Challenge Taiwan 2017 (April 29th) – Seedings

CHTaiwanUpdate April 15th: Callum Millard has announced that he’ll be racing IM Texas instead of Challenge Taiwan.

Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2013 Dylan McNeice (NZL) 08:16:21 Belinda Granger (AUS) 09:23:15
2014 Dylan McNeice (NZL) 08:23:44 Britta Martin (NZL) 09:02:23
2016 Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 08:30:28 Shiao-yu Li (TWN) 09:40:05

Last Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Fredrik Croneborg SWE 00:51:56 04:33:57 02:59:10 08:30:28
2 Dylan McNeice NZL 00:45:35 04:35:19 03:21:31 08:48:37
3 Patrick Evoe USA 00:54:22 04:28:55 03:26:35 08:55:56

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Shiao-yu Li TWN 01:01:07 05:00:43 03:31:31 09:40:05
2 Jessica Fleming AUS 01:00:50 05:03:33 03:38:22 09:48:48
3 Kathryn Haesner NZL 00:57:07 05:14:49 03:31:04 09:49:33

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:16:21 Dylan McNeice 2013-05-04
Swim overall 00:45:35 Dylan McNeice 2016-05-07
Bike overall 04:26:56 Jason Shortis 2014-04-19
Run overall 02:52:33 Fredrik Croneborg 2013-05-04
Total female 09:02:23 Britta Martin 2014-04-19
Swim female 00:53:23 Hillary Biscay 2014-04-19
Bike female 04:54:37 Britta Martin 2014-04-19
Run female 03:04:16 Britta Martin 2014-04-19

Course Rating

The Course Rating for Challenge Taiwan is 09:38.

Race Adjustments for Challenge Taiwan

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2013 12:08 -04:03 15:08 04:14 14 12:08 -04:03 15:08 04:14
2014 20:48 -00:25 12:17 -02:01 17 of 22 16:28 -02:14 13:42 01:06
2016 -04:02 -00:20 06:09 -12:27 12 09:38 -01:36 11:11 -03:25

Male Race Participants

The strength of the field is 5% of a typical Kona field.

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 Fredrik Croneborg SWE 08:23:47 08:37:44 00:52:57 04:31:30 02:54:20 85% +3% -12% (11) 59
2 Callum Millward * NZL 08:23:53 08:34:52 00:50:14 04:31:11 02:57:28 41% +0% -59% (6) 45
3 Dougal Allan NZL 08:24:16 08:35:08 00:59:03 04:18:06 03:02:07 81% +8% -10% (8) 48
4 Ritchie Nicholls GBR 08:35:20 08:49:53 00:52:40 04:43:39 02:54:01 48% +0% -52% (6) 97
5 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:39:05 08:45:09 00:52:37 04:35:58 03:05:29 63% +6% -31% (21) 85
6 Denis Sketako SLO 08:40:41 08:59:26 00:55:54 04:33:24 03:06:22 51% +49% -0% (3) 133
7 Guy Crawford NZL 08:52:16 09:15:10 00:50:15 04:29:59 03:27:02 46% +24% -30% (13) 180
8 Petr Vabrousek CZE 08:57:26 09:18:31 00:57:58 04:43:46 03:10:42 64% +1% -35% (97) 191
9 Frederic Garcia FRA 09:08:59 09:27:20 01:01:22 04:53:04 03:09:33 52% +0% -48% (4) (217)
10 Young Hwan Oh KOR 09:20:06 09:32:28 01:05:37 04:56:17 03:13:12 51% +29% -20% (7) 229
11 Valentin Zasypkin RUS 10:21:47 10:44:55 01:14:19 05:18:12 03:44:16 9% +48% -43% (6) 289
12 Josef Svoboda CZE 11:14:57 11:48:13 01:18:31 05:39:49 04:11:37 44% +22% -34% (15) 296
Christian Altstadt GER n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Note: Athletes with a ‘*’ are also registered for another race within 8 days.

Female Race Participants

The strength of the field is 3% of a typical Kona field.

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 Kathryn Haesner NZL 09:38:38 10:30:26 00:58:53 05:12:04 03:22:41 25% +36% -39% (3) (128)
2 Verena Walter GER 09:39:57 09:51:14 01:01:52 05:04:23 03:28:42 53% +36% -11% (7) 65
3 Lucie Reed CZE 09:43:00 09:52:51 00:54:18 05:15:51 03:27:51 64% +0% -36% (27) 67
4 Kate Bevilaqua AUS 09:43:58 10:12:26 00:56:45 05:10:22 03:31:51 25% +6% -69% (28) (102)
5 Alyssa Godesky USA 09:55:34 10:10:02 01:02:55 05:19:32 03:28:07 63% +28% -10% (16) 95
Alise Selsmark AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

  • Fredrik Croneborg: 46% (1-1)
  • Dougal Allan: 34% (2-1)
  • Callum Millward: 14% (6-1)
  • Ritchie Nicholls: 2% (40-1)
  • Denis Sketako: 2% (44-1)
  • Courtney Ogden: 2% (63-1)

Female Race Participants

  • Kathryn Haesner: 39% (2-1)
  • Verena Walter: 29% (2-1)
  • Lucie Reed: 14% (6-1)
  • Kate Bevilaqua: 10% (9-1)
  • Alyssa Godesky: 8% (12-1)
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Looking forward to the 70.3 Championships in Chattanooga

In addition to the ratings for full-distance races, I’ve started to collect and analyze results for “half-distance” races. The most important race on this distance is the “70.3 World Championships”. After being held in Clearwater, Florida from 2006 to 2010 and Henderson, Nevada for three years, the race venue has been changing each year. Last year it was held in Mooloolaba, Australia, this year’s edition will be a two-day event in Chattanooga, TN before it moves to Port Elizabeth in South Africa for next year.

