Ironman New Zealand 2017 (March 4th) – Seedings

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Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2005 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:20:15 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:30:14
2007 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:26:33 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:20:02
2008 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:24:49 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:16:00
2009 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:18:05 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:18:26
2010 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:21:52 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:14:35
2011 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:31:07 Samantha Warriner (NZL) 09:28:24
2012 Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 03:55:03 Meredith Kessler (USA) 04:22:46
2013 Bevan Docherty (NZL) 08:15:35 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:17:10
2014 Marko Albert (EST) 08:17:33 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:08:46
2015 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:22:13 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:05:45
2016 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:07:58 Meredith Kessler (USA) 08:56:08

Last Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Cameron Brown NZL 00:48:37 04:29:13 02:44:54 08:07:58
2 Joe Skipper GBR 00:53:11 04:25:11 02:45:51 08:09:37
3 Callum Millward NZL 00:46:49 04:31:13 02:48:01 08:10:57

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Meredith Kessler USA 00:47:49 04:56:40 03:06:03 08:56:08
2 Lucy Gossage GBR 00:55:45 04:51:39 03:12:10 09:05:08
3 Carrie Lester AUS 00:52:14 05:01:22 03:08:13 09:07:19

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:07:58 Cameron Brown 2016-03-05
Swim overall 00:44:26 Dylan McNeice 2015-03-07
Bike overall 04:22:13 Dougal Allan 2016-03-05
Run overall 02:41:20 Matt Hanson 2016-03-05
Total female 08:56:08 Meredith Kessler 2016-03-05
Swim female 00:46:30 Monica Byrn 2005-05-03
Bike female 04:51:39 Lucy Gossage 2016-03-05
Run female 02:59:10 Jess Draskau-Petersson 2004-03-06

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM New Zealand is 05:55.

Race Adjustments for IM New Zealand

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2007 08:39 00:56 -00:21 06:30 24 08:39 00:56 -00:21 06:30
2008 09:27 01:37 02:46 04:33 36 09:03 01:16 01:13 05:31
2009 08:06 -00:01 03:19 03:03 38 08:44 00:51 01:55 04:42
2010 06:18 01:04 04:33 03:28 22 08:07 00:54 02:34 04:23
2011 -02:24 00:31 00:28 -00:58 24 06:01 00:49 02:09 03:19
2013 01:37 00:43 04:14 01:08 24 05:17 00:48 02:30 02:57
2014 04:18 01:05 00:08 02:35 31 of 41 05:09 00:51 02:09 02:54
2015 07:50 01:13 03:03 05:36 22 of 27 05:29 00:53 02:16 03:14
2016 09:28 01:56 09:17 03:28 37 of 49 05:55 01:00 03:03 03:16

KPR points and Prize Money

IM New Zealand is a P-2000 race. It has a total prize purse of 80.000 US$.

