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Who to Look for in 2018 Long-distance Racing

With the 2018 season slowly getting started, here’s a list of trends, themes and athletes to look for in Ironman-distance racing. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, and there isn’t enough space to highlight every “interesting athlete to watch this year”, so apologies in advance to everyone who isn’t mentioned!

Athletes Stepping Up to Ironman Racing

Every year, there are a number of athletes with great success on shorter distance who give racing on the Ironman-distance a try. While there isn’t a guarantee that their racing prowess transfers to the longer distance, the talent that is evident usually makes them very interesting when they line up in their first Ironman race.

For 2018, Emma Pallant (second in 70.3 Championships) and Laura Philipp (third in 70.3 Championships) have announced that they will race an Ironman. Emma is registered for IM South Africa, Laura plans to race IM Germany where she’ll be joined by Anne Haug who has just stepped up to the 70.3 distance in 2017(winning 70.3 Dubai).

2017FemalePodium037.png

Photo: The podium of the 70.3 World Championship in 2017. Daniela Ryf went on to defend her Kona title, Emma Pallant (left) and Laura Philipp (right) will step up to Ironman racing in 2018. (Credit: Donald Miralle for Ironman)

On the male side, there is a huge anticipation of Javier Gomez to race Ironman. (I’m not aware of a firm plan for his first Ironman, but I’m guessing he’ll race one of the Regional Championships in Cairns or Frankfurt. Update March 26th: Spanish media report that Javier will race IM Cairns.) There’s been a lot of talk about the Brownlee brothers stepping up to Ironman racing as well, but for now they seem to be focused on short-course and 70.3 racing rather than Ironman.

All of the athletes mentioned above have scored well in 70.3 races so that just one solid Ironman race will be enough for them to be on the Kona start line – adding even more excitement to the highlight of 2018 Ironman-distance racing.

Returning Super Moms

2016 and 2017 have seen a large number of “triathlon babies” – a lot of high-profile female athletes have taken a break from triathlon to have a baby and then return to long-distance racing. In 2017 we’ve had two “Super Moms” in the Kona Top 10 (Liz Lyles and Jocelyn McCauley), two more in the Kona field that had a baby in 2016 (Rachel Joyce and Sonja Tajsich), and one more “new mom” who won an Ironman but missed Kona qualifying (Eva Wutti).

For the 2018 season there are even more Super Moms returning to racing: Three-time Kona champion Mirinda Carfrae gave birth to daughter Isabelle before Kona 2017, she is already back to training and as a prior Kona champion only needs a validation finish to secure her place on the Kona start line. She has just announced that she will be racing IM Cairns in June.

RinnyTOIzzy

Photo: Mirinda with husband Tim O’Donnell and daughter “Izzy”. Credit: Welcome to the Tim and Rinny Show! on YouTube.

Things will be a lot harder for Meredith Kessler (son Mak born in November), Liz Blatchford (daughter Mahli born in June) and Jodie Cunnama (son Jack born in November), they need a points slot and have to start 2018 racing with no points and only March to July to get to 4.400 points needed for a slot. Caroline Steffen is another “new mom” (son Xander born in late December) who’s back to training, but I’m not aware of any long-distance racing plans for her. (She was focused on the 70.3 distance before she got pregnant.)

The First Sub-4 Bike Leg?

Last year we’ve seen a new “Ironman bike record” when Andy Starykowicz posted a 4:01 bike split at IM Texas. That race was Andy’s return from a horrible bike accident when he was run over by a truck, and he wasn’t sure how well he’d be able to run so he was clearly focused on a good bike split. (His run split was just 3 minutes faster than his bike and is currently the slowest run split for a sub-9 finish overall.) In October, he was more balanced and won IM Louisville with a 4:08 bike and 3:07 run. Another super-biker is Cam Wurf who set a new bike course record at IM Hawaii and who was also able to win Ironman Wales with a solid run.

