Archive | IM Cairns

Ironman Cairns (June 10th) – Entry List

Male Race Participants

Name Nation KPR points KPR races
Callum Millward NZL 2580 2+2 (305/135)
Luke McKenzie AUS 2115 1+1
Timothy O’Donnell USA 1320 1+2 (565/320)
Josh Amberger AUS 980 1+1
Denis Chevrot FRA 735 1+1
Daniil Sapunov UKR 541 0+2 (0/1)
Balazs Csoke HUN 405 1+0
Leigh Stabryla AUS 315 2+1
David Dellow AUS 220 0+1
David Mainwaring AUS 30 0+1
Clayton Fettell AUS 0 0+0
Jason Hall NZL 0 0+0
Aleksander Kochetkov LTU 0 0+0
Bryce McMaster NZL 0 0+0

Female Race Participants

Name Nation KPR points KPR races
Camilla Lindholm Borg SWE 2000 2+0
Asa Lundstroem SWE 1780 2+1
Angela Naeth CAN 1425 0+2 (0/640)
Amanda Wilson AUS 500 0+2 (0/220)
Mirinda Carfrae AUS 400 0+1
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IM Cairns 2017 – Analyzing Results

Race Conditions

Conditions in Cairns were very good this year: An adjustment of 12:14 is significantly faster than the course rating of 5:10 and the fastest ever on this course. Not surprisingly both the male and female course records were broken: Josh Amberger’s 8:02 was a 13-minute improvement on the old record by Tim Berkel, and Sarah Crowley’s 8:58 improved on a 9:06 by Jodie Swallow.

The main difference to previous years was on the bike, consequently there were also two new bike records: Cameron Wurf posted a 4:15 (bettering Luke McKenzie’s 2013 time by 6 minutes) and Sarah Crowley rode 4:50:00 (just a 40 second improvement on the 2015 ride by Jodie). Both second place finishers missed the run course records by only a few seconds – the records by Tim Berkel and Linsey Corbin still stand.

Male Race Results

Josh Amberger was leading the race from start to finish. He posted the fastest swim time (closely followed by Clayton Fettell – pretty much as expected), had the second fastest bike ride and then also posted a solid 2:53 marathon to win with a time just over 8 hours – improving his Ironman PR by more than 40 minutes and much quicker than expected by his single IM finish in South Africa!

My expectation before the race was that the race would come down to who would have the best run of the solid bike riders. This was pretty much what happened – with the exception of Josh who all day long was in front of the field. In second to fourth place are the athletes with the best, second best and fourth best marathon times: Joe Gambles was finally able to show his potential on the IM distance and added the fastest marathon to a solid bike ride, almost running down Josh. Third place went to IM New Zealand winner Braden Currie. Last year’s Cairns winner Tim Berkel was in a solid position for most of the race, but he had one bad patch on the run and eventually had to settle for fourth place. David Dellow was probably still a bit tired after his win at IM Australia just five weeks ago, still finishing fifth to secure his Kona slot. 