Roughly five months before the race in Chattanooga, this post has a look at some of the athletes we can expect to play a major role in September. The Northern Hemisphere racing is just starting to pick up, so there may be new names coming to the front or established athletes changing their focus. For example, at the start of last season hardly anyone would have picked Holly Lawrence for a top finish at 70.3 Worlds, but then she had a string of good results over the summer and went on to win the 2016 70.3 World Championships. My friends at TriZone will be posting previews for the big 70.3 races using some of my data, have a look at their site as the season progresses!

Male Contenders for the 2017 Title

There’s a pretty big group of established 70.3 racers with excellent winning chances:

  • Sebastian Kienle (23% winning chance)
    Of course the 2012 and 2013 Champion has to be considered as one of the top favorites. But in the last years the 70.3 Champs have “only” been a stepping stone for Sebi to bigger goals in October.
  • Lionel Sanders (16%)
    Lionel has been racing extremely well over the 70.3 distance, but so far a podium at the 70.3 Worlds has eluded him. For 2017 he chose to focus on improving his swim so he has a reasonable to overcome the dynamics of the big fields that made it extremely hard in Mooloolaba to catch up to the main group. He has also said that he will not race Kona and will have the 70.3 Champs as his main focus for the season.
  • Terenzo Bozzone (14%)
    The 2008 Champion continues to race well on the 70.3 distance but it seems that he shifted his focus to the full distance. But he’s an experienced athlete that is still able to mix it up with the best on the half-distance.
  • Ruedi Wild (14%)
    Ruedi was 3rd at the 2016 Champs and has continued to win races even against strong competition. Even though he hasn’t won a big title yet, he should be considered for more than “just” a podium finish.
  • Javier Gomez (12%)
    By winning the title in 2014, Javier has shown that he’ll be a top contender when he decides to focus on the longer distances. It’s not clear if that’s his plan for the 2017 season as he’d love to contend for the ITU World title – and the Chattanooga race is just one week before the ITU Grand Final in Rotterdam. If he’s still in contention for the ITU title, I expect him to skip 70.3 Worlds this season. If he isn’t, he’ll be hard to ignore.
  • Tim Reed (8%)
    Winning the 2016 title in his home country was an emotional highlight for Tim Reed – and quite a surprise.  A successful title defense is probably even more unexpected.
Some other names:
  • Tim Don (4%)
    Tim focuses his racing on the 70.3 distance and is extremely successful. But he might lack just the last 1% of top speed to contend for the title in the stacked field I expect in Chattanooga.
  • Sam Appleton (3%)
    “Appo” has been steadily improving and after a 5th place in 2016, he’ll be eying the podium in 2017.
  • Andy Potts (3%)
    Andy continues to race well but seeing him repeat his 2007 title would be a huge upset. He’s likely focusing on racing well in Kona.
Some notable athletes are missing above because they have no recent 70.3 results (and therefore no winning probability):
  • Jan Frodeno
    Jan hasn’t finished a 70.3 for more than a year – and it’s unclear if he decides to tackle qualifying for Chattanooga. He has shown in 2016 that his main focus will be on defending his title in October and that he will sacrifice other goals for this.
  • Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee
    There has been speculation that the Brownlees will be moving to longer distances – if they decide to do so they’ll be immediately “short listed” for the title. However, it’s unclear if this will happen in 2017 or later. Alistair is on a few start lists for half-distance races so there seems to be a good chance to see him race in Chattanooga.

Female Contenders for the 2017 Title

While there are easily four or more male contenders for the 70.3 title, it looks as if there are two clear front runners on the female side:

  • Holly Lawrence (45% winning chance)
    Holly was the dominating 70.3 athlete of 2016, winning a couple of big races over the summer and also capturing the title with a strong swim/bike combo. Her win at the early season race in Oceanside has shown that she’s able to race at a similar level in 2017.
  • Daniela Ryf (28%)
    The 2016 70.3 Champs was the first race that Daniela was not able to win since her Kona debut in 2014. As usual she’ll have a big racing schedule over the summer (including a rumored world record attempt in Roth), and Chattanoga may be in the middle of a big Kona training block – similar to last year when she didn’t appear to be 100% fresh for Mooloolaba.
However, this does not mean that one of these two will automatically win the title, there are a lot of other athletes to consider. Just a few examples:
  • Melissa Hauschildt (10%)
    Mel has won the title in 2011 and 2013 and was the runner up in 2016. If she’s healthy, she is one of the few that’s able to beat Daniela and Holly.
  • Heather Wurtele (3%)
    Heather has been on the podium for the last three years and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her extend that streak. But in past 70.3 Championship races she had to make up too much time after the swim to be in contention for the title.
There are a lot more athletes that wouldn’t be a big surprise to make it onto the podium when they are healthy and decide to put a focus on 70.3 Worlds: Helle Frederiksen, Angela Naeth, Heather Jackson, Meredith Kessler, Ellie Salthouse, Annabel Luxford just to name a few.
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Ironman Texas 2017 (April 22nd) – Seedings

IMTexasLogo

IM Texas is the second of the 2017 Regional Championship races – a lot of Kona points (4.000 for the winner), a large prize purse (150.000 US$) and automatic qualifier slots for the winners practically guarantee strong Pro fields. This year’s lists of participants are very interesting, as both the male and female fields do not seem to have a clear favorite.

