Archive | IM Hawaii

Previous Kona Results by the 2018 Participants

This post looks at the previous Kona results by the 2018 Pro field.

A few observations:

  • Ronnie Schildknecht has the longest active Kona streak and the most Kona starts in the current field, he’s been racing Kona since 2006 (12 races).
  • Cam Brown has been racing even longer – his first race was in 2000! He also has 12 starts in Kona.
  • On the female side, Linsey Corbin has the most starts. She also the most finished in the whole Pro field (10 finishes out of 11 starts).
  • With 9 finishes, Luke McKenzie and Andy Potts have the most finishes on the male side.
  • The longest active streak on the female side is by Michelle Vesterby, she has been racing the last six races in Kona.

I am going to provide a lot more details on the race and the participants in my free “Kona Rating Report” which you can already pre-order at https://gum.co/Kona2018 (donations welcome).

Male Participants

Athletes 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 # of Races Highest Finish
Bart Aernouts 11 8 9 8 12 5 of 6 8
Josh Amberger 29 1 29
Igor Amorelli 13 25 33 14 4 of 5 13
Nick Baldwin
Terenzo Bozzone 11 20 6 3 of 5 6
Cameron Brown 2 8 5 22 17 9 of 12 2
Kyle Buckingham 24 30 26 3 of 4 24
Tyler Butterfield 28 7 5 36 4 of 6 5
Denis Chevrot 23 32 2 of 3 23
Matt Chrabot 37 1 37
Will Clarke 41 1 41
Maurice Clavel
Simon Cochrane
Kevin Collington 0 of 1
Antony Costes
James Cunnama 51 4 26 5 4 of 5 4
Braden Currie 30 1 30
Alessandro Degasperi 20 20 2 20
Tim Don 15 1 of 2 15
Andreas Dreitz
Marc Duelsen 18 1 18
Jan Frodeno 3 Win Win 35 4 Win
Javier Gomez
Romain Guillaume 17 10 19 3 10
Matt Hanson 34 1 of 2 34
Ben Hoffman 55 42 15 2 27 4 9 7 of 8 2
Nick Kastelein 0 of 1
Sebastian Kienle 4 3 Win 8 2 4 6 Win
Philipp Koutny
Patrick Lange 3 Win 2 Win
Luke McKenzie 54 19 29 15 9 24 2 15 35 9 of 10 2
Brent McMahon 9 30 2 of 3 9
David McNamee 11 13 3 3 3
Callum Millward 36 1 of 2 36
Giulio Molinari 28 1 28
Patrik Nilsson 8 1 8
Timothy O’Donnell 8 5 32 3 6 19 6 of 7 3
Jens Petersen-Bach 0 of 1
Mike Phillips
David Plese 27 17 2 of 4 17
Andy Potts 7 9 21 17 7 4 4 11 7 9 4
Ivan Rana 6 17 12 9 11 5 6
Tim Reed 21 23 2 of 3 21
Matthew Russell 23 20 18 23 12 5 of 6 12
Lionel Sanders 14 29 2 3 2
Ronnie Schildknecht 15 4 18 15 19 12 15 31 8 of 12 4
Joe Skipper 13 41 2 13
Andrew Starykowicz 19 1 of 2 19
Boris Stein 20 10 7 10 4 7
Ivan Tutukin 0 of 1
Jan van Berkel 32 22 2 of 3 22
Tim Van Berkel 7 36 19 15 4 7
Frederik Van Lierde 34 14 3 Win 8 25 10 7 of 10 Win
Cyril Viennot 15 18 12 5 6 18 6 of 7 5
Thiago Vinhal 13 1 13
Michael Weiss 25 13 16 16 32 5 of 7 13
Ruedi Wild 21 16 2 16
Cameron Wurf 17 1 17