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Josh Amberger AUS 00:47:15 04:17:29 02:53:26 08:02:17 -39:36 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Joe Gambles AUS 00:50:02 04:25:19 02:44:30 08:04:03 -19:57 US$ 15,000 3400
3 Braden Currie NZL 00:49:46 04:26:12 02:47:56 08:07:46 -08:40 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Tim Van Berkel AUS 00:49:50 04:25:46 02:49:54 08:09:22 -03:42 US$ 6,500 2455
5 David Dellow AUS 00:49:49 04:25:51 02:51:32 08:11:33 -01:51 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Michael Fox AUS 00:49:45 04:25:56 02:51:53 08:11:42 -14:10 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Cameron Wurf AUS 00:49:49 04:15:13 03:02:35 08:11:55 -29:05 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Mark Bowstead NZL 00:49:48 04:25:44 02:56:42 08:16:37 -02:47 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Cameron Brown NZL 00:50:13 04:35:17 02:49:15 08:19:08 03:14 US$ 1,500 855
10 Daniil Sapunov UKR 00:49:57 04:35:14 02:51:27 08:21:14 -14:34 US$ 1,000 685
11 Callum Millward NZL 00:50:08 04:35:09 02:54:53 08:24:26 03:53   515
12 Clayton Fettell AUS 00:47:16 04:28:43 03:13:46 08:33:45 03:55   385
13 Michael Ruenz GER 00:57:54 04:34:22 02:58:49 08:35:44 01:27   290
14 Nathan Shearer AUS 00:58:14 04:33:48 03:08:44 08:45:15 -38:17   215
15 Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 00:49:57 04:55:13 03:00:52 08:50:32 28:12   160
16 Paul Speed AUS 00:57:06 04:47:50 03:09:13 08:58:28 n/a   120
17 Leigh Stabryla AUS 00:50:09 05:06:29 02:59:47 09:01:03 -02:02   90
18 Samuel Murphy AUS 00:57:16 05:05:13 03:07:58 09:14:20 -12:28   70
  Casey Munro AUS 00:49:48 04:26:09   DNF      
  Jeff Symonds CAN 00:49:56 04:35:14   DNF      
  Simon Cochrane NZL 00:50:06 04:42:43   DNF      
  Jonathan Shearon USA 00:57:11 04:42:02   DNF      
  Kaito Tohara JPN 00:54:26 04:45:25   DNF      
  Ryan Palazzi AUS 00:52:00 05:03:47   DNF      
  Pedro Gomes POR 00:49:52 05:07:32   DNF      
  Courtney Ogden AUS 00:49:54     DNF      
  Carl Read NZL 00:57:23     DNF      

Female Race Results

As expected Karen Thibodeau was leading the race after the swim, but Sarah Crowley was just a few seconds behind and quickly went to the front after the start of the bike. She quickly started to pull away from the rest of the field, and even the strong biker Sarah Piampiano – as is typical for her a few minutes behind after the swim, but also loosing some time with zipper issues in T1 – wasn’t able to make up any ground. By T2 the lead was around 14 minutes. Sarah P went on to have the best run of the day with a 3:02 marathon to finish second, but Sarah C ran a solid 3:06 marathon to claim the win with a sub-9 course record time.

Third place went to Kristin Moeller backing up just two weeks after IM Brasil – a 3:03 marathon was “slow” for her but still good enough to run through the rest of the field. Dimity-Lee Duke had a good race to finish fourth, almost getting caught by another German, Katharina Grohmann who finished fifth. 

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Sarah Crowley AUS 00:57:06 04:50:00 03:06:01 08:58:14 -22:43 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Sarah Piampiano USA 01:05:38 04:52:58 03:02:49 09:08:20 -02:49 US$ 15,000 3400
3 Kristin Moeller GER 01:05:22 05:00:50 03:03:29 09:14:08 -15:02 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 01:01:27 04:58:47 03:14:32 09:20:04 -09:39 US$ 6,500 2455
5 Katharina Grohmann GER 01:13:02 04:57:19 03:06:36 09:21:16 -20:47 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Jessica Mitchell AUS 01:05:17 04:59:42 03:18:29 09:29:50 -34:45 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Tine Holst DEN 01:06:50 04:59:12 03:20:15 09:31:00 -05:25 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Diane Luethi SUI 01:01:23 05:01:02 03:29:11 09:37:28 -07:53 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Karen Thibodeau CAN 00:57:01 05:11:54 03:40:25 09:54:38 10:47 US$ 1,500 855
10 Sarah Graves USA 01:15:24 05:17:16 03:19:01 09:58:01 02:21 US$ 1,000 685
11 Jenny Fletcher CAN 01:01:21 05:12:53 03:49:00 10:10:05 20:35   515
  Marina Jurjevic AUS 01:06:02 04:58:52   DNF      
  Tamsyn Hayes NZL 01:05:23 04:59:56   DNF      

Kona Qualifying Implications

Here are the notable changes in Kona Qualifying on the male side (projected July cutoff 3.500 points):

