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Ironman New Zealand 2017 – Analyzing Results

Race Conditions

This year was probably one of the slowest conditions for Taupo: An adjustment of -4:08 indicates a ten minute difference to last years record breaking conditions. Consequently, times were quite a bit slower across the board, for example the fastest bike splits were 15 minutes slower than last year. It’s no surprise that these conditions did not allow any new course records!

Male Race Results

For a long time it looked as if Terenzo Bozzone was repeating his sub-8 Western Australia performance, quickly building a lead on the bike. But towards T2 he ran out of steam and Braden Currie – second at CoastToCoast just three weeks ago –  started the run just two minutes behind him. Terenzo’s 3:03 marathon saw him fall back to 6th place in the end, while Braden had the best marathon of the chasers and won the race with a comfortable margin.

Cam Brown was 9th into T2 about 11 minutes behind the lead – pretty much the end of his hopes of defending his Taupo title. Nonetheless he gave it his best on the run, posting the fastest run split of the day (and his best marathon time in Taupo!) with a 2:42, running all the way into second place. Third place went to Cyril Viennot, the second best marathon (just 1:10 slower than Cam) allowed him to run through the field as well.

2014 winner Marko Albert was near the front for most of the day, but even though he ran what is for him a good 2:56 marathon, he couldn’t match the faster runners and eventually fell back to fourth place. Mark Bowstead was solid across the board and finished fifth.

Pre-race favorite Marino Vanhoenacker didn’t have a good day: Usually one of the strongest bike riders, he could barely stay with the group he was riding with after the swim and was disappointed to end his race after the first loop of the bike.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to expected Prize Money
1 Braden Currie NZL 00:48:11 04:39:55 02:48:23 08:20:58 -28:54 US$ 15,000
2 Cameron Brown NZL 00:53:17 04:43:46 02:42:29 08:24:32 -08:10 US$ 7,500
3 Cyril Viennot FRA 00:53:23 04:42:28 02:43:39 08:25:43 -08:24 US$ 5,000
4 Marko Albert EST 00:48:01 04:41:47 02:56:03 08:30:16 -05:46 US$ 3,250
5 Mark Bowstead NZL 00:51:07 04:40:36 02:54:24 08:31:01 -08:17 US$ 2,750
6 Terenzo Bozzone NZL 00:48:08 04:37:45 03:03:07 08:33:35 06:41 US$ 2,000
7 Per Bittner GER 00:53:22 04:43:50 03:02:08 08:44:13 00:31 US$ 1,500
8 Simon Cochrane NZL 00:53:10 04:48:49 03:01:36 08:48:10 -10:27 US$ 1,250
9 Diego Van Looy BEL 01:07:48 04:47:44 02:50:50 08:52:05 -01:08 US$ 1,000
10 Clayton Fettell AUS 00:48:03 04:46:47 03:15:23 08:54:47 11:59 US$ 750
11 Philipp Koutny SUI 00:53:22 04:51:01 03:15:10 09:04:57 21:48
12 Carl Read NZL 00:57:02 05:02:57 03:01:06 09:07:01 01:42
13 Young Hwan Oh KOR 01:08:13 05:10:11 03:08:08 09:33:04 02:07
14 Bryan Rhodes NZL 00:48:38 05:23:35 03:28:41 09:45:50 31:27
Todd Skipworth AUS 00:48:37 04:45:57 DNF
Allister Caird AUS 01:00:03 04:52:56 DNF
Graham O’Grady NZL 00:48:07 05:24:34 DNF
Samuel Murphy AUS 01:00:21 05:24:28 DNF
Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 00:53:15 DNF
Cedric Lassonde FRA 00:55:27 DNF
Cameron Paul NZL 00:56:14 DNF
Guillaume Jeannin FRA 00:56:19 DNF
Scott Defilippis USA 00:59:32 DNF

Female Race Results

As usual, Meredith Kessler was leading the race after the swim, but Annabel Luxford was just two seconds behind. Meredith couldn’t shake Annabel on the bike either. Behind them, a chase group consisting of Yvonne Van Vlerken, Laura Siddall and Jocelyn McCauley was initially about six minutes behind the leaders, but they slowly closed the gap, and all five entered T2 within seconds.