Female Participants

Athletes 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 # of Starts Highest Finish
Corinne Abraham 11 16 2 11
Teresa Adam
Jen Annett
Liz Blatchford 3 10 3 3 3
Lauren Brandon 26 1 26
Melanie Burke 26 1 26
Mirinda Carfrae 2 Win 2 3 Win Win 2 7 of 8 Win
Lucy Charles 2 1 2
Susie Cheetham 6 6 2 of 3 6
Linsey Corbin 23 5 11 12 16 8 10 12 13 13 10 of 11 5
Sarah Crowley 15 3 2 3
Tine Deckers 12 19 12 16 4 of 6 12
Gurutze Frades Larralde 33 22 2 22
Helle Frederiksen
Manon Genet
Anne Haug
Melissa Hauschildt 14 1 of 2 14
Lisa Huetthaler
Mareen Hufe 19 21 11 3 of 4 11
Heather Jackson 5 3 4 3 3
Kirsty Jahn
Meredith Kessler 26 7 26 35 4 of 6 7
Katja Konschak 36 30 31 3 30
Carrie Lester 23 10 7 3 7
Asa Lundstroem 17 11 8 17 4 8
Annabel Luxford 12 9 2 of 3 9
Rachel McBride
Jocelyn McCauley 10 1 10
Beth McKenzie 15 1 15
Emma Pallant
Sarah Piampiano 23 7 7 3 of 4 7
Lisa Roberts 20 16 2 16
Jodie Robertson 20 1 of 2 20
Daniela Ryf 2 Win Win Win 4 Win
Kaisa Sali 5 5 2 5
Laura Siddall 15 1 15
Lesley Smith
Maja Stage Nielsen 12 1 12
Sara Svensk
Sarah True
Michelle Vesterby 12 8 14 4 6 5 of 6 4

Always Up-to-date Kona 2018 Startlist

2018 Kona Rating Report Title ThumbAfter all Kona Pro slots have been finalized (including all rolldowns for the August slots), here is the preliminary start list for Kona 2018. I will update this list if any more slots are declined or athletes announce that they won’t start. I will also update the list once Ironman assigns bib numbers. For now the lists are sorted in alphabetical order.

I am going to provide a lot more details on the race and the participants in my free “Kona Rating Report” which you can already pre-order at https://gum.co/Kona2018 (donations welcome).

Update Sept 25th: Annabel Luxford has posted that she won’t be able to race (details in “Injury List” at the bottom).

Update Sept 22nd: Angela Naeth is a late addition after the results from IM Netherlands have been updated (details in my IM Netherlands results post).

Update Sept 12th: Jan Frodeno announced he won’t be racing Kona this year (details in “Injury List” section below).

Update Aug 23rd: Matt Russell has accepted a wild-card entry.