  • Automatic Qualifier: Josh Amberger
  • Safe for a July slot: Braden Currie (5.640), Joe Gambles (4.960), David Dellow (4.610), Tim Berkel (3.955)
  • On the Bubble (might be enough, but maybe not): Michael Fox (3.355)
  • Close (but more points needed): Cam Brown (2.770), Daniil Sapunov (2.710), Mark Bowstead (2.640)

On the female side (projected cutoff 4.300 points):

  • Automatic Qualifier: Sara Crowley
  • Safe for a July slot: Sarah Piampiano (9.570, was already safe before)
  • On the Bubble (might be enough, but maybe not): Katharina Grohmann (4.470), Kristin Moeller (4.180), Dimity-Lee Duke (4.135)
  • Close (but more points needed): Jessica Mitchell (3.525), Tine Holst (3.035)

Ironman Cairns 2017 (June 11th) – Seedings

IMCairnsLogo

IM Cairns closes the Southern hemisphere racing season – as it’s the fourth of the Regional Championships, the field is pretty strong and deep. The first years this race was held as “Challenge Cairns”, then the race organizer was bought by Ironman. It’s been a Regional Championship since 2016.

Update June 7th: Among a few other updates, Denis Chevrot was forced to withdraw – injuries from a crash make racing impossible for him.

Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2011 Chris McCormack (AUS) 08:15:56 Rebekah Keat (AUS) 09:26:31
2012 David Dellow (AUS) 08:15:04 Carrie Lester (AUS) 09:21:00
2013 Luke McKenzie (AUS) 08:17:43 Liz Blatchford (AUS) 09:19:51
2014 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:20:15 Liz Blatchford (AUS) 09:16:58
2015 Luke McKenzie (AUS) 08:18:01 Liz Blatchford (AUS) 09:11:49
2016 Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 08:15:03 Jodie Cunnama (GBR) 09:06:18

Last Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Tim Van Berkel AUS 00:47:26 04:36:58 02:46:31 08:15:03
2 David Dellow AUS 00:46:34 04:37:59 02:50:13 08:19:13
3 Pete Jacobs AUS 00:46:32 04:35:11 03:02:14 08:28:28

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Jodie Cunnama GBR 00:49:06 04:50:40 03:21:28 09:06:18
2 Linsey Corbin USA 00:57:26 05:08:26 03:02:01 09:12:50
3 Sarah Crowley AUS 00:57:28 05:03:50 03:14:02 09:19:56

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:15:03 Tim Van Berkel 2016-06-12
Swim overall 00:43:48 Clayton Fettell 2011-06-05
Bike overall 04:21:52 Luke McKenzie 2013-06-01
Run overall 02:44:24 Tim Van Berkel 2013-06-01
Total female 09:06:18 Jodie Cunnama 2016-06-12
Swim female 00:49:06 Jodie Cunnama 2016-06-12
Bike female 04:50:40 Jodie Cunnama 2016-06-12
Run female 03:02:01 Linsey Corbin 2016-06-12

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM Cairns is 03:59.

Race Adjustments for IM Cairns

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2011 06:26 01:41 03:54 01:36 16 06:26 01:41 03:54 01:36
2012 06:49 -00:44 08:11 -01:50 22 06:37 00:28 06:02 -00:07
2013 02:58 -01:34 08:26 -05:54 16 05:24 -00:12 06:50 -02:03
2014 04:15 -02:18 03:33 02:35 16 of 21 05:07 -00:44 06:01 -00:53
2015 06:14 01:44 04:18 00:00 16 of 19 05:20 -00:14 05:40 -00:43
2016 -02:45 -00:12 03:18 03:15 28 of 36 03:59 -00:14 05:17 -00:03

KPR points and Prize Money

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

Estimated Time Plan

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

What Est. Racetime Est. Local Time
Male Pro Start  07:35
Female Pro Start  07:36
Age Group Start  07:45
First Male in T1 00:46:04  08:21
First Female in T1 00:54:18  08:30
First Male in T2 05:15:32  12:50
First Female in T2 06:03:40  13:39
Male Winner 08:15:17  15:50
Female Winner 09:18:35  16:54