Male Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 4 Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 08:14:06 08:18:37 00:49:11 04:28:30 02:51:25 62% +11% -27% (25) 4
2 1 Cameron Brown NZL 08:18:16 08:29:10 00:49:24 04:36:36 02:47:16 60% +1% -39% (33) 25
3 3 Terenzo Bozzone NZL 08:18:26 08:26:06 00:46:41 04:32:44 02:54:01 40% +27% -33% (12) 18
4 2 Marko Albert EST 08:21:52 08:33:04 00:45:46 04:34:30 02:56:36 94% +4% -2% (16) 33
5 5 Cyril Viennot FRA 08:26:09 08:32:02 00:49:54 04:34:08 02:57:07 75% +16% -9% (17) 28
6 10 Mark Bowstead NZL 08:35:27 08:54:17 00:47:19 04:36:54 03:06:14 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (107)
7 9 Per Bittner GER 08:37:22 08:41:55 00:48:51 04:42:28 03:01:02 57% +11% -32% (20) 71
8 19 Philipp Koutny SUI 08:39:42 08:56:02 00:50:35 04:41:19 03:02:48 36% +0% -64% (3) (114)
9 7 Clayton Fettell AUS 08:40:37 08:50:08 00:46:07 04:38:26 03:11:04 7% +18% -74% (9) 93
10 16 Simon Cochrane NZL 08:42:29 09:09:00 00:49:29 04:44:56 03:03:04 56% +24% -19% (17) 163
11 6 Braden Currie NZL 08:43:57 09:00:25 00:49:55 04:52:27 02:56:35 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (134)
12 25 Diego Van Looy BEL 08:48:27 08:59:40 01:04:51 04:47:14 02:51:21 100% +0% -0% (2) (131)
13 24 Carl Read NZL 08:50:35 09:06:05 00:51:42 04:54:25 02:59:28 67% +10% -23% (10) 155
14 17 Scott Defilippis USA 08:50:57 09:17:40 00:54:56 04:55:05 02:55:56 26% +23% -51% (23) 187
15 11 Guy Crawford NZL 08:51:19 09:15:58 00:47:50 04:38:05 03:20:25 42% +29% -28% (13) 182
16 8 Bryan Rhodes NZL 08:56:50 09:17:39 00:46:49 04:45:39 03:19:22 22% +0% -78% (27) (187)
17 13 Todd Skipworth AUS 08:59:25 09:34:08 00:44:54 04:53:34 03:15:56 18% +0% -82% (7) (228)
18 20 Cedric Lassonde FRA 09:00:59 09:08:30 00:54:12 04:52:42 03:09:05 85% +0% -15% (8) 160
19 18 Guillaume Jeannin FRA 09:07:00 09:30:02 00:52:04 04:54:00 03:15:56 13% +22% -65% (6) (222)
20 15 Sam Clark NZL 09:12:08 09:20:31 00:55:49 04:56:48 03:14:32 24% +42% -33% (3) 194
21 22 Young Hwan Oh KOR 09:18:40 09:33:35 01:01:13 05:04:10 03:08:18 37% +38% -25% (6) 227
22 21 Samuel Murphy AUS 09:20:09 09:55:44 00:55:44 05:10:57 03:08:28 49% +0% -51% (2) (268)
23 12 Graham O’Grady NZL 09:25:34 09:49:25 00:45:01 04:47:47 03:47:46 56% +0% -44% (3) (258)
24 14 Allister Caird AUS 09:27:28 09:53:56 00:55:20 04:56:23 03:30:44 21% +0% -79% (4) (265)
23 Cameron Paul NZL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Female Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 31 Meredith Kessler USA 09:04:46 09:20:24 00:48:24 05:01:59 03:09:22 60% +10% -30% (26) 11
2 32 Carrie Lester AUS 09:12:17 09:25:23 00:53:05 05:05:03 03:09:09 57% +31% -12% (20) 18
3 33 Yvonne Van Vlerken NED 09:14:20 09:16:20 00:57:09 05:00:26 03:11:45 77% +0% -23% (28) 6
4 36 Laura Siddall GBR 09:18:16 09:37:36 00:56:32 05:01:15 03:15:29 46% +44% -10% (8) 40
5 34 Annabel Luxford AUS 09:25:23 09:32:02 00:51:28 05:01:16 03:27:39 65% +0% -35% (4) 29
6 37 Emma Bilham SUI 09:26:34 09:44:46 00:53:29 05:12:43 03:15:23 64% +0% -36% (3) (52)
7 45 Jocelyn McCauley USA 09:27:22 09:47:29 00:55:53 05:17:18 03:09:11 28% +30% -42% (5) 57
8 39 Michelle Gailey AUS 09:41:15 09:52:26 00:53:33 05:24:56 03:17:45 70% +0% -30% (10) (66)
9 35 Kate Bevilaqua AUS 09:44:10 10:11:07 00:54:47 05:19:03 03:25:20 22% +6% -72% (28) (99)
10 43 Mackenzie Madison USA 09:45:17 09:54:57 00:58:05 05:17:51 03:24:21 53% +0% -47% (12) 68
11 48 Vanessa Murray NZL 09:48:53 10:02:44 00:53:26 05:24:23 03:26:04 100% +0% -0% (3) 83
12 40 Alyssa Godesky USA 10:00:39 10:15:06 00:59:33 05:31:10 03:24:56 52% +36% -13% (14) 105
13 41 Yvette Grice GBR 10:02:27 10:08:08 00:55:59 05:36:03 03:25:25 71% +20% -9% (24) 94
14 44 Wendy McAlpine AUS 10:07:07 10:20:31 00:56:39 05:25:09 03:40:19 28% +0% -72% (2) (116)
15 38 Erin Furness NZL 10:08:10 10:24:40 01:00:36 05:31:31 03:31:02 61% +11% -28% (6) (120)
16 42 Tamsyn Hayes NZL 10:09:57 10:23:26 01:00:15 05:23:47 03:40:56 52% +7% -41% (12) 119
17 47 Tracy Morrison AUS 10:21:47 10:30:40 01:00:25 05:45:19 03:31:03 100% +0% -0% (3) 132
18 46 Jessica Mitchell AUS 10:37:45 10:57:47 01:01:03 05:38:04 03:53:38 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (146)
49 Fawn Whiting CAN n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