CamBikeKona

Photo: Cam Wurf leading on the bike in Kona. Credit: Ingo Kutsche

I think that both Andy and Cam (and maybe a few others) would be able to post a sub-4 bike leg if that was their main goal in a race, but their focus is probably more on improving their run and on being competitive for the wins in strong, deep fields. But maybe they think that their best chance to win a race is to get a huge advantage on the bike? In addition, there are almost always athletes that maybe aren’t fully competitive in all legs who opt to go for the glory of a fast bike split. Overall, I’m pretty sure that we’ll see a sub-4 bike in the next few years, but I’m not sure it’ll happen this season quite yet.

Coming Back from Injury

Avoiding or managing injuries plays a big role in long-distance racing. Mel Hauschildt is one of the athletes that’s been forced to deal with injuries on a regular basis. In 2017 she wasn’t able to race before late August, but then was able to finish the ITU Long Distances Worlds, 70.3 Championships and Kona and ended the year by with two wins at 70.3 Western Sydney and IM Western Australia. It would be great to see what she’s able to do when she has two consecutive build periods without having to take a long break for an injury. After winning IM Texas in 2015, Angela Naeth hasn’t been able to complete another Ironman race because of a long string of injuries. Towards the end of 2017 she has returned to 70.3 racing and plans to race an Ironman this spring. (She’s on the entry lists for both IM South Africa and IM Texas.) Angela and her bike strength can hugely impact the race dynamics in any Ironman race she enters.

It’s always unfortunate when athletes qualify for Kona but then are not able to race because of an injury. Last year Tine Holst, Andy Boecherer, Carlos Lopez and Will Clarke had to cancel their Kona start, but are already planning their 2018 season for a return to Kona. Two more athletes made it to Kona with plans to race and had accidents on the Big Island. Tim Don fractured a vertebra just three days before the race and was forced to wear a horribly uncomfortable halo for a few weeks, but by now he’s back to some light training. Matt Russell was hit by a car while in the race and was in critical condition for a couple of days when he lost a lot of blood. While he still sheds the occasional piece of glass, he seems to have been able to make a quick recovery and is on the entry list for IM Texas.

Looking Closer at Regional Trends

There’s always some up-and-down among the big triathlon nations, so here are some predictions of the Ironman racing from the viewpoint of different countries:

(Even) More Germans in Kona

MariceRothThe German men have been dominating in Kona – they have won four titles in a row from 2014 to 2017! But their depth of strong males is almost as impressive, and it seems that even when one athlete runs into problems that there are others ready to step up, such as when Frodo was struggling and Sebi couldn’t quite take the lead on the run, Patrick blasted out another sub-2:40 run to win the race. Also, some new names show up on the Kona radar every year. Two athletes you should follow across this season are Andi Dreitz and Maurice Clavel. Both have stepped up to IM racing in 2017, Andy won IM Italy and Maurice was third at Challenge Roth. Both are targeting Kona for 2018 and are in a good position to qualify with one more solid result: Andi already has 3.435 points and should be able to snag a slot with one more good 70.3 finish, while Maurice with 2.205 points is racing IM South Africa to get the points he needs for a Kona slot.

Photo: Maurice crossing the finish line at Challenge Roth. Credit: TriRating

While the German women were not quite as successful as the men, they have also been able to snag a number of Kona Top10 finishes and Ironman wins in previous years. In 2017, Mareen Hufe was the best German female in Kona, finishing just outside the Top10. With some new faces (such as Laura Philipp mentioned above) the pressure for the established German women will only increase, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see two German ladies in the Kona 2018 Top10.

The Big American Hope to Win Kona

For quite some time the “Big Three” US male athletes have been Ben Hoffman, Tim O’Donnell and Andy Potts. They’ve traded the title of “Best American Kona Finisher”, but late in the race none of them have really been in contention for more than a podium spot. While the US always has a number of good athletes racing the Ironman distance, so far none of them have been able to crack the Top 10 in Kona. (Fun fact: Other than Ben, Tim or Andy, Chris Lieto was the last one to finish in the Top 10 in 2009.) When looking for “new faces” among the US male athletes that haven’t raced Kona before, the only name I could come up with is Kevin Collington. He’s been getting faster under the guidance of Matt Dixon and is now an Ironman winner in a hot and humid race (IM Taiwan 2017). With Ben Kanute there was an American on the podium of the 70.3 Championships, but for now he is still focused on the shorter distances.