Cairns is on Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours ahead of UTC, the same time zone as Sydney. Here are the conversions to a few other time zones:

  • – 8 hours: Central Europe (CEST), race starts at 11:35pm on Saturday
  • – 9 hours: United Kingdom (BST), race starts at 10:35pm on Saturday
  • – 14 hours: US East Coast (EDT), race starts at 5:35pm on Saturday
  • – 17 hours: US West Coast (PDT), race starts at 2:35pm on Saturday

Male Race Participants

The strength of the field is 19% of a typical Kona field.

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. T2 Exp. Run Consistency Overall
1 1 Tim Van Berkel AUS 08:15:17 08:24:09 00:47:49 04:34:15 05:27:04 02:48:13 67% +19% -14% (21) 17
2 2 David Dellow AUS 08:17:31 08:24:32 00:47:17 04:32:42 05:24:59 02:52:32 80% +1% -19% (16) 19
3 5 Braden Currie NZL 08:19:00 08:37:41 00:46:35 04:36:45 05:28:20 02:50:40 26% +74% -0% (2) (61)
4 4 Cameron Brown NZL 08:21:29 08:27:12 00:51:10 04:36:25 05:32:35 02:48:54 57% +11% -33% (34) 24
5 11 Callum Millward NZL 08:25:10 08:31:59 00:49:02 04:35:19 05:29:21 02:55:49 55% +0% -45% (7) 37
6 3 Jeff Symonds CAN 08:25:49 08:34:13 00:51:26 04:44:11 05:40:36 02:45:13 65% +0% -35% (9) 46
7 13 Fredrik Croneborg SWE 08:27:08 08:34:05 00:51:33 04:35:44 05:32:17 02:54:51 68% +22% -10% (12) 43
8 16 Mark Bowstead NZL 08:28:20 08:40:55 00:48:44 04:35:07 05:28:51 02:59:29 100% +0% -0% (2) (74)
9 6 Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 08:28:32 08:39:30 00:50:56 04:40:53 05:36:49 02:51:43 54% +0% -46% (18) 67
10 14 Denis Chevrot FRA 08:30:14 08:34:11 00:47:23 04:40:27 05:32:50 02:57:24 65% +6% -29% (11) 45
11 10 Joe Gambles AUS 08:30:42 08:34:58 00:49:36 04:35:51 05:30:28 03:00:14 39% +12% -49% (10) 50
12 20 Pedro Gomes POR 08:33:11 08:40:25 00:52:30 04:39:42 05:37:13 02:55:58 58% +1% -41% (26) 71
13 15 Michael Fox AUS 08:33:22 08:42:11 00:46:56 04:41:03 05:33:00 03:00:22 78% +22% -0% (4) 77
14 9 Clayton Fettell AUS 08:34:26 08:41:28 00:46:04 04:31:51 05:22:54 03:11:32 52% +11% -36% (11) 76
15 27 Daniil Sapunov UKR 08:38:08 08:52:25 00:48:55 04:48:55 05:42:50 02:55:18 72% +28% -0% (4) 107