Update April 13th: On the latest start list Kyrill Kotshegarov is a late addition while Haley Chura and Kyle Buckingham have withdrawn.

Update April 17th: A few more updates: Jens Petersen-Bach, Nikki Bartlett, Kirsty Jahn and Mackenzie Madison are no longer racing.

Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2011 Eneko Llanos (ESP) 08:08:20 Catriona Morrison (GBR) 08:57:51
2012 Jordan Rapp (USA) 08:10:44 Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 08:54:58
2013 Paul Amey (GBR) 08:25:06 Rachel Joyce (GBR) 08:49:14
2014 Bevan Docherty (NZL) 08:09:37 Kelly Williamson (USA) 08:54:42
2015 Matt Hanson (USA) 08:07:03 Angela Naeth (CAN) 08:55:19
2016 Patrick Lange (GER) 07:13:13 Julia Gajer (GER) 08:11:01

Last Year’s TOP 3

Last year’s race had a shortened bike leg when there were problems getting the necessary permits and bad weather created the additional need for some last-minute scrambles. Therefore, the winning times are not eligible as course records.

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Patrick Lange GER 00:48:57 03:39:28 02:40:01 07:13:13
2 Matthew Russell USA 00:56:41 03:31:47 02:48:14 07:21:56
3 Terenzo Bozzone NZL 00:48:59 03:39:27 02:52:53 07:25:55

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Julia Gajer GER 00:54:51 04:01:44 03:08:49 08:11:01
2 Jodie Robertson USA 01:07:21 04:01:55 02:59:26 08:16:30
3 Lisa Roberts USA 01:06:52 04:06:18 02:59:03 08:17:58

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:07:03 Matt Hanson 2015-05-16
Swim overall 00:46:20 John Flanagan 2011-05-21
Bike overall 04:10:07 Joe Skipper 2015-05-16
Run overall 02:41:38 Matt Hanson 2014-05-17
Total female 08:49:14 Rachel Joyce 2013-05-18
Swim female 00:51:49 Kelly Williamson 2014-05-17
Bike female 04:40:39 Corinne Abraham 2015-05-16
Run female 02:51:46 Caitlin Snow 2012-05-19

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM Texas is 11:51.

Race Adjustments for IM Texas

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2011 11:41 -02:11 19:12 -02:48 41 11:41 -02:11 19:12 -02:48
2012 14:02 -00:50 15:23 03:36 27 12:51 -01:30 17:18 00:24
2013 07:03 -01:11 16:44 01:16 30 of 46 10:55 -01:24 17:06 00:41
2014 17:00 01:02 17:51 03:54 44 of 55 12:26 -00:47 17:17 01:30
2015 09:29 -01:19 19:29 -04:34 33 of 52 11:51 -00:54 17:44 00:17

KPR points and Prize Money

IM Texas is a P-4000 race. It has a total prize purse of 150.000 US$.

Estimated Time Plan

The following table shows the time plan for the race start and the estimated times for the first athlete in the transition zones or across the finish line. The estimates are based on the start time and my time estimates, these times can change based on how fast or slow the race ends up:

What Est. Racetime Est. Local Time
Male Pro Start 06:25
Female Pro Start 06:30
Age Group Start 06:40
First Male in T1 0:48  07:13
First Female in T1 0:50  07:20
First Male in T2 5:07  11:32
First Female in T2 5:51  12:21
Male Winner 8:14  14:39 (2:39pm)
Female Winner 9:09  15:39 (3:39 pm)

The Woodlands is on Central Daylight Time, 5 hours ahead of UTC. Here are the conversions to a few other time zones:

  • + 15 hours: Sydney (AEST), race starts at 21:25
  • +7 hours: Central Europe (CEST), race starts at 13:25
  • +6 hours: United Kingdom (BST), race starts at 12:25
  • +1 hour: US East Coast (EDT), race starts at 7:25am
  • – 2 hours: US West Coast (PDT), race starts at 4:25am

Male Race Participants

The strength of the field is 31% of a typical Kona field.

