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What to Look for in 2019 Long-distance Racing

Before the start of the 2019 long-distance racing season, here is a subjective list of trends and athletes to look for. I’m sure that there will be more athletes that are going to impact racing this year, so apologies in advance to anyone who isn’t mentioned!

Further Improvements

Last year’s post had a long list of athletes that were getting ready for their debut race on the IM distance. Some of them (e.g. Anne Haug, Sarah True) had great first seasons and huge results in Kona, some did well but maybe not quite as well as expected (e.g. Javier Gomez), some even struggled to qualify or even had to postpone their debut race and missed Kona qualifying (e.g. Emma Pallant or Laura Philipp).

SarahT Finish

The 2019 season is probably not going to see another influx of new names but rather a progression of athletes in their Ironman racing: Anne and Sarah have done well in Kona and will be looking to build on their Kona 2018 results. Emma will have to continue to work on her long-distance racing skills – it seems she still has to figure out proper race nutrition in order to do well in the last hour of racing. Laura has overcome her mid-season injuries and qualified for Kona 2019 with a new German fastest time in Barcelona.

In addition, there are athletes who made some progress in 2018 who will work hard for an even better 2019. Lucy Charles was already second in Kona twice, she’ll continue to work on closing the gap to Daniela and stay ahead of the rest of the field in Kona. Braden Currie and Joe Skipper have had great seasons and good Kona results, both are hungry to prove that last season’s results have just been an intermediate step. And Cam Wurf – while breaking bike course records whenever he raced – has also made solid progress on his run, closing the gap to the Kona podium from 21 minutes in 2017 to nine minutes in 2018.

Progress of the German Women

While the German men have been dominating in Kona for a number of years (five wins in the last five years), the German women haven’t been able to have similar successes. Last year I predicted two German women in the Kona Top 10, and with Anne Haug in third and Mareen Hufe in 13th that goal was almost reached.

Mareen Bike

Anne and Mareen continue to race this season (Anne just needs to validate her Kona slot with an IM finish and Mareen secured her Kona slot with a win in Malaysia), and there’s another increase in strong German women looking towards a good Kona result. Daniela Sämmler posted a German record in Roth 2018, then already qualified for Kona with a win at IM Italy in September.   (She’ll be racing as Daniela Bleymehl now after getting married shortly before Christmas.) Laura Philipp broke Daniela’s German record by winning IM Barcelona, and Svenja Thoes also won her IM debut in Cozumel. Anja Beranek (now racing again under her maiden name Anja Ippach) was fourth in Kona 2016, but she struggled in 2017 and 2018. After recovering from Mononucleosis, she is now being coached by Siri Lindley and is back to solid training for the 2019 season. Three recent moms are returning to IM racing, but Julia Gajer, Astrid Stienen and Kristin Liepold (née Möller) will need some more time to get in top shape. Nonetheless, things are looking quite for female IM-distance racing in Germany.

Coming Back From Injury

Last season saw two great “return from life-threatening injury” stories with Matt Russell and Tim Don, and it would be great to see these two celebrate even more great results in 2019.

Jan Kraichgau

This year we’re unlikely to see quite that dramatic stories, but there are a number of athletes that haven’t been able to show their full potential because they were struggling with injuries for parts of the 2018 season. Jan Frodeno had a fantastic season until September when he won every race he started, including IM Germany and 70.3 Worlds but then suffered from a hip stress fracture and wasn’t even able to start in Kona. He mentioned that another big win in Kona could have been his last race, so his 2019 is probably focused one more big bang in October. Terenzo Bozzone is another athlete who wasn’t able to race Kona after he was hit by a car and had to take some more time to properly recover from the injuries he sustained. By winning IM Western Australia he already punched his Kona ticket and indicated that his accident was hopefully just a short break of improving his Ironman racing skills. Ben Hoffman never really got his 2018 season properly going, a crash at Cape Epic kept him from racing well in South Africa, and before Kona he suffered from a stress fracture. Hopefully 2019 will see him return to the solid races he has had in the previous years, both in his qualifying races and in Kona. Boris Stein has finished in Kona Top 10 three times in a row between 2015 and 2017, but his season was disrupted just a few days before his target race IM France when he hit a cat in one of his last bike rides. He snagged a last-minute qualifying spot at IM Copenhagen, but didn’t feel good enough in his final Kona build and canceled his start. The final male athlete I want to highlight is Sebastian Kienle – after winning Challenge Roth which was the fastest 2018 time outside of Texas, an achilles niggle flared up in his Kona build, leading to a sub-standard bike and a DNF early on the run. He’s changed up a few things and I expect him to come back shooting for another Kona win this year.