16 22 Ritchie Nicholls GBR 08:38:15 08:55:11 00:51:31 04:50:17 05:46:49 02:51:26 35% +0% -65% (7) 120
17 30 Jonathan Shearon USA 08:42:28 08:51:13 00:54:14 04:37:48 05:37:02 03:05:26 63% +9% -28% (17) 101
18 23 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:42:30 08:45:09 00:51:11 04:41:22 05:37:33 03:04:57 63% +6% -31% (21) 85
19 26 Michael Ruenz GER 08:42:55 08:51:13 00:56:35 04:46:10 05:47:45 02:55:10 71% +0% -29% (9) 101
20 17 Giles Clayton AUS 08:43:09 09:00:18 00:48:55 04:44:06 05:38:01 03:05:08 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (145)
21 35 Thiago Vinhal BRA 08:43:10 08:57:06 00:49:54 04:49:27 05:44:21 02:58:49 58% +34% -8% (13) 128
22 19 Casey Munro AUS 08:43:25 09:14:04 00:47:20 04:36:52 05:29:12 03:14:13 23% +0% -77% (6) (180)
23 8 Luke Bell AUS 08:44:30 08:46:00 00:48:58 04:36:25 05:30:23 03:14:07 23% +9% -68% (33) 91
24 33 Kaito Tohara JPN 08:45:12 08:57:39 00:53:53 04:51:06 05:49:59 02:55:13 27% +63% -10% (9) 134
25 18 Simon Cochrane NZL 08:46:21 08:58:07 00:50:38 04:45:31 05:41:09 03:05:12 68% +17% -14% (19) 135
26 34 Cameron Wurf AUS 08:47:26 08:57:29 00:49:52 04:20:40 05:15:32 03:31:54 27% +73% -0% (3) 130
27 12 Levi Maxwell AUS 08:49:27 09:04:50 00:54:19 04:50:40 05:50:00 02:59:27 48% +52% -0% (2) (158)
28 7 Josh Amberger AUS 08:51:30 09:08:57 00:48:14 04:32:59 05:26:14 03:25:16 62% +0% -38% (2) (167)
29 25 Carl Read NZL 08:59:10 09:17:32 00:53:52 04:57:39 05:56:31 03:02:39 60% +6% -34% (12) 192
30 32 Leigh Stabryla AUS 09:12:36 09:37:53 00:51:50 05:12:28 06:09:18 03:03:18 31% +0% -69% (3) (246)
31 24 Ryan Palazzi AUS 09:27:01 09:52:57 00:50:45 04:51:08 05:46:53 03:40:08 45% +0% -55% (2) (269)
32 21 Samuel Murphy AUS 09:28:16 09:56:54 00:56:57 05:06:09 06:08:07 03:20:09 28% +0% -72% (3) (276)
33 29 Nathan Shearer AUS 09:34:02 09:52:52 00:57:07 05:11:24 06:13:30 03:20:32 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (269)
28 Peter Schokman AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
31 Paul Speed AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Female Race Participants