Male Race Participants

Name Nation Age Previous Results
Bart Aernouts BEL 34 5 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts
Josh Amberger AUS 29 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Igor Amorelli BRA 33 4 finishes out of 5 IM Hawaii starts
Nick Baldwin SEY 30 first start at IM Hawaii
Terenzo Bozzone NZL 33 3 finishes out of 5 IM Hawaii starts
Cameron Brown NZL 46 10 finishes out of 12 IM Hawaii starts
Kyle Buckingham ZAF 34 3 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Tyler Butterfield BMU 35 4 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts
Denis Chevrot FRA 30 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Matt Chrabot USA 35 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Will Clarke GBR 33 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Maurice Clavel GER 30 first start at IM Hawaii
Simon Cochrane NZL 34 first start at IM Hawaii
Kevin Collington USA 34 0 finishes out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Antony Costes FRA 28 first start at IM Hawaii
James Cunnama ZAF 35 4 finishes out of 5 IM Hawaii starts
Braden Currie NZL 32 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Alessandro Degasperi ITA 37 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Tim Don GBR 40 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Andreas Dreitz GER 29 first start at IM Hawaii
Marc Duelsen GER 33 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Jan Frodeno GER 37 4 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts, 2 wins (2015, 2016)
Javier Gomez ESP 35 first start at IM Hawaii
Romain Guillaume FRA 33 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Matt Hanson USA 33 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Ben Hoffman USA 35 7 finishes out of 8 IM Hawaii starts
Nick Kastelein AUS 30 0 finishes out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Sebastian Kienle GER 34 6 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts, 1 win (2014)
Philipp Koutny SUI 35 first start at IM Hawaii
Patrick Lange GER 32 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts, 1 win (2017)
Luke McKenzie AUS 37 9 finishes out of 10 IM Hawaii starts
Brent McMahon CAN 38 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
David McNamee GBR 30 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Callum Millward NZL 35 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Giulio Molinari ITA 30 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Patrik Nilsson SWE 27 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Timothy O’Donnell USA 38 6 finishes out of 7 IM Hawaii starts
Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 34 0 finishes out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Mike Phillips NZL 27 first start at IM Hawaii
David Plese SLO 35 2 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Andy Potts USA 41 9 finishes out of 9 IM Hawaii starts
Ivan Rana ESP 39 5 finishes out of 5 IM Hawaii starts
Tim Reed AUS 33 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Matthew Russell USA 35 5 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts
Lionel Sanders CAN 30 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Ronnie Schildknecht SUI 39 8 finishes out of 12 IM Hawaii starts
Joe Skipper GBR 30 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Andrew Starykowicz USA 36 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Boris Stein GER 33 4 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Ivan Tutukin RUS 32 0 finishes out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Jan van Berkel SUI 30 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Tim Van Berkel AUS 34 4 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Frederik Van Lierde BEL 39 7 finishes out of 10 IM Hawaii starts, 1 win (2013)
Cyril Viennot FRA 36 6 finishes out of 7 IM Hawaii starts
Thiago Vinhal BRA 35 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Michael Weiss AUT 37 5 finishes out of 7 IM Hawaii starts
Ruedi Wild SUI 36 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Cameron Wurf AUS 35 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start

Female Race Participants

Name Nation Age Previous Results
Corinne Abraham GBR 40 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Teresa Adam NZL 28 first start at IM Hawaii
Jen Annett CAN 33 first start at IM Hawaii
Liz Blatchford AUS 38 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Lauren Brandon USA 33 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Melanie Burke NZL 38 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Mirinda Carfrae AUS 37 7 finishes out of 8 IM Hawaii starts, 3 wins (2010, 2013, 2014)
Lucy Charles GBR 25 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Susie Cheetham GBR 32 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Linsey Corbin USA 37 10 finishes out of 11 IM Hawaii starts
Sarah Crowley AUS 35 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Tine Deckers BEL 40 4 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts
Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 37 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Helle Frederiksen DEN 37 first start at IM Hawaii
Manon Genet FRA 29 first start at IM Hawaii
Anne Haug GER 35 first start at IM Hawaii
Melissa Hauschildt AUS 35 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Lisa Huetthaler AUT 35 first start at IM Hawaii
Mareen Hufe GER 40 3 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Heather Jackson USA 34 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Kirsty Jahn CAN 34 first start at IM Hawaii
Meredith Kessler USA 40 4 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts
Katja Konschak GER 40 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Carrie Lester AUS 36 3 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Asa Lundstroem SWE 34 4 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Annabel Luxford AUS 36 2 finishes out of 3 IM Hawaii starts
Rachel McBride CAN 40 first start at IM Hawaii
Jocelyn McCauley USA 30 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Beth McKenzie USA 38 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Angela Naeth CAN 36 0 finishes out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Emma Pallant GBR 29 first start at IM Hawaii
Sarah Piampiano USA 38 3 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts
Jodie Robertson USA 34 1 finish out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Daniela Ryf SUI 31 4 finishes out of 4 IM Hawaii starts, 3 wins (2015, 2016, 2017)
Kaisa Sali FIN 37 2 finishes out of 2 IM Hawaii starts
Laura Siddall GBR 38 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Lesley Smith USA 35 first start at IM Hawaii
Maja Stage Nielsen DEN 30 1 finish out of 1 IM Hawaii start
Sara Svensk SWE 29 first start at IM Hawaii
Sarah True USA 36 first start at IM Hawaii
Michelle Vesterby DEN 35 5 finishes out of 6 IM Hawaii starts

Injury List

In early July, Terenzo Bozzone was in an accident and severely injured. He’s had surgery to repair a broken cheekbone and by early August is slowly easing back into training. He has accepted his July slot, and he has posted on his Instagram feed that he’s working hard to be on the Kona start line.