There were also some athletes on the female side who didn’t have a consistent 2018 season as well. Mel Hauschildt recovered from her surgery to win IM Texas (her third Regional Championship on three different continents!) but then needed another surgery on her other leg and couldn’t race Kona. Annabel Luxford managed to qualify for Kona but also didn’t race – she seemed to struggle with chest infections and that had a major impact on her  Kona prep.

All of these stories are examples of the fine edge between “being fit and being f*cked” (as Sebi put it before Kona) and how one little thing – often without any “fault” of the athlete – can disrupt a whole season. Hopefully struggles in 2018 are going to be offset by a better 2019 season!

Who dominates in North America – USA or Canada?

The US has been dominating the early years of Ironman racing, but the most recent North American winners are from Canada: Lori Bowden and Peter Reid in 2003. That’s a long time ago, and it’s an interesting question where the next North American winners will be coming from.


On the men’s side, there have been podium results by US athletes Tim O’Donnell (third in 2015) and Ben Hoffman (second in 2014), but the closest to a Kona win was been Lionel Sanders who finished second in 2017. In 2018, the top North American finisher was again Tim O’Donnell but there is a strong contingent of Canadians we can expect to race well in Kona: Lionel will work hard to bounce back from his disappointing 2018 race, and Cody Beals has won both IMs he’s been racing so far. Brent McMahon is racing well in his qualifying Ironman races but hasn’t been quite figured out how to transfer that to Kona.

There is a similar rivalry on the female side: Heather Jackson has been the top North American finisher in Kona except this year, but with Sarah True another US woman finished fourth behind three Europeans. Linsey Corbin finished tenth, followed by Sarah Piampiano in eleventh place. Other strong American women include Meredith Kessler (still working on “getting Kona right”), Lesley Smith, Lisa Roberts, Jocelyn McCauley, Jodie Robertson and Lauren Brandon – all of these have the potential for an Ironman win during the season and a good Kona result. But Canada also had a Kona Top 10 finish this year (Angela Naeth in eighth place), and with Jen Annett, Kirsty Jahn, and Rachel McBride there are a few more promising athletes.

It looks to me that the US still has a few more athletes with Kona Top 10 potential, but things are pretty even when looking for the next North American Kona winner.

Photo Credits: All Photos © by Ingo Kutsche, used with permission.

Who to Look for in 2018 – How did they do?

Last year in March, I posted on the athletes I expected to have an impact on 2018 racing (see Who to Look for in 2018 Long-distance Racing):


Here’s a brief look back on how the 2018 season developed for the athletes I mentioned.

Athletes Stepping Up to Ironman Racing

  • Emma Pallant
    Emma struggled a bit moving up to the longer distances. She DNF’d in her first IM in South Africa, then finished third at IM Austria, securing her Kona slot (another DNF). She had more success over the 70.3 distance, winning three races and finishing ninth in the 70.3 World Champs.
  • Laura Philipp
    After three 70.3 wins at the start of her season, Laura had to cancel her IM debut that was planned for IM Germany when she had issues with her Achilles. She recovered in time for two more 70.3 wins and her first full Ironman which she smashed with a new German fastest time and a win at IM Barcelona.
  • Anne Haug
    Anne had a good build-up to IM Germany where she struggled with a flat early in the bike and pacing issues on the run. She still finished fourth, just enough to get a Kona slot. After finishing third at 70.3 Worlds she raced Kona without any expectations. The race turned out extremely well for her when she was able to ride with a big bike group and then to have the fastest run of the day which allowed her to finish in third place.
  • Javier Gomez
    Javier had a good first IM in Cairns when he finished sub-8 and in second after a close running duel with Braden Currie. He continued to race well on the 70.3 distance and was third at 70.3 Worlds after close racing with Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee. His Kona race didn’t quite go according to plan when he lost some time with a flat in the last part of the bike and then didn’t quite have the run everyone (including himself) thought he had in him. After running just under three hours, he eventually finishing eleventh.
    For 2019/2020 he has announced a renewed focus on the shorter distances and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Returning Super Moms