The strength of the field is 18% of a typical Kona field.

Linsey Corbin is on the official start list, but as she has raced IM Brasil and secured enough points to qualify for Kona, I’d be very surprised to see her race in Cairns and have left her out of my race predictions. (June 6th: She has confirmed that she won’t be racing in Cairns.) Kirsty Jahn is still recovering from a stress fracture and won’t be racing.

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Exp. Swim Exp. Bike Exp. T2 Exp. Run Consistency Overall
57 Linsey Corbin USA   09:20:53         92% +8% -0% (22) 14
1 40 Sarah Piampiano USA 09:18:35 09:23:34 01:02:54 05:03:03 06:10:57 03:07:38 78% +15% -7% (17) 17
2 41 Sarah Crowley AUS 09:20:35 09:33:08 00:57:05 05:01:35 06:03:40 03:16:55 72% +28% -0% (4) 34
3 45 Jennie Hansen USA 09:35:53 09:45:01 01:04:46 05:15:17 06:25:03 03:10:50 71% +0% -29% (10) (54)
4 43 Kristin Moeller GER 09:36:31 09:41:43 01:03:28 05:23:59 06:32:26 03:04:05 73% +6% -21% (23) 48
5 50 Kirsty Jahn CAN 09:37:19 10:02:13 00:59:32 05:21:58 06:26:31 03:10:48 32% +0% -68% (2) (78)
6 44 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 09:39:49 09:48:13 01:00:35 05:13:57 06:19:32 03:20:17 69% +14% -17% (12) 57
7 42 Tine Holst DEN 09:43:26 09:55:15 01:04:47 05:13:26 06:23:12 03:20:14 71% +11% -18% (14) 70
8 47 Michelle Gailey AUS 09:47:17 09:52:56 00:56:25 05:21:42 06:23:07 03:24:10 84% +0% -16% (11) 66
9 46 Katharina Grohmann GER 09:49:36 10:00:43 01:11:21 05:16:30 06:32:51 03:16:45 85% +15% -0% (15) 73
10 55 Karen Thibodeau CAN 09:51:31 10:03:18 00:54:18 05:24:32 06:23:49 03:27:42 66% +0% -34% (13) 80
11 53 Diane Luethi SUI 09:55:17 10:04:25 00:56:55 05:20:50 06:22:45 03:32:32 100% +0% -0% (3) 87
12 51 Jenny Fletcher CAN 10:01:23 10:15:27 00:58:08 05:23:16 06:26:25 03:34:58 100% +0% -0% (2) (108)
13 48 Sarah Graves USA 10:06:41 10:15:18 01:12:54 05:24:34 06:42:27 03:24:14 100% +0% -0% (5) (108)
14 52 Jessica Mitchell AUS 10:09:22 10:23:39 01:04:25 05:27:13 06:36:38 03:32:44 56% +44% -0% (3) 118
15 54 Marina Jurjevic AUS 10:12:37 10:24:52 01:07:33 05:20:23 06:32:55 03:39:42 61% +0% -39% (7) 123
16 56 Tamsyn Hayes NZL 10:12:37 10:25:39 01:02:03 05:20:00 06:27:03 03:45:34 51% +5% -44% (14) 125
17 49 Alison Fitch AUS 10:29:42 10:35:09 00:56:28 05:40:07 06:41:34 03:48:08 3% +0% -97% (10) 142

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

  • Tim Van Berkel: 45% (1-1)
  • David Dellow: 21% (4-1)
  • Braden Currie: 12% (7-1)
  • Fredrik Croneborg: 10% (9-1)
  • Cameron Brown: 8% (12-1)
  • Jeff Symonds: 2% (62-1)

Female Race Participants

  • Sarah Piampiano: 55% (1-1)
  • Sarah Crowley: 34% (2-1)
  • Jennie Hansen: 4% (24-1)
  • Kristin Moeller: 3% (34-1)
  • Tine Holst: 2% (56-1)

Kona Qualifying Situation

As IM Cairns is a Regional Championship and there are Automatic Qualifier spots for the winners, every participant has a chance to qualify for Kona. Also the P-4000 race has a lot of KPR points so there are a lot of athletes that should be able to qualify even without winning the race. Here are the minimum finishes for most of the participants.

Male Race Participants

The male cutoff for July is projected to be around 3.500 points. Thiago Vinhal is very close to qualifying, as he just raced IM Brasil he is unlikely to start IM Cairns as well.

  • 10th or better (at least 685 points): Kaito Tohara
  • 9th (855 points) or better: Fredrik Croneborg, Braden Currie
  • 8th (1070 points) or better: David Dellow
  • 6th (1670 points) or better: Denis Chevrot, Daniil Sapunov, Cam Brown
  • 5th (2090 points) or better: Clayton Fettel, Michael Fox, Jeff Symonds, Josh Amberger, Mark Bowstead, Joe Gambles, Tim Berkel
  • 4th (2455 points) or better: Callum Millward
  • 3rd (2890 points) or better: Jens Petersen-Bach, Michael Ruenz

Female Race Participants

The female cutoff is likely to be around 4.300 points. Sarah Piampiano is already safe for Kona (as is Linsey Corbin who is unlikely to race).