After he had to cancel last year’s start at IM New Zealand just before boarding the plane, Marino Vanhoenacker will try to take the win, completing his collection of Ironman wins on all continents. He is my pre-race favorite, but he faces strong competition by twelve-time winner Cameron Brown and Terenzo Bozzone who seems to have unlocked the secret to fast Ironman racing after his 7:51 at Western Australia. 2014 winner Marco Albert and Cyril Viennot won’t be too far off the front either:

  • Marino Vanhoenacker: 35% (2-1)
  • Cameron Brown: 24% (3-1)
  • Terenzo Bozzone: 24% (3-1)
  • Marko Albert: 10% (9-1)
  • Cyril Viennot: 7% (14-1)

Female Race Participants

Meredith Kessler is again the pre-race favorite, she’s going for a “six-peat” after having won from 2012 to 2016. A win would also secure a Kona slot for her, allowing her to plan the year with a clear Kona focus. After finishing tenth in Kona a decent result (probably podium or better) would allow Carrie Lester to also plan her season without worrying about scoring more points. But Yvonne Van Vlerken and Laura Siddall (both backing up after Challenge Wanaka) will work hard to make things interesting with a strong bike. Jocelyn McCauley has won an IM before (IM Mallorca 2016), while some other strong racers (Emma Bilham, two time second place finisher in European IMs last year or Annabel Luxford who is still looking for her breakthrough IM performance) don’t even show up in the statistical odds but could easily finish at least on the podium:

  • Meredith Kessler: 51% (1-1)
  • Carrie Lester: 26% (3-1)
  • Yvonne Van Vlerken: 10% (9-1)
  • Laura Siddall: 7% (14-1)
  • Jocelyn McCauley: 5% (18-1)

Wanaka – New Zealand Double

Last year there were nine athletes doing the Wanaka – New Zealand double at 14 days apart, five of them successful:

  • Gina Crawford DNF & 09:32:51
  • Laura Siddall 09:30:19 & 09:09:08
  • Dougal Allan 08:31:53 & 08:24:27
  • Dylan McNeice 09:10:29 & DNF
  • Matt Randall DNF & 09:49:37
  • Matthew Russell 08:42:53 & 08:15:25
  • Chris Sanson 09:16:59 & 08:53:38
  • Joe Skipper DNF & 08:09:37
  • Brad Williams 09:50:44 & 09:32:59

This year there are ten athletes attempting the double, eight of them have finished Wanaka:

  • Emma Bilham 09:30:39
  • Alyssa Godesky 09:58:58
  • Yvette Grice 10:45:01
  • Tamsyn Hayes 10:08:36
  • Laura Siddall 09:16:11
  • Yvonne Van Vlerken 09:15:44
  • Per Bittner DNF
  • Allister Caird 08:46:43
  • Simon Cochrane 08:48:45
  • Bryan Rhodes DNF
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Joanna Zeiger: The Champion Mindset

JZBook

Joanna Zeiger is one of the few triathletes who had great success across all distances. She surprised many when she qualified for the first Olympics in Sydney 2000, then almost medaled in fourth place. Less than five weeks later she finished fifth at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. She won two Ironman races (IM Brasil in 2005 and IM Coeur d’Alene in 2006) and was the 70.3 World Champion 2008.

Joanna is also academically accomplished, having earned a Ph.D. in Genetic Epidemiology from John Hopkins University in 2001. That’s not a field known for “touchy feely” science, so it was clear that her book “The Champions Mindset” wouldn’t focus on lighting candles, journaling, chanting or meditating. (The first three terms are not mentioned in the book at all; ‘meditation’ is referred to as ‘mindfulness’, a much more practical technique focused on the current moment.)

Joanna’s Pro racing career was cut short: She was in an life-altering accident while trying to defend her 70.3 title. In a bike aid station she was picking up a bottle but the volunteer didn’t let go, and she found herself on the ground having broken her collarbone and a couple of ribs. Her ribs never really healed, and she’s been suffering chronic pain ever since, sometimes rendering her unable to get out of bed for days. With this background you might expect another type of book, one that could be summed up with “toughen up, buttercup”. This is also NOT the book she wrote.

