The reports from IM Australia indicated that the conditions were quite hard, with a heavy wind making the bike and run pretty hard when having to attack it head-on. This is borne out by the race results. Before the race, the course was rated 12:14 (i.e. 12:14 faster than a normalized course). This year’s results resulted in an adjustment of 9:30, so conditions were about 3 minutes slower than usually in Australia.
The men’s field was not very deep, but after Craig Alexander’s cancellation a few days before the race the race was wide open. It even seemed possible that Patrick Vernay might be able to continue his winning streak. In the end, however, it was Pete Jacobs who scored his first IM win:
Rank Name Nation Actual Time Expected Time 1 Pete Jacobs AUS 08:29:28 08:37:27 2 Patrick Vernay NCL 08:35:50 08:28:31 3 Jason Shortis AUS 08:46:07 08:47:39 4 Scott Neyedli GBR 08:47:16 08:55:25 5 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:49:56 08:44:37 6 Luke Whitmore 08:54:57 n/a 7 Scott Curry CAN 09:06:31 09:15:25 8 Chris Dmitrieff AUS 09:39:26 09:02:06 9 Adam Holborow AUS 09:40:49 09:12:55
Pete Jacobs continued his streak of strong race results, Patrick Vernay was just a little bit off but managed a 2nd place. 40-year old Jason Shortis almost exactly raced according to predictions and held off Scott Neyedli, whose good time wasn’t quite good enough for the podium.
The most interesting consequence of the race may be the changes to Crowie’s future race plans: He has to finish one Ironman to validate his Hawaii spot, and my prediction is that he will do an early race as soon as he is over his infection. Maybe he’ll be a late addition to IM Texas? (IM China may be good conditions for him – i.e. hot - but probably “too hard” for what he is trying to achieve.)
Rank Name Nation Actual Time Expected Time 1 Caroline Steffen SWI 09:29:54 09:28:45 2 Amelia Pearson AUS 09:38:23 10:03:08 3 Nicole Ward AUS 09:49:23 10:08:16 4 Kirsten Molloy AUS 09:53:55 10:08:46 5 Erin Spitler 10:08:33 n/a
Expected time is based on athlete’s rating (prior to race) and race conditions.
I don’t think there ever was any doubt that Caroline Steffen would win this race as long as she finishes. She seemed to have some issues during the race, but finished right where I expected her. If she can enjoy a good Hawaii prep, she is certainly a contender for a podium finish, even if she seems to be not quite on the same level of Chrissie or Rinnie.