  • 9th (855 points) or better: Sarah Crowley
  • 8th (1070 points) or better: Katharina Grohmann
  • 4th (2455 points) or better: Jessica Mitchell, Tine Holst, Dimity-Lee Duke, Michelle Gailey
  • 3rd (2890 points) or better: Kristin Möller

Male Race Preview

As is typical for a Regional Championship race, there are a lot of contenders for the title and the included Automatic Qualifier slot – too many to mention! With the participants in the field, it also seems clear that the race will be decided pretty late on the run course. Super-swimmer (and swim course record holder) Clayton Fettell is expected to lead the race in T1 and also ride strong. Cameron Wurf will probably be about 4 minutes back after the swim, but he should be able to overtake all the race favorites within the first hour on the bike and take the lead. By T2, the gap to the rest of the field could grow to about seven minutes. Also watch out for Cameron to chase the bike course record (currently 4:21:52 by Luke McKenzie from 2013). But for both Clayton and Cameron, these will have been been their chances to lead the race and the better runners will fight for the win.

The athlete with the best chances is Tim Berkel. In 2016 Tim was very good in the Regional Championships, finishing second in South Africa and winning Cairns. In Kona however, he struggled to stay with the bike group and finished in a disappointing 19th place. He’s raced quite a bit in 70.3s during the Australian summer – with solid results including a win in Vietnam, his last 70.3 before Cairns. In order to win IM Cairns, Tim will have to run at least sub-2:50 – last year he ran a 2:46, so that’s well within his reach on a good day.

Tim’s biggest competitor could be David Dellow. David is coming off a hard-fought win at IM Australia where he battled Tim Reed on the run. That race was just five weeks before Cairns, hopefully giving David enough time to recover for another good race. His main goal is probably to secure enough points for Kona qualifying, an eighth place should be enough for him.

Another athlete that just needs one more solid race to qualify for Kona is New Zealander Braden Currie. Braden was the winner of IM New Zealand and 70.3 Taupo. He’s still a relative newbie to IM racing and is therefore hard to predict. It’ll also be interesting to see how he performs when he is racing in close proximity with a number of other competitors. But if he races anywhere close to the level he showed at New Zealand, he’ll be a very solid contender for at least a podium finish.

Two more athletes from New Zealand will work hard for a podium spot. Cameron Brown is one of the most consistent athletes and even at 44 years of age is still going strong. He likes to be racing closer to home, here’s an interesting stat: The last time he started an Ironman-distance race in Australia or New Zealand and did not finish on the podium was in his first Ironman race in 1997! Callum Millward has put up a great fight with Cam at IM New Zealand in 2016, but a niggle has made it hard for him to repeat that type of performance. Callum needs a big result (fourth or better) to qualify for Kona.

Jeff Symonds was the winner of the last Regional Championships contested in Melbourne in 2015. Last year he broke his elbow just a few days before IM Texas and had to use most of 2016 to properly recover from it. A second place at IM Chattanooga in the fall put him in a good position to qualify for Kona, but he still needs a Top 5 finish in Cairns. It would be cool to see him run through the field with Cam Brown.

Female Race Preview

While there is a large number of male athletes with winning chances, it seems pretty clear that Sarah is going to win the female race. But which one?

My top pick is Sarah Piampiano. After her seventh place in Kona and a third place at Western Australia in her first sub-9 finish, Sarah is already safe for Kona. She has been able to focus on IM Cairns as her first 2017 highlight race. She’s been working on all three legs and would love to go sub-x all day: Sub-1 in the swim, sub-5 on the bike and sub-3 on the run. Each of these would be a great result as my predictions have her slightly above these thresholds.

The other Sarah competing for the title is Sarah Crowley. Sarah C should be slightly faster than Sarah P in the swim and on the bike, based on previous results I see her leading the race by about seven minutes in T2 (a difference Sarah P won’t like to grow quite as large). Sarah P has always been great at making up time on the run, but predicting how much time she can make up to Sarah C is very hard as both athletes are still improving. Sarah C has improved her Cairns run split from by six minutes from 2015 to 2016, Sarah P has run close to 3 hours for a number of times. The projections show Sarah P to take the lead less than 10k from the finish and win by two minutes – the actual result will depend on who has the better form on race day.