Instead Joanna has written a practical, readable and often personal guide on how to mentally approach your training and racing. She explores setting goals, letting others help you while keeping ownership, confidence, strategies during the race to achieve mind/body cohesion, overcoming obstacles and finding meaning. She presents the science behind the issues and discusses different strategies to deal with “roadblocks” on your way to better results. The book gives you a ton of ideas to think about. After Joanna was kind enough to send me an early copy, I’ve often referred to the book, both for myself and in chatting with some Professional athletes about the challenges they face. I’m sure that any athlete will benefit from the strategies and approaches discussed and that the book will give you pragmatic strategies to change your behavior in training and racing.

The book is available is available in paperback and eBook formats through Amazon (affiliate link) and in bookstores.

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Challenge Wanaka 2017 (Feb 18th) – Seeding

ChallengeWanaka

Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2007 Luke Dragstra (CAN) 08:54:17 Belinda Granger (AUS) 09:38:26
2008 Marc Pschebizin (GER) 08:47:49 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:33:46
2009 Chris McDonald (AUS) 08:37:41 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:28:27
2010 Richard Ussher (NZL) 08:34:41 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:28:57
2011 Jamie Whyte (NZL) 09:03:53 Belinda Granger (AUS) 10:26:17
2012 Aaron Farlow (AUS) 08:41:53 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:44:06
2013 Dylan McNeice (NZL) 08:51:18 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:24:31
2014 Dylan McNeice (NZL) 08:38:48 Candice Hammond (NZL) 09:33:54
2015 Dylan McNeice (NZL) 08:37:14 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:31:51
2016 Dougal Allan (NZL) 08:31:53 Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 09:26:50

Last Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Dougal Allan NZL 00:54:39 04:36:06 02:57:23 08:31:53
2 Maik Twelsiek GER 00:48:44 04:37:57 03:09:55 08:40:48
3 Matthew Russell USA 00:54:30 04:48:55 02:54:29 08:42:53

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Yvonne Van Vlerken NED 00:54:32 05:15:53 03:12:01 09:26:50
2 Laura Siddall GBR 00:54:31 05:12:29 03:19:05 09:30:19
3 Julia Grant NZL 00:58:39 06:03:13 03:32:45 10:39:42

Meredith Hill was third across the line with a time of 10:34, but racing as an Amateur.

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:31:53 Dougal Allan 2016-02-20
Swim overall 00:45:32 Dylan McNeice 2015-02-22
Bike overall 04:30:51 Dougal Allan 2015-02-22
Run overall 02:48:04 Marc Pschebizin 2008-01-19
Total female 09:24:31 Gina Crawford 2013-01-19
Swim female 00:50:01 Gina Crawford 2008-01-19
Bike female 05:08:30 Gina Crawford 2013-01-19
Run female 03:08:59 Rebekah Keat 2010-01-16

Dylan has posted a faster swim time in 2016 (43:30), but the swim course was a bit shortened due to the wind moving the buoys.

Course Rating

The Course Rating for Challenge Wanaka is – 05:53.

Race Adjustments for Challenge Wanaka

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2007 03:50 00:42 -06:30 04:29 7 03:50 00:42 -06:30 04:29
2008 00:37 01:11 -09:42 01:33 16 of 17 02:13 00:56 -08:06 03:01
2009 04:38 -03:36 -01:31 03:57 12 of 13 03:02 -00:35 -05:55 03:20
2010 00:17 -01:47 -01:12 02:41 15 02:20 -00:53 -04:44 03:10
2011 -26:34 -02:44 -22:30 -03:42 15 -03:26 -01:15 -08:17 01:48
2012 -08:53 -01:11 -07:26 -03:22 19 -04:21 -01:14 -08:09 00:56
2013 -05:24 -05:42 -09:01 01:27 15 -04:30 -01:52 -08:16 01:00
2014 -03:40 -01:02 -03:28 00:36 10 of 18 -04:24 -01:46 -07:40 00:57
2015 -11:45 00:23 -04:29 -07:23 23 of 27 -05:13 -01:32 -07:19 00:02
2016 -11:56 01:43 -12:36 -01:21 15 of 23 -05:53 -01:12 -07:51 -00:06

Prize Money

Challenge Wanaka has a total prize purse of 70.000 NZD.