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 1 Matt Hanson USA 08:14:16 08:33:01 00:54:42 04:28:39 02:45:55 37% +27% -36% (11) 37
2 40 Ivan Tutukin RUS 08:15:19 08:36:37 00:49:33 04:35:54 02:44:52 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (55)
3 18 Will Clarke GBR 08:15:41 08:38:01 00:50:57 04:29:52 02:49:53 12% +44% -44% (5) 62
4 8 Bas Diederen NED 08:16:03 08:30:12 00:49:18 04:22:15 02:59:29 39% +6% -55% (18) 29
5 2 Jordan Rapp USA 08:17:07 08:32:17 00:53:28 04:19:52 02:58:47 69% +6% -25% (21) 35
6 4 Ronnie Schildknecht SUI 08:17:37 08:27:20 00:54:18 04:25:01 02:53:18 80% +1% -19% (31) 23
7 22 Joe Skipper GBR 08:18:02 08:31:46 00:55:32 04:21:21 02:56:09 42% +24% -34% (15) 33
8 3 Matthew Russell USA 08:18:51 08:33:40 00:56:41 04:22:48 02:54:22 45% +40% -15% (41) 39
9 7 Tyler Butterfield BMU 08:21:38 08:40:22 00:50:38 04:22:57 03:03:03 47% +15% -38% (13) 70
10 12 Callum Millward NZL 08:21:46 08:34:52 00:50:26 04:29:22 02:56:59 41% +0% -59% (6) 46
11 6 Kyle Buckingham ZAF 08:22:03 08:33:44 00:51:00 04:26:10 02:59:53 51% +17% -32% (12) 40
12 16 Paul Matthews AUS 08:22:23 08:34:55 00:48:52 04:28:14 03:00:16 45% +0% -55% (12) 47
13 13 Andrew Starykowicz USA 08:23:25 08:31:01 00:50:39 04:11:04 03:16:43 60% +0% -40% (7) (31)
14 11 Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 08:23:30 08:39:30 00:52:14 04:32:20 02:53:57 54% +0% -46% (18) 66
15 14 David Plese SLO 08:25:38 08:37:25 00:54:15 04:27:29 02:58:55 83% +12% -6% (20) 57
16 19 Daniel Fontana ITA 08:26:02 08:36:45 00:51:56 04:31:10 02:57:56 55% +0% -45% (14) 55
(16) 42 Kirill Kotshegarov EST 08:26:31 08:37:12 00:55:07 04:24:45 03:01:39 57% +29% -13% (14) 55
17 21 Stephen Kilshaw CAN 08:26:32 08:55:37 00:54:01 04:30:33 02:56:57 39% +60% -1% (9) 118
18 10 Chris McDonald AUS 08:27:57 08:43:39 00:54:14 04:24:56 03:03:47 65% +15% -20% (44) 79
19 29 Marc Duelsen GER 08:32:26 08:44:04 00:54:34 04:31:32 03:01:20 82% +0% -18% (9) 80
20 28 Trevor Delsaut FRA 08:33:20 08:54:04 00:55:23 04:35:15 02:57:42 36% +7% -57% (25) 111
21 9 Jozsef Major HUN 08:34:02 08:53:16 01:00:20 04:29:44 02:58:59 61% +24% -16% (32) 108
22 38 Jonathan Shearon USA 08:34:15 08:52:47 00:54:58 04:26:45 03:07:33 57% +10% -33% (16) 105
23 5 Paul Ambrose AUS 08:34:39 08:42:17 00:52:14 04:29:20 03:08:05 49% +3% -48% (21) 74
24 17 Matic Modic SLO 08:37:55 08:53:17 00:57:25 04:35:23 03:00:07 63% +16% -20% (10) 109
25 27 Karl-Johan Danielsson SWE 08:38:30 08:58:30 00:52:35 04:26:02 03:14:53 33% +34% -33% (12) 131
26 15 Harry Wiltshire GBR 08:39:43 08:56:45 00:49:12 04:37:58 03:07:34 34% +23% -43% (19) 124
27 32 Philipp Koutny SUI 08:40:39 09:00:58 00:52:45 04:32:12 03:10:42 26% +0% -74% (4) (145)
28 30 Adam Gordon AUS 08:45:07 09:05:27 00:56:21 04:38:55 03:04:51 31% +39% -30% (6) 156
29 20 Leon Griffin AUS 08:54:52 09:23:53 00:52:39 04:30:19 03:26:53 10% +9% -81% (7) (203)
30 34 Tomas Mika CZE 08:56:13 09:14:55 00:56:38 04:49:33 03:05:03 67% +8% -25% (7) 180
31 26 Antony Costes FRA 09:00:16 09:34:04 00:50:16 04:29:16 03:35:44 16% +0% -84% (5) 234
32 41 Hendrik-Jan Verhaegen BEL 09:08:59 09:26:43 00:57:21 04:47:11 03:19:26 60% +0% -40% (7) 218
33 33 Colin Laughery USA 09:10:41 09:23:03 01:00:50 04:46:57 03:17:54 100% +0% -0% (5) 200
34 24 Jarrod Shoemaker USA 09:12:50 09:36:35 00:48:08 05:08:49 03:10:52 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (238)
35 36 Patrick Schuster USA 09:15:51 09:43:21 01:04:54 04:40:38 03:25:18 64% +18% -17% (8) 249
36 37 Matt Shanks USA 09:25:06 09:43:42 01:01:17 04:57:18 03:21:31 67% +33% -0% (4) 250
37 31 Peter Kotland CZE 09:34:32 09:53:23 01:00:27 04:52:30 03:36:35 62% +23% -15% (23) 264
23 Robert Wade IRL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (1 IM Pro race) (n/a)
25 James Capparell USA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
35 Timothy Nichols USA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
39 Frank Souza BRA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (1 IM Pro race) (n/a)

Female Race Participants

The strength of the field is 20% of a typical Kona field.