The race behind the two Sarahs also promises to be exciting as well – there are a lot of athletes with very close capabilities. Jennie Hansen returns to IM racing after dealing with injuries for almost three years. She has won IM Lake Placid in 2013, but it’s hard to predict how she’ll be able to race in 2017. Kristin Möller has already raced two other Regional Championships (a DNF in South Africa and an 11th in Brasil), she’s looking for a podium finish to qualify for Kona. Dimity-Lee Duke has qualified for Kona in the last two years, she has always raced well close to home and seems to me the likeliest athlete to show a good performance for a podium finish. Tine Holst has ended her title-defense at IM Lanzarote to save energy for a qualifying effort at IM Cairns. After a long break, Michelle Gailey returned to IM racing with a second place at IM Australia just five weeks before Cairns – hopefully she’s recovered well for another good race.

Ironman Cairns 2017 (June 11th) – Entry List

IM Cairns is the fourth of the Regional Championships. This entry list is from May 1st, about three weeks before the final registration deadline, and I expect a few more athletes to enter the race.

Update May 8th: Added Linsey Corbin, Dimity-Lee Duke, Jenny Fletcher, Katharina Grohmann, Tamsyn Hayes, Kirsty Jahn, Josh Amberger, Callum Millward and Casey Munro; also updated the KPR points

Update May 15th: Added Clayton Fettell, Michael Fox, Pedro Gomes, Carl Read, Nathan Shearer, Cameron Wurf on the male side and Michelle Gailey and Marina Jurjevic for the females; also updated the KPR points.

Male Race Participants

Name Nation KPR points KPR races
Kaito Tohara JPN 3330 3+1 (230/220)
Fredrik Croneborg SWE 2820 1+2 (2000/320)
Braden Currie NZL 2750 1+1
David Dellow AUS 2520 2+1
Denis Chevrot FRA 2450 2+2 (340/640)
Daniil Sapunov UKR 2032 2+2 (720/7)
Cameron Brown NZL 1915 1+2 (1600/135)
Nick Baldwin SEY 1790 2+2 (405/15)
Clayton Fettell AUS 1770 2+2 (170/140)
Michael Fox AUS 1685 2+1
Jeff Symonds CAN 1665 1+1
Josh Amberger AUS 1660 1+2 (70/750)
Thiago Vinhal BRA 1635 1+1
Mark Bowstead NZL 1570 1+2 (720/415)
Joe Gambles AUS 1560 1+2 (405/515)
Tim Van Berkel AUS 1500 1+2 (565/435)
Callum Millward NZL 1090 2+0
Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 960 1+0
Michael Ruenz GER 900 1+1
Ritchie Nicholls GBR 720 2+2 (170/45)
Levi Maxwell AUS 625 2+1
Cameron Wurf AUS 590 2+1
Pedro Gomes POR 585 1+2 (540/10)
Simon Cochrane NZL 540 2+1
Luke Bell AUS 470 0+2 (0/35)
Casey Munro AUS 435 0+2 (0/90)
Nathan Shearer AUS 435 1+1
Carl Read NZL 410 3+0 (20/0)
Paul Speed AUS 190 0+2 (0/50)
Giles Clayton AUS 120 1+0
Samuel Murphy AUS 50 0+2 (0/5)
Leigh Stabryla AUS 22 0+2 (0/7)
Peter Schokman AUS 20 0+1

Female Race Participants

Name Nation KPR points KPR races
Sarah Piampiano USA 6810 2+2 (1280/640)
Sarah Crowley AUS 3590 1+2 (1375/715)
Katharina Grohmann GER 2925 3+0 (685/0)
Linsey Corbin USA 2635 1+2 (1900/320)
Tine Holst DEN 1700 2+1
Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 1680 1+2 (880/400)
Michelle Gailey AUS 1600 1+0
Kirsty Jahn CAN 1125 0+2 (0/500)
Karen Thibodeau CAN 1040 1+1
Diane Luethi SUI 935 2+0
Alison Fitch AUS 405 1+0
Jennie Hansen USA 400 0+1
Marina Jurjevic AUS 365 1+1
Tamsyn Hayes NZL 280 0+1
Jenny Fletcher CAN 90 1+0
Sarah Graves USA 60 0+1

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