Male Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 1 Dougal Allan NZL 08:32:22 08:36:44 00:59:24 04:31:45 02:56:13 76% +11% -13% (7) 50
2 3 Luke McKenzie AUS 08:38:01 08:36:05 00:49:01 04:36:59 03:07:01 66% +21% -13% (27) 45
3 5 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:47:20 08:43:42 00:51:34 04:51:52 02:58:53 67% +1% -31% (21) 74
4 2 Per Bittner GER 08:49:27 08:41:55 00:50:27 04:49:56 03:04:03 57% +11% -32% (20) 71
5 4 Luke Bell AUS 08:52:40 08:55:25 00:48:22 04:50:38 03:08:40 16% +3% -80% (32) 110
6 10 Simon Cochrane NZL 08:57:52 09:09:00 00:51:10 04:56:30 03:05:12 56% +24% -19% (17) 163
7 11 Bryan Rhodes NZL 09:07:36 09:17:39 00:48:08 04:54:53 03:19:35 22% +0% -78% (27) (187)
8 9 Allister Caird AUS 09:29:19 09:53:56 00:57:10 05:06:39 03:20:30 21% +0% -79% (4) (265)
6 Mike Phillips NZL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
12 Nathan Miller AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Female Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 50 Yvonne Van Vlerken NED 09:23:37 09:16:20 00:58:23 05:08:08 03:12:06 77% +0% -23% (28) 6
2 51 Laura Siddall GBR 09:28:31 09:37:36 00:57:49 05:08:43 03:16:59 46% +44% -10% (8) 40
3 62 Emma Bilham SUI 09:39:06 09:44:46 00:55:12 05:21:39 03:17:14 64% +0% -36% (3) (52)
4 61 Julia Viellehner GER 09:53:15 09:58:39 01:02:25 05:36:41 03:09:10 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (76)
5 54 Simone Maier GER 09:55:02 10:01:31 01:06:09 05:25:48 03:18:05 65% +0% -35% (8) (81)
6 59 Michelle Gailey AUS 09:56:44 09:52:26 00:55:37 05:35:55 03:20:12 70% +0% -30% (10) (66)
7 55 Alyssa Godesky USA 10:10:54 10:15:06 01:01:09 05:38:54 03:25:50 52% +36% -13% (14) 105
8 56 Yvette Grice GBR 10:15:46 10:08:08 00:57:47 05:45:38 03:27:21 71% +20% -9% (24) 94
9 57 Tamsyn Hayes NZL 10:16:55 10:23:26 01:01:24 05:29:17 03:41:14 52% +7% -41% (12) 119
10 53 Julia Grant NZL 10:23:41 10:19:07 01:00:36 05:48:20 03:29:45 29% +0% -71% (6) 112
11 60 Jennifer Lentzke CAN 10:59:54 10:56:55 01:14:23 05:52:36 03:47:55 72% +0% -28% (4) (146)
52 Meredith Hill AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
58 Bonnie Van Wilgenburg GBR n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

Last years’s winner (and course record holder) Douglas Allan is the statistical favorite for this year’s male race. After a disappointing result in Kona, Luke McKenzie will want to show his return to good form at Wanaka as a start to a better 2017 racing season. The field may be small, but on a a good day a lot of athletes could contend for the win.

  • Dougal Allan: 56% (1-1)
  • Luke McKenzie: 24% (3-1)
  • Per Bittner: 7% (13-1)
  • Courtney Ogden: 7% (14-1)
  • Simon Cochrane: 4% (27-1)
  • Luke Bell: 2% (40-1)

Female Race Participants

Yvonne Van Vlerken is the defending champion from 2016, she’s the clear front runner for this year as well. But last year she had to work hard to beat Laura Siddall who has been getting better and better since last year. Emma Bilham could be an interesting addition, she was second twice last summer at IM France and IM Switzerland but will need an excellent bike leg on the tough Wanaka course to be in contention:

  • Yvonne Van Vlerken: 66% (1-1)
  • Laura Siddall: 22% (4-1)
  • Emma Bilham: 8% (12-1)
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Updated Female Top 10 Ratings

The following is an excerpt from my “TriRating Report 2016”. You can find more details about the Report in this post or get your own free copy here. The full Top 10 Ratings (male and female, including for the individual legs) are posted here.

Rating Analysis 2016 – Female TOP 10

Here are the top ranked female athletes at the end of 2016, comparing the ranking and rating to the end of 2015:

Rank Name Nation Rating Last Race # IM Races
1 (1) Daniela Ryf SUI 08:45:06 (-14:23) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 8
2 (3) Mirinda Carfrae AUS 09:02:01 (-6:11) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 14
3 (-) Kaisa Lehtonen FIN 09:13:42 (n/a) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 3
4 (19) Heather Jackson USA 09:14:57 (-9:20) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 6
5 (-) Melissa Hauschildt AUS 09:15:55 (n/a) IM Western Australia on 2016-12-04 4
6 (9) Yvonne Van Vlerken NED 09:16:20 (-1:11) IM Arizona on 2016-11-20 24
7 (13) Anja Beranek GER 09:16:56 (-2:22) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 8
8 (12) Lucy Gossage GBR 09:17:08 (-1:14) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 14
9 (15) Jodie Cunnama GBR 09:18:18 (-1:34) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 9
10 (10) Mary Beth Ellis USA 09:19:32 (+1:44) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 19

DaiBIkeKonaAfter continuing her domination in 2016, Daniela Ryf has not only defended her first place, but also extended the gap to second place. She now has a rating that is more than 15 minutes better than her closest follower.