  • Mirinda Carfrae
    Rinny had a solid first season back: She raced (and won) a few 70.3s, validated her Kona slot with a second place at IM Cairns, then finished fifth in Kona. She also secured her place on the Kona 2019 start line by finishing IM Mar del Plata in early December. I think you can expect her to contend for the Kona podium in October 2019.
  • Meredith Kessler
    Meredith had to race a lot for her Kona slot – she finished two full IMs and four 70.3s between April and August. She wasn’t able to “figure out Kona” (adding a DNF to her long list of disappointments on the Island) and also didn’t seem to be fresh for Arizona in November.
  • Liz Blatchford
    Liz had an up (wins at IM Philippines and IM Mont Tremblant) and down season (more injuries), so she decided to end her career after Kona. Racing without expectations, finishing twelfth is a satisfying good-bye race for her.
  • Jodie Cunnama
    Jodie had to focus this year on taking care of son Jack and supporting husband James, as a miscarriage made racing impossible. Hopefully 2019 is going to be a better year for her!
  • Caroline Steffen
    Caroline took some time coming back, but she ended the year with a bang by winning IM Western Australia and securing a Kona slot. I’m sure she has her eyes on delivering another great race in Kona 2019.

The First Sub-4 Bike Leg?

  • Andrew Starykowicz
    Andrew delivered the first sub-4 bike ride at IM Texas (3:54:59), at first not accepted by Ironman because of the slightly shortened course. A few days after the race Ironman accepted the Texas results as valid as a lot of other courses are also short. Still, there wasn’t much marshaling and a lot of Texas results are questionable because of drafting – something that is unlikely to have Andrew him as there isn’t much drafting at the front of the race and without motorbikes on the course.
  • Cameron Wurf
    Cam Wurf set bike course records on every course he raced this year (including Kona), but instead of cracking the four-hour mark was probably more focused on improving his run and placing well overall.

Coming Back from Injury

  • Mel Hauschildt
    Mel was able to win IM Texas with what is officially the IM-brand record, but the had more problems while racing 70.3 Philippines. It was determined that she needed another procedure to correct issues with her iliac artery, this time in her right leg. She had surgery in November 2018 and is hopefully recovering well to have a successful 2019 season.
  • Angela Naeth
    Angela returned to IM racing in June at IM Boulder, but she had contracted Lyme’s disease and struggled to run well. After racing more IMs in the Netherlands and Sweden, she received a Kona slot in late September when her protest led to a DQ of two athletes in the Netherlands. She had a great race in Kona, finishing in eighth place.
  • Tim Don
    After being forced to wear a halo after breaking his neck in Kona, Tim had a great Boston Marathon in April and also won his first 70.3 in Costa Rica. He was looking to add enough KPR points by racing IM Hamburg (9th) and IM Copenhagen (DNF) and was the final August qualifier when one slot rolled down. He tackled his Kona demons and was happy to race, finishing 36th.
  • Matt Russell
    Matt is clearly the “comeback of the year”. After hitting a truck in the Kona race and almost bleeding to death, he was able to race IM Texas in April, but he still wasn’t fully healed quite yet. He missed qualifying even after podium finishes at IM Canada and IM Mont Tremblant, but he received a well deserved wild card entry by Ironman. In Kona he had a fantastic day, making up time on the bike and also having a great run, finishing in sixth place.