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 71 Jocelyn McCauley USA 09:08:57 09:35:14 00:58:11 04:56:20 03:09:25 21% +49% -30% (6) 37
2 51 Kelly Williamson USA 09:10:14 09:33:32 00:54:38 05:10:02 03:00:34 83% +9% -8% (13) 35
3 65 Malindi Elmore CAN 09:13:24 09:37:12 01:03:00 04:57:31 03:07:54 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (41)
4 52 Tine Deckers BEL 09:15:59 09:32:15 00:59:47 04:48:30 03:22:42 55% +6% -39% (20) 32
5 55 Lauren Brandon USA 09:16:24 09:40:19 00:50:17 04:55:16 03:25:51 59% +0% -41% (2) (44)
6 57 Michaela Herlbauer AUT 09:18:42 09:29:27 00:58:07 05:01:29 03:14:05 71% +18% -11% (7) 26
7 53 Haley Chura USA 09:20:14 09:39:36 00:50:49 05:02:58 03:21:27 64% +14% -22% (9) (44)
8 61 Maja Stage Nielsen DEN 09:24:14 09:48:29 01:00:29 05:00:38 03:18:07 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (57)
9 60 Celine Schaerer SUI 09:29:11 09:42:04 00:52:43 05:06:32 03:24:56 86% +0% -14% (7) 48
10 56 Amber Ferreira USA 09:31:19 09:57:43 00:57:45 05:03:06 03:25:29 44% +15% -41% (17) 73
11 63 Kirsty Jahn CAN 09:31:41 10:02:13 01:01:06 05:12:27 03:13:08 32% +0% -68% (2) (82)
12 74 Darbi Roberts USA 09:31:55 09:49:55 00:55:46 05:08:09 03:23:00 64% +0% -36% (7) 60
13 59 Jodie Robertson USA 09:33:53 09:52:38 01:06:02 05:10:18 03:12:34 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (68)
14 64 Nikki Bartlett GBR 09:34:09 09:55:09 01:02:08 05:01:00 03:26:02 100% +0% -0% (2) (71)
15 54 Alicia Kaye USA 09:38:27 09:51:35 00:54:07 05:04:12 03:35:08 100% +0% -0% (2) (66)
16 62 Jessica Jones Meyers USA 09:41:15 10:06:13 01:00:54 05:06:44 03:28:37 100% +0% -0% (5) (90)
17 72 Leslie DiMichele Miller USA 09:41:21 10:02:05 01:00:10 05:15:31 03:20:40 73% +0% -27% (5) 81
18 70 Mackenzie Madison USA 09:41:48 10:03:03 01:01:46 05:05:19 03:29:42 35% +7% -58% (13) 83
19 58 Shiao-yu Li TWN 09:45:38 09:58:45 01:07:52 05:10:20 03:22:26 56% +17% -27% (13) 75
20 68 Caroline Livesey GBR 09:51:47 10:06:41 01:03:33 05:09:53 03:33:22 68% +0% -32% (7) 90
21 66 Annett Finger GER 09:54:58 10:10:59 01:03:19 05:12:43 03:33:56 92% +0% -8% (4) 99
22 73 Ashley Paulson USA 09:59:40 10:14:08 01:15:03 05:21:11 03:18:26 100% +0% -0% (3) 104
23 67 Erin Green USA 10:06:04 10:30:35 01:03:33 05:24:45 03:32:46 46% +54% -0% (2) (132)
24 69 Nicole Luse USA 10:19:22 10:45:29 01:11:49 05:32:52 03:29:41 48% +52% -0% (2) (144)
25 75 Francesca Sanjana GBR 10:37:39 11:05:04 01:08:34 05:27:06 03:56:59 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (149)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

A lot of dark red in the “Expected Time” column and the winning percentages below show that there isn’t a clear favorite in the field. 2015 winner Matt Hanson is my top pick, but he only has a slim margin over last year’s second place finisher Matthew Russell who has been consistently on the podium in his last IM-distance races but hasn’t won an IM since 2012. Add in 2012 winner Jordan Rapp (always a contender for a top finish), the two sub-8 Brits Joe Skipper (likely disappointed with his 12th place from IM South Africa) and Will Clarke and veterans Ronnie Schildknecht and Bas Diederen and you end up with a list of potential winners that’s extremely long and could easily be extended!

  • Matt Hanson: 17% (5-1)
  • Matthew Russell: 15% (6-1)
  • Joe Skipper: 14% (6-1)
  • Ronnie Schildknecht: 12% (8-1)
  • Bas Diederen: 10% (9-1)
  • Will Clarke: 9% (10-1)
  • Jordan Rapp: 8% (12-1)

Female Race Participants

The situation on the female side is also anything but clear. Jocelyn McCauley has won her last two Ironman races in Mallorca and New Zealand, but she has only had seven weeks to freshen up and rebuild. Tine Deckers has had a crash in one of her recent prep races and it’s unclear wether she’ll be able to race. Kelly Williamson (winner in 2014) didn’t have the 70.3 results this season to build much confidence going into Texas – quite in contrast to Haley Chura who won 70.3 Buenos Aires but has to recover from traveling all the way to China for 70.3 Liuzhou. (Since the original post, Haley has withdrawn.)  So maybe it’s time for a surprise winner? Michi Herlbauer was probably an unknown in the US before this year (even though she was second at IM Austria in sub-9 last year), maybe her second place at 70.3 Texas helped her gain some new fans. Malindi Elmore has only raced one IM before – finishing third in Arizona in sub-9. Finally, Lauren Brandon has shown with her second place at IM Cozumel that she is more than “only” a fast swimmer over the IM-distance.