Meredith again tried to take control of the race early in the run, but never managed to built a lead of more than 30 seconds to her chasers. Around the half-marathon mark Jocelyn went to the front and quickly built a lead of more than five minutes. In the end Jocelyn had the fastest marathon of the day, her 2:59:40 is the first female sub-3 marathon of the year and only 30 seconds off the 2004 course record by Jess Draskau-Petersson.

Behind Jocelyn Laura had the best-paced marathon, when the others started to struggle she was able to continue to run well and move up into second place. On what was probably a sub-par day for her, Meredith continued to fight hard, earning the last spot on the podium.  Annabel continues to work on her IM marathon, after being close to the lead for most of the day her 3:32 run meant she finished in fourth place. Yvonne Van Vlerken had problems with her nutrition and was stung by a bee, she ended her day at the half marathon mark. Emma Bilham and Alysssa Godesky – both backing up after Challenge Wanaka – finished in fifth and sixth.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to expected Prize Money
1 Jocelyn McCauley USA 00:59:14 05:05:24 02:59:40 09:09:47 -35:42 US$ 15,000
2 Laura Siddall GBR 00:59:16 05:05:00 03:12:47 09:21:53 -12:01 US$ 7,500
3 Meredith Kessler USA 00:53:23 05:10:54 03:18:11 09:27:19 10:12 US$ 5,000
4 Annabel Luxford AUS 00:53:25 05:11:01 03:32:23 09:41:48 11:48 US$ 3,250
5 Emma Bilham SUI 00:59:15 05:37:26 03:10:35 09:52:33 18:29 US$ 2,750
6 Alyssa Godesky USA 01:07:34 05:30:41 03:19:36 10:03:58 -05:14 US$ 2,000
7 Fawn Whiting CAN 01:10:13 05:33:51 03:19:39 10:09:19 n/a US$ 1,500
8 Wendy McAlpine AUS 01:05:35 05:25:11 03:40:13 10:17:54 07:45 US$ 1,250
9 Jessica Mitchell AUS 01:09:09 05:33:58 03:35:19 10:25:15 -17:57 US$ 1,000
10 Mackenzie Madison USA 01:09:19 05:30:59 03:39:55 10:27:08 33:38 US$ 750
11 Erin Furness NZL 01:09:08 05:44:47 03:37:18 10:37:06 11:38
12 Tracy Morrison AUS 01:08:54 06:07:42 03:48:32 11:11:42 44:47
13 Yvette Grice GBR 01:01:38 05:52:55 04:37:45 11:40:05 1:10:44
Yvonne Van Vlerken NED 00:59:24 05:05:24 DNF
Carrie Lester AUS 00:58:46 DNF
Vanessa Murray NZL 00:59:20 DNF
Tamsyn Hayes NZL 01:09:05 DNF

Kona Qualifying Implications

On the male side, none of the top finishers have been able to secure Kona slots, here are those that are now close but still short of the projected cutoff of 3.500 points:

  • Braden Currie 2.750
  • Marko Albert 2.580
  • Cyril Viennot 2.420

Terenzo Bozzone was already safe before Taupo, with 6.225 he’s the top athlete who has already validated his slot with a non-Kona finish.

On the female side, the top finishers are just around the projected cutoff of 4.300 points:

  • Laura Siddall 4.360
  • Meredith Kessler 4.265
  • Jocelyn McCauley 4.000
  • Annabel Luxford 3.480

All of them will likely need a few more points, but except for Jocelyn that would probably mean they have to do another IM race to qualify .. or hope until the final races that not too many other will overtake them. Tough decisions ahead!

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