Regional Trends

  • (Even) More Germans in Kona
    A number of top Germans struggled in Kona, Jan Frodeno wasn’t able to race at all and Sebastian Kienle DNF’d. Still, Patrick Lange was able to extend the “German Streak” of male winners since 2014. He was helped by Andi Dreitz who finished 13th, while Maurice Clavel also biked well but then fell back on the run to 19th place.
    Anne Haug – representing the German ladies – had a great result with her podium finish in Kona. Some other women had issues (see the section on athletes stepping up to the IM distance above), but there is a long list of promising athletes for 2019.
  • The Big American Hope to Win Kona
    The list of great American Ironwomen had an interesting addition with Sarah True who finished second in Frankfurt and fourth in Kona in her first season of long-distance racing. Heather Jackson struggled in Kona but then went on to set a new US fastest time when winning IM Arizona. Other American ladies did well but didn’t quite have the great results they were looking for.
    The “old US guard” on the men’s side is still going strong, this year Tim O’Donnell, Matt Russell and Andy Potts finished in the Top 10, while Ben Hoffman struggled with two injuries and wasn’t able to race Kona. Beyond these four, there still isn’t a proven Kona contender. For example, Matt Hanson continued his string of great racing in Texas and frustrating Kona results (33rd this year).
  • Scandinavian Ladies
    Once again, the top Scandinavian Kona finisher was Kaisa Sali, even though she was probably looking for more than seventh place. The other established Scandinavian ladies weren’t quite able to match her and finished well outside of the Top 10.
  • Rule Britannia
    This year’s Kona race had some more good results for British athletes, with Lucy Charles and David McNamee repeating their second and third places from last year and Joe Skipper and Corinne Abraham also moving up into the Top 10. With all the success on the shorter distances, it seems likely we will see more British athletes doing well in the coming years.
  • Aussie Aussie
    On the female side, the Aussies have had two Top 10 (Mirinda Carfrae fifth, Sarah Crowley sixth), while Cameron Wurf was the best Aussie male in ninth place. Another solid year for the Australians, but it doesn’t look as if they will be able to snag their next Kona win soon.
  • Asians Starting to Close the Gap
    Ironman continues to work on their expansion in Asia and China, but the number of changing venues indicates that this is not an easy goal to achieve. We also haven’t seen any notable results by Asian athletes last season – the fastest IM finish was an 8:55 at IM Malaysia by Japanese athlete Kaito Toharo. It seems to me that the growth of races and athletes will feed off each other, and both will need a bit more time.

Deep Dive Into 2018 Triathlon Money List

During the 2018 season, I’ve continued to process the results of all Ironman and 70.3 races, the Challenge racing series, the highest level of ITU racing (the “World Triathlon Series” WTS) and a couple of independent races. With this data, I’ve helped Challenge produce their regular Money List. Challenge updates the current Top 50 athletes on their website on a regular basis and will likely to continue to do so for the 2019 season. This post has a closer look at the different segments and some overall trends for the 2018 season.


First, here is an overview of the races that are included in the money lists and a comparison to the 2016 season. The total is shown in US$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$.

Type Description Total Money Change to
# Races
# Athletes
Ironman WTC Ironman-branded races $2.622.750 -2,0% 35 (33) 295 (284)
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $2.245.000 -5,0% 71 (73) 385 (397)
Challenge Challenge-branded full and half-distance
races (incl. Bonus Pool)
$1.116.042 3,0% 29 (34) 196 (240)
ITU ITU WTS races (incl. Bonus Pool) $2.185.000 -6,4% 9 (10) 102 (125)
Other Wildflower, Escape From Alcatraz, ITU Long Distance Worlds, Alpe D’Huez L,
Embrun, Gerardmer XL, SuperLeague Jersey, Malta and Mallorca,
XTerra World Championships, Noosa Triathlon, Laguna Phuket Triathlon
$1.225.802 n/a 12 (9) 183 (117)
Total $9.212.696 n/a 156 (159) 764 (784)

A couple of observations:

  • For Ironman and 70.3s we saw another decline of the prize money in 2018. The total number of WTC Pro races hasn’t changed but the purse for a lot of races has decreased in this year. The total prize money WTC has awarded in 2018 has declined by 3.4%, following a decrease of 5.7% in 2017. The WTC prize money has shrunk by almost $500.000 in the last two years!
  • Challenge has continued to expand their prize purse. The fewer number of Pro races has resulted in fewer athletes earning money but that was more than compensated by the increased purse in Roth and the new race in Daytona.
  • It looks as if the ITU has reduced their prize money as they have one less paying race as part of their WTS series, but that is almost completely offset by one more  Mixed Team Relay that is not included in the Prize Money List.
  • Since the races that I include in the “Other” category are changing from year to year, you can’t really compare the numbers for this category and the total numbers from year to year.

Overall Money List

The overall list is of course dominated by athletes that have raced well in the “Big Money Races” such as the Ironman or 70.3 World Championships  ($650.000 and $250.000) or Challenge Roth ($200.000) and those that placed well in a number of ITU WTS races and consequently also in the ITU Bonus Pool ($855.000).

This season’s top money earner is Daniela Ryf (who once again won both the Ironman and 70.3 Championships), even though she earned slightly less money than last year. (This is an indication of her lighter racing schedule this year.) She is followed by three ITU athletes – the WTS series winners Mario Mola and Vicky Holland and second place Katie Zaferes who also earned a lot of money by racing and winning SuperLeague.