(Photo: Daniela on the bike in Kona. Credit: Jay Prasuhn)

Mirinda Carfrae is the solid second place in my ranking. Her results this season – a lightning fast finish in Austria and a second place finish in Kona – have been great, but she’s probably frustrated that this year she wasn’t even close to Dani in Kona. I’m sure she and her coach Siri Lindley will have a close look at how to change that for next year.

The athlete in third is my “Rookie of the Year”, Kaisa Lehtonen. She’s raced three great IMs storming into the top ranks. Will she be able to continue to race at this high level in 2017 … or maybe get even faster?

Third place finisher in Kona is my fourth ranked athlete: Heather Jackson. She’s made steady progress this year, improving her rating by almost ten minutes with two great IM finishes in Lake Placid and Kona.

Melissa Hauschildt (#5) is another athlete in this year’s Top 10 that hasn’t been ranked last year. She’s been dealing with an injury for most of last year and was forced to withdraw from Kona. This year she qualified by winning the European Championships in Frankfurt, then DNF’d in Kona with muscular problems, followed by a sub-9 win in Western Australia. Hopefully she can stay healthy, then she’ll be a force to consider in each race she enters.

Even though Yvonne Van Vlerken (#6) gained three places in the rankings, she’s probably not fully satisfied with her season. She’s had some great results with a win at Challenge Wanaka and a third place at Challenge Roth, but her plans were focused on a good result in Kona – unfortunately she DNF’d when she didn’t have enough energy on the run. She quickly rebounded with a second place finish in Arizona, chasing Meredith Kessler for the whole day. She has already announced that she’s going to race Ironman Maastricht in August and Challenge Almere in September. It’s unlikely that she’ll race Kona 2017, my gues is that she’ll work to improve on her record of twelve sub-9 IM-distance finishes.

The next three athletes were just outside the Top 10 at the end of 2015: Anja Beranek (#7) had a great Kona race finishing fourth, proving she is one of the strongest women on the bike. Lucy Goossage (#8) was racing a lot this year, finishing second at IM New Zealand, third at IM South Africa and winning IM UK. Unfortunately, she broke her collarbone in the summer, but recovered just in time for Kona where she was able to race without too much pressure and even improved with a ninth place finish. For 2017 she’ll return to work as a doctor, and while she will continue to race as a Pro and is already targeting IM UK and IM Wales, she does not plan to return to Kona in 2017. Jodie Cunnama (#9) was having a great race at IM South Africa until she crashed when the camera helicopter was getting close. She recovered from a broken elbow with an emotional win at IM Cairns, the Regional Championships for Australia. At Kona she was close to the front for most of the day, but had to walk the last part of the run just to be able to finish. With the way she races, she is a contender for the win in any race she enters.

Mary Beth Ellis (#10) has won two Ironman races in her last season as a Pro at IM Netherlands and Mont Tremblant after suffering from Lyme’s disease in the summer. In her last Kona Pro race, she was in the Top 10 almost until the end, it was only in the last six miles from the Energy Lab to the finish that she dropped back from eighth place to 14th at the end. Now she wants to focus on growing her family, but it would be great to see her stay involved in long-distance triathlon.

A number of athletes have dropped from the Top 10. Rachel Joyce (was #2) and Eva Wutti (was #6) have had children and are likely to return to racing in 2017. Caroline Steffen (was #4) has raced shorter distances, it would be great to see her tackle Ironman racing again. Liz Blatchford (was #5) struggled with injuries and couldn’t race, now she has announced that she’s pregnant. Susie Cheetham (was #7, now #15) DNF’d in Kona, as did Julia Gajer (was #10, now #16), who has only finished IM Texas which was on a shortened course. Both are already working hard to return to Kona 2017 and a good performance there.

Updated Male Top 10 Ratings

The following is an excerpt from my “TriRating Report 2016”. You can find more details about the Report in this post or get your own free copy here. The full Top 10 Ratings (male and female, including for the individual legs) are posted here.