So “The Big American Hope to Win Kona” might actually be a woman. There’s a large number of athletes that have already had success in Kona such as Heather Jackson (3rd in 2016, 4th in 2017), Sarah Piampiano (7th in 2015 and 2016 but DNF in 2017) or 10-time Kona veteran Linsey Corbin. In 2017 there were three US women in the Top 10: Heather, Liz Lyles – since retired – and Jocelyn McCauley, at 29 years among the younger female Pros. Lauren Brandon had a strong impact on the swim and bike but then didn’t have the run she was looking for. Considering how dominant Daniely Ryf has been in the last years, a Kona win is not very likely for the US women in 2018, but my money is on the best US female to finish higher than the best male.

Scandinavian Ladies

MajaKonaThe Scandinavian countries Finland, Sweden, Denmark and (to a lesser degree) Norway have a surprisingly deep talent pool for Ironman racing. Kona 2017 had two athletes finish in the Top10 (Patrik Nilsson 8th in the men’s field and Kaisa Sali who was 5th in the female field). Look out especially for the Scandinavian ladies in 2018 racing. Asa Lundstroem, Camilla Pedersen and Michelle Vesterby have raced well in Kona before but didn’t have a good race in Kona – they will be back to show that they can do much better. In addition, there are a number of “new faces”: Maja Stage Nielsen was 12th with the best run outside the Top10, at 29 years she has just completed her first season of long-distance racing. Then there is Helle Frederiksen who stepped up to IM racing after multiple wins on the 70.3 distance. Her first Ironman in Arizona was a sub-9 finish with a new Danish record. The Scandinavian males have been on the podium before (Pauli Kiuru was second in 1993, Torbjorn Sindballe third in 2007), and I think it’s time for the first Scandinavian female on the Kona podium.

Photo: Maja Stage Nielsen is all smiles after crossing the Kona finish line in 12th place. Credit: TriRating

Rule Britannia

The British athletes have had ten wins on the IM-distance in 2017, and they’ve been successful in Kona as well: Lucy Charles was second female, and David McNamee was third on the male side. These days it’s hard to decide if the men or women are more successful. The British ladies have been successful for quite some time: Rachel Joyce, Lucy Gossage, Jodie Cunnama and Susie Cheetham have won Ironman races and finished in the Kona Top10, and there are always new athletes stepping up,  such as Lucy Charles last year.

For quite some time, the British men struggled to keep up, but the 2017 results have been impressive: A huge win by Tim Don at IM Brasil with a new British record of 7:40, and David McNamee was the first British athlete on the Kona podium. In addition there are Will Clarke and Joe Skipper who have posted sub-8 finished but so far haven’t been able to transfer their speed to a good finish in the more tactical race in Kona.

Aussie Aussie

Just a few years back, the Australian men have been dominating in Kona: Between 2007 and 2012 Chris McCormack, Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs won the title six times in a row for the Aussies. In 2013 Luke McKenzie almost extended that series (he finished second to Frederik Van Lierde), since then each year Tim Van Berkel has been the highest Aussie finisher with just a single Top10 (7th 2014, 36th 2015, 19th 2016 and 15th 2017). In the meantime, the Aussie ladies have continued to do well, Mirinda Carfrae won three times and even when Rinny didn’t race in 2017, there have been three Australian ladies in the Top10 (Sarah Crowley, Carrie Lester and Annabel Luxford).

However, things seem to be improving for the Australian men: Josh Amberger (in his first season of IM racing) was leading after the swim with a big gap, and T2-leader Cam Wurf made a huge impression when he set a new Kona bike course record. Nick Kastelein (even though he DNF’d) has also been racing well on the long-distance, winning IM Switzerland. It’s been a while that an Aussie male has been in the Kona Top10 – something that I expect to change in 2018!