On September 12th, Jan Frodeno announced on Instagram that he’s suffered a stress fracture in his hip and won’t be able to race Kona this year.

On September 23rd Helle Frederiksen posted on Instagram that she’s struggling with an inflammation in her left foot and hasn’t been able to run for two weeks. She still has three weeks and will travel to Kona, hoping to be able to start the race and go for a podium finish.

On September 25th Annabel Luxford posted on Instagram that she won’t be racing Kona after struggling with respiratory infections and asthma for six months.

Age of Kona Winners

After the latest race in Kona it’s time to update my graph on the Age of Kona Winners. Technically, the graphs show the how old the winners of Ironman Hawaii (mostly Kona, but also the early years on Oahu) at the time that they won the race. (Click on the images for high-res versions.)

AgeKonaWinners

A few observations:

  • The winnings streaks of Dave Scott (six times between 1980 and 1987) and Mark Allen (six times between 1989 and 1995) clearly stand out.
  • Paula Newby-Fraser’s eight wins occurred over a span of ten years (1986 to 1996).
  • Natascha Badmann took six wins over seven years, her reign was broken twice by Lori Bowden.
  • The progression of the men’s winners in the early 2000s looks like another dynasty, in fact it’s three different athletes (Stadler, McCormack and Alexander) that are almost the same age.
  • In the last few years, there are three “serial winners” on the female side: Chrissie Wellington (four wins), Mirinda Carfrae and Daniela Ryf (both three wins).

Here is another view on the data:

AgeKonaWinnersBar

This “text bar chart” makes it easier to spot a few other things:

  • The youngest female winners are Kathleen McCartney (1982) and Sylviane Puntous (1983) at 22 years.
  • The youngest male winner was Scott Tinley (also in 1982) with 25 years.
  • Most of the “young winners” are from the early years of the race. Daniela Ryf was the youngest winner in the 2000s, she was 28 in 2015, but there were eleven female winners that were younger than her. On the male side, Faris Al-Sultan was 27 when he won in 2005, he’s the only winner in the 2000s who was younger than 30.
  • Craig Alexander (2011) and Natascha Badmann (2005) are the oldest male and female winners at 38 years of age.

New Pro Qualifying System

Ironman has announced a new system qualifying Pros for Kona. Some of the initial reactions were quite positive, but with the timing of the announcement I was sceptical: Typically the “low news” time around Christmas is best for news not intended to get much attention. So let’s unpack the announcement and discuss the changes the new system will bring .. even if posting this on Christmas Eve might result in not too many readers. (Happy Holidays to you if read this during the Christmas Days!)

Still no Equality in Kona … In Fact Hardly Any Change at All

When quickly reading the Ironman press release, the main point you notice that “slot allocations will be equal for both male and female professional athletes”. The “featured image” is a jubilant Michelle Vesterby, further enhancing the perception that this is great for female athletes. However, the sentence I quoted is preceded by the qualifier “base” and followed by “additional slots being distributed to events based on the number of professional starters”. Only when looking closer what this will mean for races and the gender distribution it becomes apparent that the overwhelming majority of these “additional slots” will be allocated to the male Pros, and that the breakdown of the Kona field will be very similar to what it is now (roughly 40 females and 60 males, see my post Estimating the Gender Distribution for Kona). The females will have to constitute about 38% of the total Pro field (the 2017 average was 33.9%) before they have a chance of snagging one of the floating slots.

From an equality perspective, probably the only advantage of the slot system is that increased female Pro participation can lead to more female Kona slots, whereas the KPR system fixed the number of slots. However, I don’t like that this pits the female Pros against the male Pros – if the women want more slots, they have to “take” them from the men. This is counter-productive for growing Pro racing and the sport as a whole.