Rating Analysis 2016 – Male TOP 10

Here are the top ranked male athletes at the end of 2016, comparing the ranking and rating to the end of 2015:

Rank Name Nation Rating Last Race # IM Races
1 (1) Jan Frodeno GER 07:59:12 (-8:10) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 7
2 (2) Sebastian Kienle GER 08:10:48 (-3:35) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 13
3 (3) Brent McMahon CAN 08:17:17 (+0:46) IM Arizona on 2016-11-20 7
4 (10) Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 08:18:37 (-6:01) IM Chattanooga on 2016-09-25 21
5 (6) Nils Frommhold GER 08:19:27 (-1:12) Challenge Roth on 2016-07-17 8
6 (7) Andy Potts USA 08:20:53 (-1:47) IM Western Australia on 2016-12-04 16
7 (5) Frederik Van Lierde BEL 08:22:19 (+1:52) IM Cozumel on 2016-11-27 20
8 (42) Patrik Nilsson SWE 08:22:23 (-15:48) IM Barcelona on 2016-10-02 7
9 (-) Jesse Thomas USA 08:22:27 (n/a) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 3
10 (21) Andi Boecherer GER 08:22:32 (-9:26) IM Hawaii on 2016-10-08 14

JanKonaRun

Jan Frodeno was my #1 ranked athlete last year, and of course he remains in first place, even increasing his lead. The fact that his second place in Lanzarote was his worst performance of the year is indicative of the level he’s racing at: His two other IM-distance races were a world-record time at Challenge Roth and a win in Kona. How long will his domination of male IM-racing last? There hasn’t been a three-peat in Kona since the days of Mark Allen (who won five in a row between 1989 and 1993) and Dave Scott (among his six wins was a three-peat from 1982 to 1984). A third Kona win for Frodo in 2017 would raise his profile to “Dave and Mark level”.

(Photo: Jan slowly running away from Sebi on Palani Road during IM Hawaii. Credit: Jay Prasuhn)

It’s been a solid 2016 for Sebastian Kienle (#2), and though he’ll be proud of his results I’m pretty sure he’ll be looking for more in 2017. This year, he had a win at Ironman Frankfurt that included a new marathon PR of 2:44. Second places at 70.3 Champs and in Kona were good results, but probably a bit too close to the very front to be satisfied. In Mooloolaba Sebi came up just short after lots of back and forth in a sprint finish to Tim Reed, and in Kona Jan was able to run a bit faster when it mattered. After Sebi wasn’t rewarded for more aggressive racing in Kona 2015, he was a bit more conservative this year – forcing Jan to use every last drop energy but not enough to crack him. After struggling with a few injuries in previous seasons, Sebi has been healthy for most of this year. If his progress on the run continues for 2017, it means he can probably afford to be a bit more active on the Kona bike.

2015’s summary for Brent McMahon (#3) is also applicable to this year: Great racing – except for Kona. Unfortunately, that’s where it matters most and the performance on race day determines whether an athlete has had a great year – or merely a good one. Brent had two fantastic races in Brasil and in Arizona, both times posting extremely fast times: 7:46:10 in Brasil (a North American record at that time) and a 7:50 in Arizona which was overshadowed by Lionel Sanders going 7:44 and grabbing the North American record. In Kona, Brent lost contact to the front group in the early parts of the bike when he received a drafting penalty. Similar to Patrick Lange he raced his own race and was running well, almost working his way into the Top 10. But around the Energy Lab he started vomiting and though he tried hard he didn’t have any power left, dropping all the way back into 30th place. If Brent manages to figure out how to race well in Kona, he’s easily a podium candidate. He’ll be back in 2017 to give it another hard try!

With Marino Vanhoenacker (#4) there is an athlete who is very unlikely to return to Kona. Marino is picking races that better suit his strengths, and two wins at IM Austria and IM Chattanooga allow him to close this year with a much better feeling than after his 2015 Kona DNF. I expect him to continue to pick races he loves to race – and chase his goal of winning an Ironman on each continent. He was scheduled to race Ironman New Zealand 2016, but had to withdraw when he sprained his ankle in the last run before his departure. Expect him to give it another try in 2017!

Nils Frommhold (#5) has improved his ranking and his rating – but he’ll probably view his tri season as a disappointment. He was struggling to race well in the heat of 70.3 Brasilia, then DNF’d at IM Texas when he was trying to secure a Kona slot. In the summer he posted his second sub-8 at Challenge Roth. Even that wasn’t what he was hoping for in his title defense – the gap to Jan Frodeno was too large, and he lost second place in the final kilometers of the run to Joe Skipper. He was eyeing a fall IM to get started on Kona 2017 qualifying but then was diagnosed with another stress fracture, ending his season. At least the year ended well on a personal level: In late November his daughter Louisa was born – congratulations! I’m sure that’ll be extra motivation for him to have a solid 2017 season.

