Ironman South Africa 2014 (April 6th) – Predictions

Update (April 2nd): Jens Petersen-Bach is not starting. He has had some knee problems which are gone now. He will be starting the season in Texas. (Thanks to Michelle Vesterby for telling me about Jens’ withdrawal, and to Jens for replying to my question about it.)

Update (April 3rd): In addition to Jens, Dianne McEwan also won’t be starting.

Update (April 4th): The start list on Ironman.com has some additional names. The most interesting among these is Bertrand Billard, who is the current ITU long distance world champion. Because of bad weather, the race was shortened and a Duathlon, so it’ll be interesting to see his debut over the full IM distance. Also on the list are Dirk Bockel (who is definitely not starting), Marek Jaskolka and Thomas Darby. 

With Ironman South Africa we have another early season Ironman race coming up. In addition to the „local“ triathletes, the race is interesting for a lot of European athletes: There is almost no time difference to South Africa, and it is a popular training destination.

Luke Dragstra and I are setting up pages for most Ironman races this season – use this page on IM-Predictions.com to submit your picks for South Africa. We have also released the second episode of our IM-Predictions podcast discussing the pro fields at IM Los Cabos and IM South Africa.

Previous Year’s TOP 3

Male Race Results

Ronnie Schildknecht may not be a household name, but he has won IM Switzerland a million times – and he also won South Africa 2013:

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Ronnie Schildknecht SUI 00:52:48 04:22:01 02:53:03 08:11:24
2 Cyril Viennot FRA 00:52:18 04:35:17 02:48:35 08:19:51
3 Bas Diederen NED 00:49:27 04:38:15 02:48:48 08:20:09

Female Race Results

It looked as if Jodie Swallow could win her Ironman debut race, but when she struggled on the run she was run down by Jessie Donavan:

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Jessie Donavan USA 01:07:11 04:50:27 03:09:11 09:10:58
2 Jodie Swallow GBR 00:49:56 04:46:05 03:36:44 09:17:00
3 Lucie Reed CZE 00:52:17 05:11:31 03:18:59 09:27:07

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:05:36 Raynard Tissink 2011-04-10
Swim overall 00:45:22 Anton Storm 2009-04-05
Bike overall 04:19:41 Raynard Tissink 2011-04-10
Run overall 02:45:48 Gerrit Schellens 2007-03-18
Total female 08:33:56 Chrissie Wellington 2011-04-10
Swim female 00:47:40 Lucie Reed 2009-04-05
Bike female 04:45:23 Chrissie Wellington 2011-04-10
Run female 02:52:54 Chrissie Wellington 2011-04-10

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM South Africa is 05:18. Conditions can be quite variable: In 2012 there was a lot of wind, leading to a choppy swim and slow bike times. If the conditions are good, South Africa is a pretty quick course.

This year, there are some significant course changes. Switching from a two-loop to a single loop will make it a bit easier for the top swimmers. But the biggest change is the bike course: It used to be relatively flat three laps (400m vertical), now it’s a two loops (with 1.600m vertical). (Thanks to Michelle Vesterby, Faris Al-Sultan and Vincent Nortier for the information.)

Race Adjustments for IM South Africa

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Athletes Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2006 -01:15 -05:30 -06:48 00:06 10 -01:15 -05:30 -06:48 00:06
2007 -04:20 -09:38 01:08 -01:14 20 -02:48 -07:34 -02:50 -00:34
2008 17:01 00:25 10:18 01:58 29 03:49 -04:54 01:33 00:17
2009 12:56 01:20 10:01 -00:57 24 06:05 -03:21 03:40 -00:02
2010 09:06 -00:56 07:36 01:46 28 06:42 -02:52 04:27 00:20
2011 12:29 -00:25 12:11 01:40 33 07:39 -02:27 05:44 00:33
2012 -14:14 -09:04 -09:56 02:49 23 04:32 -03:24 03:30 00:53
2013 10:42 -01:51 09:22 02:31 28 05:18 -03:12 04:14 01:05

KPR points and Prize Money

IM South Africa has 2000 KPR points for the winner. It has a total prize purse of 75k$.