  • Jocelyn McCauley: 41% (1-1)
  • Tine Deckers: 17% (5-1)
  • Kelly Williamson: 15% (6-1)
  • Haley Chura: 9% (10-1)
  • Michaela Herlbauer: 8% (11-1)
  • Malindi Elmore: 2% (40-1)
  • Lauren Brandon: 2% (49-1)
2

Ironman South Africa 2017 – Analyzing Results

Race Conditions

Even if it was hot and windy, the conditions were quick this year: An adjustment of 8:21 was about five minutes quicker than last year which had been pretty typical for South Africa.

The winning time by Ben Hoffman of 7:58:40 was the first sub-8 finish ever in South Africa – even with the course changes last year this was a great new course record (the old fastest time was 8:05 by Raynard Tissink from 2011). Ben also posted a new run course record of 2:42:52, improving on the 2007 time by Gerrit Schellens. Nils Frommhold was also under both old course records, but was just a touch slower than Ben.

On the female side both Daniela and Kaisa finished sub-9 and were clearly under last year’s winning time, but the course records are still held by Chrissie Wellington from her 2011 win in 8:33 (including a 4:45 bike and a 2:52 marathon).

Male Race Results

As expected Cameron Wurf was leading on the bike, but when he lost some of his advantage towards the end of the bike leg, it was clear that he’d have a hard time to hold on to his lead on the run. Defending champion Ben Hoffman quickly went to the front on the marathon and even though Nils Frommhold was running strong and didn’t let Ben get away too far, he was never able to completely close the gap. In the end, Ben won by 50 seconds over Nils. Third place went to David McNamee who had the best run of the athletes in the second bike chase group, closely followed by South African Kyle Buckingham and Jan Van Berkel who were both having great days including strong marathons.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Ben Hoffman USA 00:49:14 04:22:33 02:42:52 07:58:40 -19:14 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Nils Frommhold GER 00:49:05 04:22:31 02:43:43 07:59:30 -12:12 US$ 15,000 3400
3 David McNamee GBR 00:49:09 04:28:45 02:45:36 08:07:31 -10:07 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Kyle Buckingham ZAF 00:49:15 04:28:38 02:47:09 08:08:58 -21:27 US$ 6,500 2455
5 Jan Van Berkel SUI 00:49:12 04:28:41 02:50:46 08:12:35 -22:21 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Boris Stein GER 00:53:57 04:23:49 02:54:05 08:16:12 -00:48 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Frederik Van Lierde BEL 00:49:05 04:28:32 02:57:02 08:19:10 07:18 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Giulio Molinari ITA 00:49:07 04:28:34 02:59:16 08:21:09 01:25 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Andrej Vistica CRO 00:53:53 04:34:43 02:50:01 08:23:21 -09:20 US$ 1,500 855
10 James Cunnama ZAF 00:49:10 04:28:47 03:02:46 08:24:42 -01:34 US$ 1,000 685
11 Cameron Wurf AUS 00:49:13 04:20:11 03:11:44 08:25:31 -31:04 515
12 Joe Skipper GBR 00:53:59 04:32:04 02:57:57 08:28:46 04:13 385
13 Evert Scheltinga NED 00:49:12 04:28:40 03:08:59 08:31:04 n/a 290
14 Eneko Llanos ESP 00:49:19 04:28:31 03:11:44 08:34:15 16:35 215
15 Mario De Elias ARG 00:53:58 04:34:47 03:03:29 08:36:22 -07:15 160
16 Johann Ackermann GER 00:49:06 04:34:37 03:07:56 08:39:44 13:12 120
17 Roman Deisenhofer GER 00:49:18 04:33:46 03:15:34 08:43:30 -01:00 90
18 Josh Amberger AUS 00:48:02 04:29:29 03:23:11 08:44:41 n/a 70
19 Diego Van Looy BEL 01:05:44 04:46:28 02:51:42 08:49:32 09:01 50
20 Erik-Simon Strijk NED 00:53:54 04:34:39 03:27:10 09:00:36 21:10 40
21 Gerhard De Bruin ZAF 00:55:46 04:53:50 03:13:00 09:07:31 -16:55 25
22 Freddy Lampret ZAF 00:55:50 04:53:26 03:58:22 09:52:28 42:16 25
23 Emanuele Ciotti ITA 00:53:56 04:58:15 03:54:46 09:53:08 32:22 25
24 Petr Vabrousek CZE 01:00:07 05:41:27 03:11:04 09:59:52 54:39 25
25 Valentin Zasypkin RUS 01:12:27 05:23:03 03:33:42 10:13:45 -32:17 25
Carlos Aznar Gallego ESP DNF
Christian Kramer GER 00:49:10 04:37:07 DNF
Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 00:49:11 04:42:34 DNF
Fredrik Baeckson SWE 00:56:28 04:46:25 DNF
Balazs Csoke HUN 00:49:02 04:55:57 DNF
Greg Close USA 00:59:42 04:56:49 DNF
Harry Wiltshire GBR 00:48:05 05:17:49 DNF
Ivan Risti ITA 00:49:11 DNF
Vinicius Canhedo BRA 00:53:51 DNF
Victor Del Corral ESP 00:53:55 DNF
Toumy Degham FRA 00:54:00 DNF
Bekim Christensen DEN 01:05:14 DNF