The top earners have made less money in 2018 (last year Flora Duffy made $295.000), but the amount to make it into the Top20 is almost unchanged. Last year Yvonne Van Vlerken was 20th with $73.388, this year’s 20th Kirsten Kasper earned just $138 less.

Dani Kona

Photo: By the time she started the marathon, Dani was in control of the Kona race that helped her secure the top spot in the overall money list. Credit: Ingo Kutsche

# Name Nation Sex Total Ironman 70.3 Challenge WTS Other
1 Daniela Ryf SUI F $201.000 $150.000 $51.000
2 Mario Mola ESP M $199.500 $197.500 $2.000
3 Katie Zaferes USA F $177.400 $117.400 $60.000
4 Vicky Holland GBR F $166.100 $163.100 $3.000
5 Lucy Charles GBR F $165.000 $90.000 $20.000 $55.000
6 Vincent Luis FRA M $159.300 $109.300 $50.000
7 Patrick Lange GER M $134.485 $128.000 $4.750 $1.735
8 Sebastian Kienle GER M $103.014 $10.000 $93.014
9 Richard Murray ZAF M $99.850 $70.850 $29.000
10 Anne Haug GER F $92.500 $46.500 $31.000 $15.000
11 Henri Schoeman ZAF M $91.400 $46.400 $45.000
12 Jan Frodeno GER M $90.000 $30.000 $60.000
13 Michael Weiss AUT M $89.000 $53.000 $36.000
14 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR M $87.150 $14.000 $63.150 $10.000
15 Bart Aernouts BEL M $85.175 $75.000 $6.250 $1.425 $2.500
16 Lionel Sanders CAN M $81.000 $6.000 $45.000 $30.000
17 Jake Birtwhistle AUS M $80.400 $80.400
18 Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR F $78.800 $72.800 $6.000
19 Ashleigh Gentle AUS F $73.461 $57.350 $16.111
20 Kirsten Kasper USA F $73.250 $50.250 $23.000

WTC Races

The first “subcategory” of the Money List I want to take a closer look at is the money earned in WTC races (i.e. Ironman-branded and 70.3-branded races). This list is clearly dominated by athletes that did well in the two “biggest money races”, Kona and the 70.3 Championships – as last year the two top spots are occupied by the Kona winners Daniela Ryf and Patrick Lange.

Dani 703WC

Photo: Daniela leading 70.3 Worlds in front of Lucy Charles, Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for IRONMAN

# Name Nation Sex WTC Money Ironman 70.3 Total
1 Daniela Ryf SUI F $201.000 $150.000 $51.000 $201.000
2 Patrick Lange GER M $132.750 $128.000 $4.750 $134.485
3 Lucy Charles GBR F $110.000 $90.000 $20.000 $165.000
4 Jan Frodeno GER M $90.000 $30.000 $60.000 $90.000
5 Michael Weiss AUT M $89.000 $53.000 $36.000 $89.000
6 Bart Aernouts BEL M $81.250 $75.000 $6.250 $85.175
7 Anne Haug GER F $77.500 $46.500 $31.000 $92.500
8 Sarah Crowley AUS F $64.000 $59.000 $5.000 $64.000
9 Mirinda Carfrae AUS F $61.000 $36.000 $25.000 $66.000
10 Braden Currie NZL M $59.000 $49.000 $10.000 $61.015
11 Melissa Hauschildt AUS F $54.500 $30.000 $24.500 $54.500
12 Matt Hanson USA M $52.250 $40.000 $12.250 $52.250
13 Sarah True USA F $51.750 $37.500 $14.250 $51.750
14 Lionel Sanders CAN M $51.000 $6.000 $45.000 $81.000
15 Terenzo Bozzone NZL M $50.000 $30.000 $20.000 $50.000
16 David McNamee GBR M $47.750 $40.000 $7.750 $47.750
17 Rodolphe Von Berg USA M $44.000 $44.000 $49.000
17 Timothy O’Donnell USA M $44.000 $29.000 $15.000 $46.400
19 Heather Jackson USA F $43.500 $30.000 $13.500 $48.500
20 Cody Beals CAN M $41.750 $27.000 $14.750 $41.750

Ironman (outside of Kona)

When looking at a list just for Ironman races, it’s interesting to exclude Kona (as including Kona skews the rankings towards those that did well there). Without the Kona money, this list is dominated by multiple winners (or at least podium finishers) such as Sarah Crowley (winner in Mar del Plata and Hamburg, third in Frankfurt) and the other athletes who won a Regional Championship in 2018.