Asians Starting to Close the Gap

The last few paragraphs have focused on the “big triathlon nations”, countries that win the most Ironman races across the globe. Having looked at the fastest 2017 finishing times from the continents (Women and Men),  it’s one continent that lags behind the others: Asia. However, Ironman is now owned by a Chinese company, and they are continuing to expand not only in China but in other Asian countries as well. While we haven’t yet seen a return of Ironman China (held three times between 2008 and 2010 in challenging conditions), there are now four 70.3s in China on the calendar, some even offering Kona slots. Last year, we’ve also seen the first Chinese athlete earning prize money in a 70.3 race (Jiang Zhi Hang who was sixth at 70.3 Xiamen and earned US$ 750). The number of races in other Asian countries is growing as well and it’s only a question of time until the Asian athletes are starting to close the gap to the other continents.

Shortest Time for Multiple Wins

With Terenzo Bozzone winning three races within three weeks, this seemed to be the perfect time to delve deeper into my data and look at the shortest time spans between multiple wins over half- and full-distance triathlons. I’ve stopped at five wins – with that many wins there is usually one longer gap between wins so it isn’t really “one hot streak” anymore.

To avoid any confusion (3 weekends? 3 weeks?), I’m listing the number of days between the first win and the last win in a series. Therefore, “3 wins in 15 days” corresponds to 3 wins “on 3 consecutive weekends” and “within 2 weeks”.

As always with these statistics, I have to add one word of caution: My Ironman results data go back to 2005 (and the 70.3 data to 2015), so I may have missed some older “winnings streaks”. Any pointers will be much appreciated!

Two Wins

Only IM-distance

  • Daniela Ryf: 7 days (July 17th to July 24th 2016) to win Challenge Roth and IM Switzerland
  • Paula Newby-Fraser: 13 days (June 28th to July 11th 1992) to win IM Japan and IM Germany
  • Lucy Gossage: 13 days (September 10th to September 23rd 2017) to win IM Wales and IM Italy
  • Rebecca Preston: 14 days (July 2nd to July 16th 2006) to win IM Austria and IM Switzerland
  • Victor Del Corral: 15 days (November 2nd to November 17th 2013) to win IM Florida and IM Arizona

Mixed distances

  • Terenzo Bozzone: 6 days (December 4th to December 10th 2016) to win IM Western Australia and 70.3 Bahrain
  • Michael Raelert: 7 days (November 9th to November 16th 2014) to win 70.3 Mandurah and 70.3 Ballarat
  • Domenico Passuello: 7 days (April 5th to April 12th 2015) to win 70.3 Putrajaya and IM Taiwan
  • Eva Wutti: 7 days (June 28th to July 5th 2015) to win IM Austria and 70.3 Norway
  • Matt Trautman: 7 days (June 12th to June 19th 2016) to win 70.3 Staffordshire and 70.3 Durban
  • Rudi Wild: 7 days (March 12th to March 19th 2017) to win 70.3 Subic Bay and 70.3 Taiwan
  • Holly Lawrence: 7 days (May 5th to May 12th 2017) to win 70.3 St. George and 70.3 Santa Rosa
  • Melissa Hauschildt: 7 days (November 26th to December 3rd 2017) to win 70.3 Western Sydney and IM Western Australia
  • Terenzo Bozzone: 7 days (March 11th to March 18th) to win 70.3 Bariloche and 70.3 Campeche