Female Race Results

When Daniela Ryf was second out of the water (same time as Kate Comber) it looked like another start-to-finish win for her. But then Kaisa Lehtonen, Susie Cheetham and Julia Gajer were able to overtake her and build a two-minute lead towards the 90k mark. After the race Daniela revealed that she had back issues and almost didn’t start. After about three hours the pain eased and Daniela was able to take the lead in the second half of the bike, posting the fastest bike split of the day. She also posted a 2:57 marathon – the fastest run of the day – and won in 8:47. Kaisa Lehtonen also had a strong run and though she was five minutes back it never looked as if Daniela could just cruise home. Kaisa improved on her winning 9:06 finish from last year by more than 14 minutes. Third place went to Susie Cheetham who finished on the podium for the third time in three years of racing South Africa. When Julia Gajer started to struggle on the run (she had to dig deep to at least be able to finish the race), there were eight athletes within a few minutes close to the finish line – in the end there were five minutes between 4th and 11th place. Astrid Stienen had the most even race, she rode a 5:01 and was able to run a 3:16 marathon, just 22 seconds in front of Gurutze Frades in fifth.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Daniela Ryf SUI 00:53:48 04:50:50 02:57:27 08:47:02 06:07 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Kaisa Lehtonen FIN 00:55:29 04:53:03 02:59:10 08:52:26 -12:17 US$ 15,000 3400
3 Susie Cheetham GBR 00:53:56 04:57:43 03:08:36 09:04:49 -02:43 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Astrid Stienen GER 01:01:07 05:01:42 03:16:52 09:24:37 05:58 US$ 6,500 2455
5 Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 01:00:37 05:11:20 03:08:02 09:24:59 -16:30 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Katja Konschak GER 00:53:57 05:09:48 03:15:01 09:25:40 -16:42 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Alexandra Tondeur BEL 00:58:37 05:08:06 03:13:09 09:26:29 -06:12 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Jeanne Collonge FRA 00:59:47 05:04:58 03:16:09 09:27:18 -12:03 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Nikki Bartlett GBR 00:58:40 05:03:09 03:19:59 09:27:49 -14:47 US$ 1,500 855
10 Katharina Grohmann GER 01:10:04 05:05:47 03:08:56 09:29:20 -19:07 US$ 1,000 685
11 Ariane Monticeli BRA 00:58:45 05:13:11 03:11:48 09:29:27 -06:42 515
12 Kate Comber GBR 00:53:48 05:15:47 03:31:24 09:47:44 01:57 385
13 Manon Genet FRA 00:58:44 05:03:36 03:42:29 09:50:32 n/a 290
14 Diane Luethi SUI 00:58:34 05:17:12 03:31:51 09:52:50 05:41 215
15 Lina-Kristin Schink GER 01:11:31 05:24:17 03:14:13 09:54:47 -06:42 160
16 Julia Gajer GER 00:53:54 04:55:58 04:00:13 09:55:08 47:56 120
17 Jenny Fletcher CAN 00:58:41 05:20:59 03:33:14 09:59:27 12:01 90
18 Steph Corker CAN 01:01:41 05:27:35 03:28:32 10:04:18 n/a 70
Natascha Schmitt GER 00:58:43 05:15:21 DNF
Kristin Moeller GER 01:06:23 05:09:18 DNF
Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 00:58:37 05:25:19 DNF
Danielle Mack USA 01:06:12 05:34:36 DNF
Carolin Lehrieder GER 00:58:29 DNF
Kirsty Jahn CAN 00:58:33 DNF
Annah Watkinson ZAF 00:58:39 DNF
Helena Herrero Gomez ESP 01:09:05 DNF

Kona Qualifying

The points from IM South Africa allowed a number of athletes to improve their chances for Kona qualifying.

Male Slots

The following athletes have secured their Kona slots:

  • Ben Hoffman (Automatic Qualifier as a Regional Champion)
  • Frederik Van Lierde (Automatic Qualifier as a previous Kona champion, he had already validated)
  • Boris Stein (safe with 5.920 points)
  • David McNamee (safe with 4.790 points)
Nils Frommhold is on the bubble, another 70.3 race should be enough to secure the remaining points he still needs. Kyle Buckingham needs at least another 500 points, he probably needs another Ironman race.

Female Slots

The following athletes have secured their Kona slots:

  • Daniela Ryf (Automatic Qualifier as a previous Kona champion and winner of a Regional Championship)
  • Kaisa Lehtonen (safe with 9.495 points)
  • Astrid Stienen (safe with 5.495 points)

Susie Cheetham has improved her total to 3.480 points, she will likely have to race another Ironman to secure a Kona slot.

0

Strength of Field

One of the questions I’m often asked is how the fields in a races compares to that of another race (or year) and which one was stronger. I have tried a few different approaches but couldn’t quite figure out how to account for “super stars” in a race and at the same time for the “depth” of the field or “how close” the race is going to be.