#6 Andy Potts has also gained one spot compared to last year, but his season was somewhat mixed. As usual he won his North American summer IM (this time IM Canada) and 70.3s (winning Coeur d’Alene and Vineman) and he was eying the Kona podium after finishing in fourth place in 2015. In Kona he lost seven minutes to the front in the last hour of riding and crashed coming off his bike. The first part of the marathon went well, but eventually he ran out of steam and dropped back to 11th place. He closed the year by racing IM Western Australia in a new North American record of 7:55:12, but his performance was a bit overshadowed by Terenzo’s win. Having already secured his Kona slot, he can now try a different season plan – either not doing an IM over the summer or racing the deeper fields in Europe. He’s already 40 years old, but he hasn’t given up chasing a Kona podium!

For #7 Frederik Van Lierde 2016 could have been another “lost year” when he broke his collarbone in a spring race. But he handled the challenge well, and was on the start line of IM France just six weeks later. Of course he wasn’t yet at 100%, but a fourth place finish took care of Kona validation. In Kona he faced another challenge when he received a drafting penalty early in the race. He continued to ride hard, then had to pay the price when he wasn’t able to go with the faster runners that caught up to him. Still, tenth place is a very respectable finish considering his year and the penalty. Fred closed the year with a win at IM Cozumel, giving him complete freedom to focus on Kona 2017. If his preparation goes well and he doesn’t overrace in the summer, he’ll be at least a strong podium contender for Kona.

Having turned 25 this August, the youngest athlete in the Top 10 is Patrik Nilsson (#8). In 2015 Patrik decided to focus on his home Ironman race instead of taking his Kona slot. In tough conditions he won with a comfortable margin. After a long build into this season he put up two sub-8s within six weeks, winning IM Copenhagen and IM Barcelona and taking the Swedish Ironman record. After these two great performances he had to withdraw from racing IM Cozumel which could have already secured his Kona slot. Nonetheless, Patrik was signed by the BMC Uplace team – and they have clearly stated their goal of having a member of their team win Kona in the next few years. If Patrik is given the time to stabilize his performance, gain some experience in big, deep fields and develop a bit further, he may well be the athlete in the team to fulfill the dream goal.

With Jesse Thomas (#9) there is another new athlete in the Top 10. Jesse has cautiously moved into long-distance racing, after winning IM Wales at the tail-end of the 2015 season he also won IM Lanzarote, earning the distinction of being the only athlete who was able to beat Jan Frodeno in 2016. Going into Kona he said he would be racing his own race, but he got caught up in the Kona atmosphere and rode up to the front group, only to get dropped on the climb to Hawi. The rest of the day was tough, and even working as hard as he could he finished in 16th place. He might have hoped for more, but even blowing up in Kona he delivered his fastest Ironman finish to date! He also seemed intrigued by the race, and I’m sure that this was not the last time we’ll see him race in Kona.

After suffering from a tough bike accident, it’s great to see Andi Böcherer (#10) back to enjoying racing. As last year, he was in excellent form in the summer and was unbeaten in all his races on the 70.3 distance. He had a great race at IM Frankfurt where he challenged Sebi Kienle all day, was finally able to run an excellent 2:45 marathon, and finished in second place just a minute behind Sebi. This year he also managed to hold on to his summer form for Hawaii. He was in the front group all day and ended up in a close fight with Ben Hoffman and Tim O’Donnell. It took Ben Hoffman all he had to stay 20 seconds ahead of Andi, but while Ben was completely gone and needed medical attention, Andi was able to celebrate his fifth place and finally being able to improve on his eighth place from 2011. I’m sure that next year he’ll try to reach more aggressive goals … and he hasn’t won an Ironman yet!

Last year we’ve also had a couple of other athletes in the Top 10:

  • Andreas Raelert (was #4, now #22) struggled with injuries all year. He managed to qualify for Kona, but DNF’d. He’s already back to get in shape for the 2017 season, chasing his dream of a Kona win.
  • Timo Bracht (was #8, now #16) had to race quite often to get the points to qualify for Kona. He was racing Kona with high hopes, but was probably a bit tired and finished 28th. I’m looking forward to see him focus on one or two big races for the 2017 season
  • Eneko Llanos (was #9, now #13) is still a very solid athlete, but this year he struggled with stomach issues on the run and didn’t have a stellar result.

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