I was making a pass on the two gals I just caught,  I was told I received a blue card for drafting (not giving enough time for a pass albeit we (a few male pros) were on a hill and just past an aid station!).

Obviously, it is never right to draft or not doing a pass in the allotted time, but things get tricky when a lot of athletes are in close proximity. Alicia and Angela were clearly frustrated by the situation. Here’s Alicia’s view:

I was not the only one who experienced this, I watched it happen to other female pros when they were trying to get through the pro mens pack on the hills. This should not be happening! It is also possible the a pro women could gain an unfair advantage by riding with a pack of pro men, but what I saw was pro women trying to get away and pro men getting in the way. The pro women deserve a clean and fair race, and quite simply the pro mens and pro womens race should not be interacting at all.

Despite her five-minute penalty, Angela eventually ran her way into fifth place. After the race, she was already looking for ways to address the problem:

AngelaTweet

Visualizing MPRO and FPRO mixing at Oceanside

Looking a bit closer at the wave start in Oceanside, there were just three minutes between the MPRO wave and the FPRO wave. To visualize the impact of the small gap, here is a look at how the PRO fields overlapped in Oceanside:

OceansideMixing

The graph shows for various points during the race how far back each of the athletes was from the front of the race. You can clearly see how the front of the women’s field (red lines) move into the men’s field (blue lines). Here is some additional data:

  • At the end of the swim, the first women had overtaken seven of the 34 MPROs. The last male was overtaken by 22 of the 26 FPROs.
  • At the end of the bike, the first women had overtaken 11 of the 34 MPROs. The last male was overtaken by 24 of the 26 FPROs.

The data clearly supports the anecdotal evidence by Alicia and Angela of a pretty large overlap of the MPRO and FPRO fields.

Ideas for a Clean WPRO Race

There have been a few suggestions on how this situation could be avoided:

  1. Any MPRO who is overtaken by an FPRO should be taken out of the race.
  2. Increase the time difference between the two fields so that an overlap can be avoided.

Implementing suggestion #1 in Oceanside would have resulted in 11 DQs into T2 (and another two on the run) – obviously that is a large part go the male field and probably a bit unreasonable to implement. Also, if an MPRO has the bad luck of a flat early in the bike, that would mean the end of his race – even if he could complete the race and still get a few KPR points.

Increasing the gap between the MPRO and FPRO so that there is no overlap at least until the end of the bike is also not an option – for Oceanside even a gap of 30 minutes wouldn’t be enough.

However, a mixture between both options can be a viable solution: There are two MPROs that trail the rest of the field by 16 and 26 minutes in T2. Clearly, these two are no longer „racing“ for a specific place finish – even if they are forced to “sit up“ when passed by a WPRO it wouldn’t change their final position. After a pass, they should be a clear separation – at least of the „Challenge Distance“ of 20 meters to any FPRO.

If in addition the start gap is increased from three minutes to nine minutes, we only have one male being overtaken by the WPRO race leader shortly before T2:

Oceanside9MinGap

To sum up, here are my suggestions for a clean WPRO race:

  1. Increase the gap between MPRO and WPRO to at least nine minutes. (Logistically, ten minutes might be simpler and would be even safer.)
  2. Any MPRO that is overtaken by a WPRO has to sit up until being cleanly passed and after that keep at least a 20 meter gap, even is that impacts his own race.

An increased gap would also allow the race organizers to deal with another complaint as noted by Alicia: “Pro women must be allowed equal swim warm up time as the pro men.“ (The women Pros were not allowed a warm-up swim prior to the race in Oceanside.)

I hope that organizers address these issues for future 70.3s and also think about potential problems when planning the start of upcoming Ironman races: There were massive issues about „clean races for WPROs“ in Brasil and Frankfurt because of fast AG men mixing with the WPRO. Both races are important Regional Championships this year and it would be a shame to see Kona slots being influenced by issues that could be mitigated by separate starts with decent gaps.

All measures should help to make the women’s race as clean and fair as the men’s race – as it should be!

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