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Challenge Cairns 2011 – Analyzing Results

Race Conditions

Challenge Cairns is a new Ironman-distance race which is part of the Challenge family. They had a pretty impressive lineup, and almost all the names from the Pro start list actually made it. (The notable exception was Cam Brown – I’m not aware of any injuries he has, so I’m not sure what the story is.)

We’ve had a reasonable number of rated athletes, so the adjustment (and course rating) of 12:30 is pretty solid. This means that Cairns is a pretty fast course (similar to Arizona or Texas) but not crazy fast such as Challenge Roth.

Male Results

Chris McCormack was the big favorite, and he didn’t disappoint with a 13 minute winning margin:

Rank Name Nation Actual Time Expected Time
1 Chris McCormack AUS 08:15:56 08:09:02
2 Matt White AUS 08:28:36 08:54:46
3 Tim Berkel AUS 08:29:20 08:34:47
4 Jamie Whyte NZL 08:35:07 08:48:26
5 Clayton Fettell   08:36:14 n/a
6 David Dellow   08:41:39 n/a
7 Jonathan Hotchkiss   08:42:49 n/a
8 Chris Dmitrieff AUS 09:17:03 09:09:42
9 Graham O’Grady   13:25:55 n/a

Expected time is based on athlete’s rating (prior to race) and race conditions.

He did go a bit slower than expected based on his rating, but with his recent focus on Olympic distance racing, that was probably not realistic. (This also means that Andreas Raelert is now the #1 rated athlete by a solid margin.) His 2:51 marathon was still quite impressive. Matty White had another great race and took the second spot, Tim Berkel and Jamie Whyte also improved their ratings. Clayton Fettell had a good first IM distance race – it’ll be interesting to see him improve on his 3:11 marathon. 

Female Results

On the women’s side, the pre-race favorite also won the race:

Rank Name Nation Actual Time Expected Time
1 Rebekah Keat AUS 09:26:31 09:17:07
2 Michelle Mitchell AUS 09:30:41 09:42:14
3 Carrie Lester AUS 09:34:56 09:34:06
4 Candice Hammond   09:43:03 n/a
5 Belinda Granger AUS 09:44:41 09:32:31
6 Christie Sym AUS 09:49:09 09:55:52
7 Lisa Ribes   09:52:41 n/a
8 Simone Maier   10:05:37 n/a

Expected time is based on athlete’s rating (prior to race) and race conditions.

However, Rebekah Keat was a bit slower than expected – but still managed to win, but only with a four minute margin to Michelle Mitchell who continues to improve her rating and has now climbed to #35 in the women’s rankings. Carrie Lester almost hit exactly her predicted time. Belinda Granger continues her rating slip, since winning IM Canada in 2008 she has not managed to hit her predicted times. However, with 22 races in my database she is one of the most prolific racers (only surpassed by Petr Vabrousek and Hillary Biscay).

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