IM Coeur d’Alene 2012 – Predictions (Main Post)

If you are looking for additional information on the participants, you can find a full list of their pro results in the detail post.

Previous Results

“CdA” is a relatively slow course, with a course rating of 3:46 it is only slightly faster than Kona. Last year’s winners were Craig Alexander in 8:19:48 and Julie Dibens in 9:16:40. To the best of my knowledge these are the course records in Coeur d’Alene, so it’s unrealistic to expect sub-8 or sub-9 times this year.

Male Participants

Victor Zyemtsev is the top ranked athlete on the start list:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Victor Zyemtsev USA 08:37:05 08:40:43 36
2 Timothy O’Donnell USA 08:42:36 08:46:16 59
3 Chris Lieto USA 08:47:20 08:51:02 91
4 Anton Blokhin UKR 08:54:55 08:58:41 126
5 Kevin Taddonio USA 08:55:22 08:59:08 128
6 Matthew Russell USA 09:01:35 09:05:23 165
7 Joel Jameson GBR 09:02:30 09:06:19 173
8 Ian Mikelson USA 09:03:40 09:07:29 179
9 Guy Crawford AUS 09:08:41 09:12:32 215
10 Bryan Rhodes NZL 09:10:09 09:14:01 229
11 Brendan Halpin USA 09:25:13 09:29:11 348
12 Chris Boudreaux   09:30:22 09:34:23 385
13 Lewis Elliot USA 09:30:52 09:34:53 388
14 Blake Becker USA 09:52:27 09:56:37 534
15 Jim Lubinski USA 10:14:15 10:18:34 671
16 Josh Hadway   n/a unrated n/a

He also has the best odds to won the race, but there are (at least) two Americans that will try to win on home soil:

  • Victor Zyemtsev: 36%
  • Chris Lieto: 25%
  • Timothy O’Donnell: 19%
  • Bryan Rhodes: 5%
  • Matthew Russell: 5%
  • Ian Mikelson: 3%

Victor is not racing often, but when he does, he’s usually very close to the front – he’s won CdA 2005 and 2007 and was second in 2008. It will be interesting to see how the two Americans Chris Lieto and Tim O’Donnell are going to race. For a while Chris was the biggest US hope for winning Kona, “TO” would probably love to take over that designation and race as well as his girlfriend Mirinda Carefrae does. After these three athletes, the winning chances go down quite quickly.

Female Participants

On the female side, the best rated athlete is Kathleen Calkins:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Kathleen Calkins USA 09:22:36 09:26:33 10
2 Heather Wurtele CAN 09:25:41 09:29:40 15
3 Meredith Kessler USA 09:32:27 09:36:28 27
4 Sara Gross CAN 09:52:09 09:56:19 75
5 Heather Gollnick USA 09:52:34 09:56:44 76
6 Kate Bevilaqua AUS 09:53:15 09:57:25 80
7 Whitney Garcia   09:57:27 10:01:39 89
8 Jackie Arendt USA 10:00:52 10:05:05 100
9 Christie Sym AUS 10:01:15 10:05:29 102
10 Haley Cooper USA 10:11:19 10:15:37 144
11 Rachel Kiers CAN 10:13:17 10:17:36 149
12 Amanda McKenzie USA 11:03:02 11:07:42 254
13 Beth Shutt   n/a unrated n/a
14 Trish Deim   n/a unrated n/a
15 Stephanie Ossenbrink   n/a unrated n/a

She was a successful age group racer (even winning her age group in Kona) and has only recently switched to race as a Pro. She only has one pro result so far (a 9:12 in Arizona 2011), so the more experienced pros have better winning odds:

  • Heather Wurtele: 46%
  • Meredith Kessler: 27%
  • Kathleen Calkins: 13%
  • Kate Bevilaqua: 4%
  • Heather Gollnick: 3%
  • Sara Gross: 3%

Heather Wurtele has to be considered the statistical favorite and I’m sure she would like to win her fifth Ironman title (after CdA in 2008, St. George in 2010 and 2011, and Canada 2011). Then again, one shouldn’t underestimate Meredith Kessler: She’s had some issues last year (resulting in a few DNFs), but she’s coming off a recent win in the super-hard IM St. George.

As with the men, there does not seem to be much of a chance for someone outside the three main athletes to win the race.

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