Three Wins

  • Terenzo Bozzone: 15 days (March 3rd to March 18th 2018) to win at IM New Zealand, 70.3 Bariloche and 70.3 Campeche
  • Michael Raelert: 21 days (October 26th to November 16th 2014) to win at 70.3 Miami, 70.3 Mandurah and 70.3 Ballarat
  • Lucy Charles: 27 days (May 7th to June 3rd 2017) to win Challenge Lisboa, IM Lanzarote and Challenge Samorin
  • Daniela Ryf: 28 days (July 27th to August 24th 2014) to win at IM Switzerland, 70.3 Wiesbaden and IM Copenhagen
  • Lionel Sanders: 28 days (June 21st to July 19th 2015) to win at 70.3 Mont Tremblant, 70.3 Muskoka and 70.3 Racine
  • Laura Philipp: 29 days (May 13th to June 11th 2017) to win at 70.3 Mallorca, 70.3 Austria and 70.3 Kraichgau
  • Andy Potts: 28 days (June 26th to July 24th 2016) to win at 70.3 Coeur d’Alene, 70.3 Vineman and IM Canada

Four Wins

  • Michael Raelert: 41 days (October 26th to December 6th 2014) to win at 70.3 Miami, 70.3 Mandurah, 70.3 Ballarat and Challenge Bahrain
  • Daniela Ryf: 42 days (July 27th to September 7th 2014) to win at IM Switzerland, 70.3 Wiesbaden, IM Copenhagen and 70.3 Worlds
  • Daniela Ryf: 71 days (April 25th to July 5th 2015) to win Challenge Fuerteventura, 70.3 Mallorca, 70.3 Switzerland and IM Germany
  • Holly Lawrence: 71 days (May 6th to July 16th 2017) to win at 70.3 St. George, 70.3 Santa Rosa, 70.3 Mont Tremblant and 70.3 Racine
  • Lucy Charles: 83 days (May 7th to July 29th 2017) to win Challenge Lisboa, IM Lanzarote, Challenge Samorin and Challenge Prague
  • Lionel Sanders: 84 days (April 26th to July 19th 2015) to win at 70.3 Texas, 70.3 Mont Tremblant, 70.3 Muskoka and 70.3 Racine
  • Heather Wurtele: 84 days (March 20th to June 12th 2016) to win at 70.3 Monterrey, 70.3 California, 70.3 St. George and 70.3 Victoria

Five Wins

  • Michael Raelert: 83 days (September 14th to December 6th 2014) to win at 70.3 Ruegen, 70.3 Miami, 70.3 Mandurah, 70.3 Ballarat and Challenge Bahrain
  • Daniela Ryf: 98 days (June 1st to September 7th 2014) to win at 70.3 Switzerland, IM Switzerland, 70.3 Wiesbaden, IM Copenhagen and 70.3 Worlds

2017 Winning Indicators

This post analyzes the importance of the different legs in a long-distance triathlon and how many of the leaders in T1 and T2 end up winning the race. For the 2017 season, there are 74 data points (40 different race courses: 7 Challenge races, 26 Ironman races with male and female fields, 6 single-gender Ironman races, and Embrun). There are links to all the results mentioned, so feel free to explore some of the amazing 2017 races!

Best Swim (also Leading in T1): 19%

In 2017, the swim leaders were able to win slightly more races (14 out of 74 or 19%) than in previous years (2016: 14%, 2015: 17%). Athletes that lead in T1 and go on to win the race usually lead “wire-to-wire”. As in previous years, there was only one instance where an athlete “lost” the lead on the bike and then re-claimed it on the run. This year it was Clemente Alonso-McKernan who had the fastest swim at IM Sweden but then was more than seven minutes behind Cameron Wurf in T2 before putting ten minutes into Cam to win the race.

Not very many athletes are able to have the best times in all three legs, in 2017 there were four: Daniela Ryf (winning IM South Africa), Timothy O’Donnell (winning IM Boulder), Jan Frodeno (winning IM Austria) and Laurel Wassner (winning IM Taiwan). It is much more common to win a race with “a balanced performance”, without having the fastest time in any leg: In 2016 there were 11 races, this season there were 13.