Photo: Sarah Crowley winning IM Hamburg, Credit: TriRating

# Name Nation Sex IM Money Total Money
1 Crowley, Sarah AUS F $43.000 $64.000
1 Weiss, Michael AUT M $43.000 $89.000
3 Hanson, Matt USA M $40.000 $52.250
4 Adam, Teresa NZL F $36.000 $36.000
5 Buckingham, Kyle ZAF M $33.500 $34.750
6 Abraham, Corinne GBR F $30.000 $45.338
6 Bozzone, Terenzo NZL M $30.000 $50.000
6 Charles, Lucy GBR F $30.000 $165.000
6 Currie, Braden NZL M $30.000 $61.015
6 Frodeno, Jan GER M $30.000 $90.000
6 Hauschildt, Melissa AUS F $30.000 $54.500
6 Jackson, Heather USA F $30.000 $48.500
6 Ryf, Daniela SUI F $30.000 $201.000
14 Cheetham, Susie GBR F $27.500 $31.000
15 Beals, Cody CAN M $27.000 $41.750
16 Corbin, Linsey USA F $23.000 $40.000
17 Skipper, Joe GBR M $21.500 $43.925
18 Gossage, Lucy GBR F $21.000 $32.088
19 Amberger, Josh AUS M $20.000 $25.750
19 Siddall, Laura GBR F $20.000 $67.616
19 Svensson, Jesper SWE M $20.000 $21.425

70.3 (outside of 70.3 Championships)

Similar to the Ironman list above, leaving out the Championships shows athletes that have raced well across a number of 70.3s in the 2018 season. The list is topped by Lionel Sanders (five 70.3 wins, only beaten by Jan Frodeno at 70.3 Oceanside), Rodolphe Van Berg and Ellie Salthouse (both had five 70.3 podiums including three wins).

Lionel Indian Wells

Photo: Lionel Sanders on the run at his win at 70.3 Indian Wells. Credit: TalbotCox

# Name Nation Sex 70.3 Money Total Money
1 Sanders, Lionel CAN M $45.000 $81.000
2 Von Berg, Rodolphe USA M $39.500 $49.000
3 Salthouse, Ellie AUS F $34.750 $41.250
4 Appleton, Sam AUS M $33.250 $39.750
5 Weiss, Michael AUT M $31.000 $89.000
6 Kahlefeldt, Radka CZE F $30.000 $58.917
7 Oliveira, Pamella BRA F $29.500 $39.500
8 Laundry, Jackson CAN M $28.750 $28.750
9 Seymour, Jeanni ZAF F $28.500 $34.500
10 Kessler, Meredith USA F $26.000 $37.000
11 Findlay, Paula CAN F $25.500 $28.000
11 Starykowicz, Andrew USA M $25.500 $30.000
13 Carfrae, Mirinda AUS F $25.000 $66.000
14 Mendez Cruz, Mauricio MEX M $24.750 $26.250
15 Hauschildt, Melissa AUS F $24.500 $54.500
16 Reed, Tim AUS M $22.000 $24.000
17 Lawrence, Holly GBR F $21.250 $21.250
18 Philipp, Laura GER F $21.000 $29.000
19 Wurtele, Heather CAN F $20.250 $30.588
20 Bozzone, Terenzo NZL M $20.000 $50.000


The Challenge money list is dominated by athletes who focused their summer racing on the Challenge races and placing well in the Challenge Bonus Pool ($ 165.000 total). Sebastian Kienle took the win at Challenge Roth and three half-distance races, Pablo Dapena either won or placed second in all his eight Challenge races this year. Yvonne Van Vlerken won the female Bonus Pool by winning Challenge Almere and three half-distance races.