As there are no races this weekend I’ve taken another stab at this question. This time I have come up with a relatively simple system that nonetheless yields some good results. This post contains a description of the system, my analysis of the strength for the 2016 IM-distance races and a look forward to the 2017 races.

Points System

For each athlete in a race, I’m assigning a simple points value:

  • 1 point for each athlete that has raced the previous Kona race (so for the 2016 races athletes that have raced Kona 2015),
  • 0.5 points for each athlete that hasn’t raced the previous Kona race but the year before (so for the 2016 races athletes that haven’t raced Kona 2015 but Kona 2014),
  • 0.5 points for each athlete that hasn’t raced Kona the two previous years but who has a rating that places them in the Top 50 (for new promising athletes that haven’t had a chance to race Kona yet, athletes that have declined their Kona slot or athletes that decided to focus on other races).

Based on this scheme, each athlete counts for either a full, a half or no points. (Because Ironman still keeps the female Kona Pro field smaller than the male field, this leads to lower scores for the female fields. I will adjust for this inequality when comparing each field against the typical Kona field in the next section.)

In addition, there are bonus points for having done well in Kona in the past:

  • 1 bonus point for an athlete that has won Kona in the past
  • 0.5 points for an athlete that has finished on the podium in Kona before

For example, Frederik Van Lierde or Daniela Ryf count for two points in the 2016 races: One point because they have raced Kona 2015 (no “extra” points for having raced there in 2014 as well), and one bonus point as they have won Kona (regardless of how often or how long in the past).

Of course you could make this a lot more complicated by coming up with additional points and bonus points for other things, but for now I consider this simple system to be “good enough”.

Comparing Against Kona

The first observation is how much stronger Kona is compared to all the other races:

  • After the introduction of the KPR (limiting the Pro field sizes), the female Kona fields have about 40 points (2016: 40.5 points), the male fields around 55 points (2016: 56.5 points). This is pretty consistent with the number of slots (females: 35 plus 5 Regional Champs, male: 50 plus 5), so you the typical “turnover” (new athletes qualifying for Kona) is offset by the previous winners and podium finishers.
  • Even the strongest non-Kona IM-distance races start have a score of less than 20 points – the 2016 race with the most points was the male field at IM Germany with 17.5 points.

In order to account for the different points available for male and female fields, I calculate a “Kona Strength” for each male and female race by dividing their points by the “typical” Kona points (40 for the females and 55 for the males).

Based on this simple scaling, the strongest 2016 fields were:

  • for the males: IM Germany at 32% Kona strength (results)
  • for the females: IM New Zealand at 25% Kona strength (results)
This “scaling” also creates a meaningful interpretation of the strength  of a field: For IM Germany it means that roughly a third of the male Kona field was racing in Frankfurt, and about a quarter of the female Kona field in New Zealand.

Male Races

Here’s a closer look at the strength for the 2016 long distance male fields:

MenStrength

(Regular Ironman races are shown in blue, Regional Championships in green and Challenge races and the ITU long-distance championship in yellow.)

For the men the best fields are racing in the Regional Championships: IM Germany, IM Texas, IM South Africa and IM Cairns have had the four best 2016 fields (Kona strength between 32% and 25%). IM Brasil wasn’t quite on a similar level, but 15% Kona strength is still better than almost all other “regular” Ironman races.

Challenge Roth (16%) and the ITU Long Distance Champs (15%) also had strong fields while some of the smaller IMs weren’t able to generate much interest among Kona level athletes.

Female Races

Here’s a closer look at the strength for the 2016 long distance female fields:

FemaleStrength

(As for the men, regular Ironman races are shown in blue, Regional Championships in green and Challenge races and the ITU long-distance championship in yellow.)

Interestingly, the strongest field of the year (of course outside of Kona) wasn’t in a Regional Championship but at IM New Zealand – lots of Kona racers started their season early in the year, and Mareen Hufe finished in 7th place with a time of 9:16 – a time usually good enough to win the race or at least finish on the podium. For more details on New Zealand, have a look at my results analysis.

Most of the Regional Championships were able to draw strong fields: South Africa, Brasil and Germany had a Kona strength between 20% and 16%, and only Cairns (with a relatively small field) fell off a bit with 9%. Challenge Roth had a female field comparable to the Ironman Regional Championships, their 2016 female field (18% Kona strength) was slightly stronger than the field in Frankfurt.

2017 Races

The first long-distance races of this year have already been raced, and while the fields at Challenge Wanaka had similar Kona strength as last year, IM New Zealand wasn’t quite able to hold on to their great field strength from last year: The female field was at 18% and the male field at 12%. It seems that the strong 2016 fields led to some athletes making different plans for this season.

With the start lists for the first 2017 races, we can calculate the Kona strength of the fields:

  • Ironman South Africa (start lists and seedings): female Kona strength: 40%, male Kona strength: 37%
  • Ironman Texas (entry lists): female Kona strength: 24%, male Kona strength: 32%

Of course the fields and the corresponding numbers are still preliminary (for example not all the athletes registered for both races will do Texas if South Africa isn’t a complete disaster, also the Texas list isn’t closed yet). But the South Africa number seems quite firm and if they end up anywhere close to where they are now, the fields would already be stronger than for any race in 2016. I can’t wait for the racing season to start!

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