Equality is also a glaring contradiction in the new Ironman system: While Kona won’t have equal Pro slots, the 70.3 Championships provides the same 85 slots for both the male and females. Ironman has to be applauded for equal slots at the 70.3 Champs, but their argument of “increasing the female field in Kona would dilute the field too much” is making less and less sense. It’s also hard to see why there are 85 Championship-worthy women on the 70.3 distance, but no more than 40 on the full distance.

From the equality viewpoint, the new system is a “meh” – hardly any change. It would be so easy to provide equal slots for male and females in Kona – just provide the same number of floating slots to males and females! They don’t even have to be assigned to the same races, you could showcase the female Pros in a couple of races by assigning two additional slots just to the females (of course offset by races with only additional slots for the men).

Less Racing Required To Qualify

When looking through the changes the new system would have made to the Kona 2017 field (see my post Determining the Kona 2017 With the New Slot System) one big advantage for athletes is obvious: One great result (resulting in a win in an Ironman) is enough for a Kona slot – the new system’s quick summary could be “win and you’re in”. In the KPR system, most male athletes had to race at least two IMs and most females three IMs or more to score enough points to secure a slot. This aspect is a great benefit especially to the female athletes – the KPR system forced them to race more often than the male Pros as they needed more points to qualify. Of course there is a drawback for the second tier athletes that were consistently racing well but not winning races: It’ll be a lot harder for them to make it to Kona now as qualifying with a third or fourth place needs a big element of luck (athletes finishing in front have to decline their slots).

In an indirect way, this also addresses the issue of female Pros returning after their pregnancy to racing: Often they couldn’t race a full season to collect points, for example in 2017 Rachel Joyce or Eva Wutti only started racing in March when more than the half of the season was already gone and most athletes were already way ahead of them. It took Rachel three full IMs to make up this deficit, while even a win and a second place were not enough for Eva. With the new system in place, their first good IM would have been enough to qualify them for Kona: Rachel won IM Boulder and Eva won IM Austria.

The new system is also good as a lot of athletes secure their Kona slot early in the season (well before the current first cutoff at the end of July) and are then able to plan their season without having to focus on scoring more points to qualify. This probably won’t matter to the very best athletes – they didn’t have to worry too much about qualifying anyways. But overall a lot more athletes can be rested and in top shape on the Kona start line, probably making the race in Kona even tighter and more exciting than it already is.

Overall, the fact that less racing gets you to Kona addresses a big deficiency of the KPR system and gets a “thumbs up”.

Decreased Weight of Kona and 70.3s

Under the new system, only the Top 3 finishers in Kona will secure an AQ slot for the following year (validation still required). Under the KPR system, you could pretty much secure your slot after a Top 10 finish in Kona by racing another late season Ironman (some popular choices in November or December were Arizona, Cozumel or Western Australia). On the back of Kona fitness, a Top 6 finish was achievable in the usually relatively small fields. This will no longer be enough to qualify – even after a Kona Top 10 a win will still be needed.

Also, 70.3s don’t play any role in Kona qualifying at all (unless you win the 70.3 Champs). This is also a good development, sometimes lots of 70.3 points made it relatively easy to qualify for Kona. Altogether, another positive change.

Number of Qualifiers Tied To Number of Pro Races

As each of the Pro races creates at least one slot for the male and female racers, the number of athletes in Kona and the 70.3 Champs can’t be any lower than the number of Pro races. Currently, this will make it quite hard to reduce the number of male athletes in Kona – even though a lot of Pros would have preferred smaller fields to allow for a “cleaner” race. Fewer Kona Pros would only be possible with a reduced number of Pro races. So far Ironman has not indicated that they want to shrink the Pro calendar, and there are good arguments for an expansion in the Asian market. Still, the overall reduction in Ironman prize money (6% less in 2017 as compared to 2016) could also indicate fewer races in the future – we’ll probably have to wait for Ironman to indicate what their plans are going to be.

Tying the number of races to the number of qualifiers leads to the huge number of 170 Pro athletes for the 70.3 Championships, almost twice the number of Pros in Kona. The actual number of athletes on the start line will likely be lower. For example, this year’s 70.3 Champs in Chattanooga had more about 55 male and female qualifiers who accepted their slots, but only 33 males and 36 females actually racing.