Photo: Sebastian Kienle on the bike leg of Challenge Roth, Credit: James Mitchell

# Name Nation Sex Challenge Money Total Money
1 Kienle, Sebastian GER M $93.014 $103.014
2 Van Vlerken, Yvonne NED F $60.505 $71.255
3 Charles, Lucy GBR F $55.000 $165.000
4 Dapena Gonzalez, Pablo ESP M $52.144 $62.144
5 Siddall, Laura GBR F $47.616 $67.616
6 Saemmler, Daniela GER F $44.338 $59.588
7 Heemeryck, Pieter BEL M $37.134 $46.634
8 Dreitz, Andreas GER M $30.838 $33.338
9 Sanders, Lionel CAN M $30.000 $81.000
10 Verstuyft, Katrien BEL F $29.307 $31.307
11 Kovacic, Jaroslav SLO M $28.832 $47.424
12 Roberts, Lisa USA F $22.254 $36.748
13 Sali, Kaisa FIN F $20.000 $52.000
14 Wurf, Cameron AUS M $17.986 $48.486
15 Thomas, Jesse USA M $17.707 $22.957
16 Kahlefeldt, Radka CZE F $17.213 $58.917
17 Haug, Anne GER F $15.000 $92.500
18 Santimaria, Margie ITA F $14.358 $14.358
19 McNeice, Dylan NZL M $11.119 $11.119
20 Lewis, Sarah GBR F $10.176 $21.426


As noted above, the ITU Money List is a reflection of the order of athletes in the final WTS rankings, the top athletes are this year’s champions Mario Mola and Vicky Holland. All of these athletes focused on shorter distances, earning all additional money on other short course racing such as SuperLeague. (The exceptions are Kristian Blummenfelt and Casper Stornes who finished first and third at 70.3 Bahrain in December.)


Foto Credit: © ITU Media, Wagner Araujo

# Name Nation Sex ITU Money Share of Total Total Money
1 Mola, Mario ESP M $197.500 99% $199.500
2 Holland, Vicky GBR F $163.100 98% $166.100
3 Zaferes, Katie USA F $117.400 66% $177.400
4 Luis, Vincent FRA M $109.300 69% $159.300
5 Birtwhistle, Jake AUS M $80.400 100% $80.400
6 Taylor-Brown, Georgia GBR F $72.800 92% $78.800
7 Murray, Richard ZAF M $70.850 71% $99.850
8 Blummenfelt, Kristian NOR M $63.150 72% $87.150
9 Gentle, Ashleigh AUS F $57.350 78% $73.461
10 Kasper, Kirsten USA F $50.250 69% $73.250
11 Learmonth, Jessica GBR F $47.850 100% $47.850
12 Duffy, Flora BER F $47.800 100% $47.800
13 Schoeman, Henri ZAF M $46.400 51% $91.400
14 Alarza, Fernando ESP M $40.550 93% $43.550
15 Klamer, Rachel NED F $40.000 64% $62.200
16 Lindemann, Laura GER F $37.600 100% $37.600
17 Stimpson, Jodie GBR F $34.800 77% $45.100
18 Spivey, Taylor USA F $31.450 60% $52.450
19 Le Corre, Pierre FRA M $30.750 100% $30.750
20 Stornes, Casper NOR M $29.050 87% $33.550

Updated Ironman Fastest Times after 2018 racing

After the end of the 2018 season, I have updated the “Ironman-Distance Records” page. Here are a few highlights:

  • Ironman Texas 2018
    There have been a lot of fast times in Texas, among them a sub-4 bike leg by Andrew Starykowicz, a sub-2:35 marathon and a sub-7:40 finish  by Matt Hanson, lots of sub 4-30 bike rides on the female side (with Jen Annett’s 4:25) and an 8:31 finish by Mel Hauschildt.
    There’s a lot of controversy if all of these have been legitimate results or caused by short courses and/or lack of draft marshaling. I have decided to include the Texas times in the tables with the fastest times but with an asterisk and also show the fastest time in addition to the Texas times. While I think that most of the really fast times have to be considered invalid, Starky’s 3:54 bike split (the first sub-4 in an Ironman) is the “most legit” result of the day – there is very little chance to draft while riding at the front of the field and no motos on the course.
  • Ironman Hawaii 2018
    It’s pretty rare to have results from IM Hawaii show up in the fastest overall times. But with the perfect conditions this year, Daniela Ryf’s bike and overall times are in the Top 5 times. Looking at the fastest times in Kona, there has been a major reshuffle for almost all major nations.
  • Fast Female Bike Times
    In addition to Texas, there have also been fast times on other courses: Lucy Gossage rode a 4:28 at IM UK, Corinne Abraham did a 4:34 in Sweden and Jen Annett a 4:35 in Arizona. Among the Top 5 bike times, only Daniela’s Roth 2016 bike leg is not from this year.
  • New Continental Records
    Even outside of Texas, there have been new African and North American records by James Cunnama in Roth and Heather Jackson in Arizona. Of course these are also new National Records for South Africa and the USA.
  • New National Records
    There are also new National Records by Kaisa Sali (Finland, 8:46 in Roth), Laura Philipp (Germany, 8:34 in Barcelona) and Teresa Adam (New Zealand, 8:53 at IM Cairns).