Of course there are a lot of athletes that can win the race even when they are not part of “the front group” after the swim. However, 80% of all winners in Ironman-distance races are less than 4:55 behind in T1. It is quite rare to see athletes winning a race that are more than ten minutes behind after the swim (in 2016 there were only 4 races or 5%). The biggest T1-deficit was overcome by Jodie Robertson who was 13:39 behind Lauren Brandon, the T1 leader at IM Texas. On the male side, Timothy Van Houtem made up 12:21 at Challenge Madrid. The slowest swims by IM winners were a 1:10:23 by Lisa Roberts at Challenge Madrid and Lukas Krämer who won Challenge Venice with a 1:01:33 swim.

Best Bike: 57%

As the bike is the longest leg in Ironman, of course it does have a large influence on the outcome. This was even more evident in 2017 (42 of 74 races or 57%) than in previous years (2016: 49%; 2015: 54%).

Similar to the swim, 80% of the winners are within 4 minutes (3:51 to be exact) of the fastest bike leg in a race. Only six athletes in 2017 were able to “afford” losing more than ten minutes on the run to the fastest bike riders. Lisa Roberts lost 17:22 to Rachel McBride at IM Cozumel, and Patrick Lange lost 15:59 to Cam Wurf at IM Hawaii.

Leading in T2: 58%

“Leading in T2” continues to be the best indicator for winning a race. This year’s share of 58% (43 out of 74 races) is similar to previous years (2016: 50%; 2015: 57%).

Even with a T2 lead, you still have to run pretty well to win the race, even if we saw two 2017 winners lose 20 minutes on the run – but those were super-bikers Andy Starykowicz (losing 20:33 to 17th place finisher Josh Terwood when winning IM Louisville) and Cam Wurf (losing 19:22 at IM Wales to Andrej Vistica who ended up in fourth place). As for most of the “80% gaps”, T2 leaders that go on to win the race lose less than five minutes on the run.

Best Run: 49%

Having the fastest run is another strong winning indicator. This year’s number (36 out of 74 or 49%) is almost the same as previously (2016: 49%; 2015: 40%). 80% of the winners were able to post times within 4:56 of the fastest run splits. Most of the slow run times by winners were caused by tough climatic conditions: The three slowest marathon times by winners were Laurel Wassner’s 3:49 at IM Taiwan, Verena Walter’s 3:25 at Challenge Taiwan and Diana Riesler’s 3:19 at IM Malaysia – all in tough conditions and all three within four minutes of the best run splits. (Laurel even had the fastest female run split at IM Taiwan.)

There were some pretty large gaps that winners were able to make up on the run: Lisa Roberts made up 24:46 at IM Cozumel (followed by Rachel Joyce 12:24 at IM Mont Tremblant), on the male side Matt Hanson won at IM Texas even being 15:10 behind in T2, another big gap was Patrick Lange’s 10:55 deficit in Kona. Typically the gap has to be much smaller, 80% of winners are within 5:14 of the leaders in T2.

Fastest 2017 Ironman Finishes by Continent and Nation (Men)

I’ve recently posted about the fastest 2017 IM finishes, this post aggregates the data by continent and nations: Who were the fastest women in 2017?

Fastest Male IM Finishes by Continent

The continental situation is the same for the men as for the women: Europe, North America and Oceania are close together, Africa and South America are a bit back, followed by Asia/Pacific with a large gap. One surprise to me is that the fastest Oceania time in 2017 was posted by an athlete from New Zealand (Mike Phillips).

Continent Athlete Nation Time Date Race
Africa Cunnama, James ZAF 08:00:36 13.08.17 IM Hamburg
Asia/Pacific Oh, Young Hwan KOR 09:02:41 09.07.17 Challenge Roth
Oceania Phillips, Mike NZL 07:52:50 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
Europe Don, Tim GBR 07:40:23 28.05.17 IM Brasil
North America Hanson, Matt USA 07:52:44 22.04.17 IM Texas
South America Amorelli, Igor BRA 08:06:58 28.05.17 IM Brasil

Fastest Male IM Finishes by Nation

There are always nations where the top spot is hotly contested (for example the “big nations” that have most of the wins: Australia, Great Britain, Germany, USA) and it’s not always easy to keep track of who’s been the fastest in the season. There were a number of national records this year, with the exception of Tim Don’s British record at IM Brasil they were all posted in Texas and Barcelona. (A complete list of national records can be found on my page on IM Records.)