Overall, “one race, one slot” isn’t much of a problem for Kona qualifying but creates a huge field for the 70.3 Champs. Unless a lot of athletes decide not to race, this is likely a “breaking point”, leading either to fewer Pro 70.3s or to 70.3s that offer a Pro category and prize money but no Kona slots.

Overall Assessment

To me, the benefit of the old KPR system was that it provided a lot of analysis opportunity for data geeks like me. So far I haven’t heard anyone who is sorry to see the KPR to disappear. The slot system is definitely an improvement by removing a lot of the criticisms of the KPR, but the way it is proposed for now it still falls short of providing equality in Kona.

Determining the Kona 2017 Pro Field With the New Slot System

This post has a closer look at how qualifying for Kona would have turned out if the new Kona Pro Qualifying System had been in place. Of course athletes would have adapted to the new system, probably choosing different races, but going through a few examples gives a good indication of how the new system will work and how it might change the Kona field and racing during the season.

Kona_RuediWild

Slot Assignment Examples

Ironman New Zealand

As discussed in my previous post on the Gender Distribution for Kona, New Zealand is a likely candidate for a race with an extra two slots. First, let’s determine how the slots get assigned to the male and female fields:

  • Number of Starters: 17 female, 23 male
  • Base slot calculation: 1.7 female, 2.3 male (calculated as fraction of starters times total number of slots)
  • First round of slots: 1 female, 2 male (based on the integer part of the base slots)
  • Remainder: 0.7 female, 0.3 male (fractional part of the base slots)
  • As the female remainder is larger than the male, the remaining slot is assigned to the females.

We end up two slots for both the males and the females.

Here are the top finishers in New Zealand and who would have received the qualifying slots:

  • Male Winner: Braden Curry
  • Male Second: Cameron Brown
  • Female Winner: Jocelyn McCauley (already qualified by winning IM Mallorca earlier, slot rolling down)
  • Female Second: Laura Siddall
  • Female Third: Meredith Kessler (already qualified by winning IM Arizona earlier, slot rolling down)
  • Female Fourth: Annabel Luxford

Ironman Germany

As a regional Championship, Germany receives two base slots for each gender plus another two floating slots. The floating slots would be determined as follows:

  • Number of Starters: 18 female, 50 male
  • Base slot calculation: 1.6 female, 4.4 male (calculated as fraction of starters times total number of slots)
  • First round of slots: 2 female, 4 male (based on the integer part of the base slots and the number of base slots)
  • No more slots to assign

As for all of the Regionals in 2017, the females would have only been racing for their two base slots while the males would have four slots, two base slots plus both the floating slots.

Here’s the resulting slot assignment:

  • Male Winner: Sebastian Kienle (Automatic Qualifier as previous Kona winner, slot rolling down)
  • Male Second: Andi Boecherer
  • Male Third: Patrik Nilsson (already qualified as winner of IM Barcelona, slot rolling down)
  • Male Fourth: James Cunnama
  • Male Fifth: Ivan Tutukin
  • Male Sixth: Patrick Lange (AQ as third in previous Kona race, slot rolling down)
  • Male Seventh: Marko Albert
  • Female Winner: Sarah Crowley (already qualified as winner of IM Cairns, slot rolling down)
  • Female Second: Lucy Charles (already qualified as winner of IM Lanzarote, slot rolling down)
  • Female Third: Alexandra Tondeur
  • Female Fourth: Liz Lyles (already qualified as winner of IM Wisconsin, slot rolling down)
  • Female Fifth: Michaela Herlbauer (already qualified as second at IM Texas, slot rolling down)
  • Female Sixth: Sonja Tajsich (already qualified as second at IM Brasil, slot rolling down)
  • Female Seventh: Dimity-Lee Duke

As you can see, there are a number of athletes who raced in Frankfurt as they still needed the points to qualify under the existing KPR system. If the new system had been in place, they might have decided not to race but instead to focus on their Kona prep.