Please check out the page on “Ironman-Distance Records” for all the geeky details!

Fastest Times & Best Performances 2018 – Part 4: Overall

This is the last part of my blog post series on 2018 IM-distance races. It looks at the best races overall. (There are more posts looking at the swim, the bike and the run.) Again, IM Texas results are listed but do not count for the ranks.

TOP 10 Times of 2018

Rank Name Actual Time Race
Matt Hanson (07:39:25) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Ivan Tutukin (07:39:57) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Will Clarke (07:45:22) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
1 Sebastian Kienle 07:46:23 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
Tim Van Berkel (07:47:43) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Jan van Berkel (07:48:40) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Brent McMahon (07:49:49) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Ruedi Wild (07:50:19) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Andrew Starykowicz (07:50:56) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
2 Patrick Lange 07:52:39 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
3 Andreas Dreitz 07:53:06 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
Frederik Van Lierde (07:53:43) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
4 Jesse Thomas 07:54:38 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
5 Braden Currie 07:54:58 IM Cairns on 2018-06-10
6 Joe Skipper 07:55:34 IM UK on 2018-07-15
7 Jaroslav Kovacic 07:55:43 Challenge Almere on 2018-09-08
8 Terenzo Bozzone 07:56:00 IM Western Australia on 2018-12-02
9 Javier Gomez 07:56:38 IM Cairns on 2018-06-10
10 Bart Aernouts 07:56:41 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13

TOP 10 Times of 2018

Rank Name Actual Time Race
1 Daniela Ryf 08:26:18 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
Melissa Hauschildt (08:31:05) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
2 Laura Philipp 08:34:57 IM Barcelona on 2018-10-07
3 Lucy Charles 08:36:34 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
4 Daniela Ryf 08:38:44 IM Germany on 2018-07-08
5 Heather Jackson 08:39:18 IM Arizona on 2018-11-18
6 Anne Haug 08:41:58 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
Jodie Robertson (08:43:16) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
7 Daniela Saemmler 08:43:42 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
8 Sarah True 08:43:43 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
Lesley Smith (08:43:51) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
9 Lucy Charles 08:43:51 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
10 Carrie Lester 08:44:13 IM Arizona on 2018-11-18

TOP 10 Performances of 2018

Rank Name Normalized Time Actual Time Race
1 Patrick Lange 07:56:25 07:52:39 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
2 Bart Aernouts 08:00:29 07:56:41 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
3 Sebastian Kienle 08:02:51 07:46:23 Challenge Roth on 2018-07-01
4 Jan Frodeno 08:03:03 08:00:58 IM Germany on 2018-07-08
5 David McNamee 08:04:59 08:01:09 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
Matt Hanson (08:05:26) (07:39:25) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
Ivan Tutukin (08:06:00) (07:39:57) IM Texas on 2018-04-28
6 Timothy O’Donnell 08:07:08 08:03:17 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
7 Braden Currie 08:07:12 07:54:58 IM Cairns on 2018-06-10
8 Terenzo Bozzone 08:07:51 07:56:00 IM Western Australia on 2018-12-02
9 Cody Beals 08:08:25 08:10:36 IM Mont Tremblant on 2018-08-19
10 Braden Currie 08:08:33 08:04:41 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13

TOP 10 Performances of 2018

Rank Name Normalized Time Actual Time Race
1 Daniela Ryf 08:30:20 08:26:18 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
2 Lucy Charles 08:40:41 08:36:34 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
3 Daniela Ryf 08:40:59 08:38:44 IM Germany on 2018-07-08
4 Anne Haug 08:46:08 08:41:58 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
5 Sarah True 08:47:54 08:43:43 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
6 Laura Philipp 08:51:31 08:34:57 IM Barcelona on 2018-10-07
7 Heather Jackson 08:53:31 08:39:18 IM Arizona on 2018-11-18
8 Mirinda Carfrae 08:54:59 08:50:45 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
9 Sarah Crowley 08:56:45 08:52:30 IM Hawaii on 2018-10-13
10 Carrie Lester 08:58:34 08:44:13 IM Arizona on 2018-11-18
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