Nation Athlete Time Date Race
AUS Josh Amberger 08:02:17 11.06.17 IM Cairns
BEL Bart Aernouts 07:59:07 09.07.17 Challenge Roth
BMU (NR) Tyler Butterfield 07:58:29 22.04.17 IM Texas
BRA Igor Amorelli 08:06:58 28.05.17 IM Brasil
CAN Lionel Sanders 07:54:10 19.11.17 IM Arizona
ESP Ivan Rana 07:58:39 26.11.17 IM Cozumel
EST (NR) Kirill Kotshegarov 07:59:32 22.04.17 IM Texas
FRA (NR) Antony Costes 07:49:19 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
GBR (NR) Tim Don 07:40:23 28.05.17 IM Brasil
GER Sebastian Kienle 07:48:11 26.11.17 IM Cozumel
NED (NR) Bas Diederen 08:04:51 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
NZL Mike Phillips 07:52:50 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
SUI (NR) Ronnie Schildknecht 07:56:21 22.04.17 IM Texas
UKR (NR) Viktor Zyemtsev 07:58:03 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
USA (NR) Matt Hanson 07:52:44 22.04.17 IM Texas

Fastest 2017 Ironman Finishes by Continent and Nation (Women)

I’ve recently posted about the fastest 2017 IM finishes, this post aggregates the data by continent and nations: Who were the fastest women in 2017?

Fastest Female IM Finishes by Continent

Looking at the fastest times by continent, a clear order is evident: Europe, North America and Oceania are close together, Africa and South America are a bit back, followed by Asia/Pacific with a large gap.

Continent Athlete Nation Time Date Race
Africa Watkinson, Annah ZAF 09:04:59 28.05.17 IM Brasil
Asia/Pacific Li, Shiao-yu TWN 10:15:02 30.07.17 IM Switzerland
Oceania Crowley, Sarah AUS 08:58:14 11.06.17 IM Cairns
Europe Ryf, Daniela SUI 08:40:03 09.07.17 Challenge Roth
North America Roberts, Lisa USA 08:54:00 26.11.17 IM Cozumel
South America Tastets, Pamela CHI 09:07:56 28.05.17 IM Brasil

Fastest Female IM Finishes by Nation

There are always nations where the top spot is hotly contested (for example the “big nations” that have most of the wins: Australia, Great Britain, Germany, USA) and it’s not always easy to keep track of who’s been the fastest in the season. We’ve also seen a number of new national records this season, for example Helle Frederiksen’s 8:55 debut IM finish with a new Danish record was quite impressive. (A complete list of national records can be found on my page on IM Records.)

Nation Athlete Time Date Race
AUS Sarah Crowley 08:58:14 11.06.17 IM Cairns
BEL Tine Deckers 09:06:08 22.04.17 IM Texas
CAN Kirsty Jahn 08:58:27 26.11.17 IM Cozumel
CHI (NR) Pamela Tastets 09:07:56 28.05.17 IM Brasil
DEN (NR) Helle Frederiksen 08:55:35 19.11.17 IM Arizona
ESP (NR) Gurutze Frades Larralde 09:01:00 28.05.17 IM Brasil
FIN Kaisa Sali 08:51:54 19.11.17 IM Arizona
GBR Laura Siddall 08:51:38 09.07.17 Challenge Roth
GER Diana Riesler 08:51:02 13.08.17 Challenge Regensburg
NED Yvonne Van Vlerken 08:46:18 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
POL (NR) Ewa Bugdol 09:15:57 30.09.17 IM Barcelona
SUI Daniela Ryf 08:40:03 09.07.17 Challenge Roth
USA Lisa Roberts 08:54:00 26.11.17 IM Cozumel
ZAF (NR) Annah Watkinson 09:04:59 28.05.17 IM Brasil

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