Qualified Under the Slot System

Here are a couple of athletes that would have received a Kona slot under the new system but didn’t qualify under the points-based system. I’ve tried to group them into categories to show commonalities:

  • IM Winners but not enough additional good results to get a KPR slot
    Catherine Faux (winner IM Vichy), Darbi Roberts (winner IM Wales), Danielle Mack (winner IM Taiwan), Eva Wutti (winner IM Austria), Daniela Saemmler (winner IM Hamburg), Fredrik Croneborg (winner IM Malaysia), Jeff Symonds (Second at IM Chattanooga, but winner Marino Vanhoenacker likely declining his slot)
  • Getting a relatively “high” rolldown slot
    Jordan Monnink (third at IM Mont Tremblant), Victor Del Corral (fifth at IM France), Kelly Williamson (fourth at IM Boulder)

Not Qualified Under the Slot System

Of course there are also athletes that were good at collecting points for the KPR but wouldn’t have qualified with the new slot system:

  • Podium results, but no wins
    Jesse Thomas (third IM Lanzarote, second in two 70.3s) Lauren Brandon (second IM Cozumel, sixth IM Texas), Markus Fachbach (second IM Mallorca, third IM Hamburg), Cameron Wurf (tons of races, including a second at IM Sweden), Mareen Hufe (second places at IM Malaysia and IM Western Australia)
  • Good Kona, but no wins during the season
    Boris Stein (secured his slot with a sixth at IM South Africa after a seventh in Kona), Ivan Rana (after a ninth in Kona a fifteenth place in Austria and a few 70.3 points were good enough), Anja Beranek (got her slot after her fourth place in Kona with an eighth place at IM Germany), Asa Lundstroem (was safe for Kona after a fourth place at IM Western Australia and an eighth place in Hawaii), Camilla Pedersen (after an eleventh in Kona and a third at IM Cozumel a few 70.3 points were enough for her slot)
  • Many 70.3 points, but no IM wins
    Ruedi Wild (he scored almost 3.000 points just by racing 70.3s)

Additional Observations

There are a few more things I noticed when I simulated the 2017 qualifying season:

  • Much earlier decisions for declines
    With the KPR declines only happened after the qualifying periods (end of July and end of August). With the slot-based system the decision whether to accept or decline a slot has to be made the day after the race. For example, IM Chattanooga winner Marino Vanhoenacker would have needed to decide in September 2016 instead of August 2017.
  • No provisions for “late rolldown” if racing in Kona is not possible
    Meredith Kessler won IM Arizona in November 2016, she declined her slot in July 2017 as she got pregnant in February. (Baby boy “MAK” has been born by now.) Another example is Will Clarke who suffered a shoulder injury in August. Both were not able to race in Kona and declined their slots who then rolled down to the next athletes. Under the new system, once a slot has been accepted (which Meredith would have in November and Will in April), the slots wouldn’t have rolled down when they were forced to decline.
    (This will also impact the size of the Pro field in the 70.3 Championships. Even though there are about 85 slots for each gender, the number of actual starters is likely to be much lower.)
  • Late season racing still allows for Kona even if not initially planned
    When Daniela Sammler planned her season, she focused on IM Hamburg in August, even if that meant she wouldn’t be able to race Kona (to have a chance to qualify she would have needed more points before Hamburg). Under the new system, her win in Hamburg meant that she could have raced Kona instead of ending her season at IM Barcelona.
  • Much less racing needed for a slot
    Especially the women had to do a lot of racing to secure the points required for a Kona slot. Laura Siddall needed to race IM Australia (which she won) even after her third place at IM Malaysia and second place at IM New Zealand to get the required points. Rachel Joyce (coming back from her pregnancy) won IM Boulder (which would have secured her slot under the new system) but then had to also race IM Canada and IM Mont Tremblant, likely ruining her chances to have a good race in Kona. Another example is Eva Wutti: Her win at IM Austria (also coming back from a pregnancy break) would have secured a slot, but with the KPR system even a second place IM Hamburg wasn’t enough for a KPR Kona slot.

I’m also working on another post summarizing the changes that the new system is likely to bring, likely to be published over the Christmas days.

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

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