Male Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating Rank
1 4 Faris Al-Sultan GER 08:20:21 08:25:19 00:47:35 04:34:11 02:58:51 7
2 13 Nils Frommhold GER 08:21:50 08:26:49 00:46:36 04:37:13 02:50:15 (11)
3 1 Ronnie Schildknecht SUI 08:28:47 08:33:50 00:51:40 04:38:29 02:58:14 22
4 2 James Cunnama ZAF 08:28:58 08:34:01 00:50:03 04:42:00 02:58:07 23
5 18 Jens Petersen-Bach DEN 08:32:31 08:37:36 00:51:44 04:46:19 02:54:00 32
6 5 Miquel Blanchart ESP 08:32:43 08:37:48 00:48:39 04:48:18 02:54:18 34
7 3 Bas Diederen NED 08:32:44 08:37:49 00:47:55 04:47:59 02:55:31 35
8 14 Pedro Gomes POR 08:41:32 08:46:42 00:50:23 04:45:14 03:06:18 61
9 19 Georg Potrebitsch GER 08:42:53 08:48:04 00:48:57 04:45:40 03:08:04 69
10 6 Anton Blokhin UKR 08:47:28 08:52:42 00:48:56 04:52:07 03:04:20 92
(11) Marek Jaskolka POL 08:53:23 08:58:40 00:47:25 04:54:31 03:02:18 (124)
11 16 Andrey Lyatskiy RUS 08:56:28 09:01:47 00:48:28 04:57:01 03:10:53 139
12 12 Karol Dzalaj SVK 09:02:22 09:07:45 00:53:19 04:50:22 03:18:14 157
13 9 Michael Davidson ZAF 09:03:34 09:08:57 00:53:29 04:53:17 03:05:38 (164)
14 15 Kent Horner ZAF 09:04:58 09:10:22 00:48:49 04:54:07 03:22:05 167
15 24 Rafael Wyss SUI 09:05:33 09:10:58 00:59:35 04:55:43 03:07:15 (171)
16 22 Edo Van der Meer NED 09:13:10 09:18:39 00:47:33 04:48:48 03:36:21 (194)
17 21 Craig Twigg GBR 09:31:39 09:37:19 00:52:14 04:56:01 03:39:59 255
18 8 Martin Cain GBR 09:41:25 09:47:11 00:58:39 05:13:11 03:29:05 293
19 11 Luca De Paolis ITA 09:41:54 09:47:40 01:01:09 04:56:51 03:35:39 (296)
20 17 Marek Nemcik SVK 11:49:59 11:57:01 01:11:37 05:57:01 04:38:36 420
10 Gerhard De Bruin ZAF n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
7 Kyle Buckingham ZAF n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
23 Bradley Venter ZAF n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
20 Matt Trautman ZAF n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
Bertrand Billard FRA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
Thomas Darby FIN n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)

Female Race Participants

Rank Bib Name Nation Expected Time Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating Rank
1 26 Jodie Swallow GBR 09:19:30 09:25:03 00:48:41 05:02:52 03:27:21 9
2 41 Michelle Vesterby DEN 09:22:23 09:27:58 00:52:05 05:09:20 03:21:19 13
3 30 Natascha Badmann SUI 09:22:35 09:28:10 01:00:58 05:03:44 03:15:17 14
4 33 Lucy Gossage GBR 09:23:14 09:28:49 00:57:19 05:08:33 03:11:17 15
5 31 Erika Csomor HUN 09:25:50 09:31:27 00:57:47 05:15:27 03:12:02 20
6 25 Jessie Donavan USA 09:30:15 09:35:54 01:07:18 05:07:18 03:14:41 27
7 28 Simone Braendli SUI 09:35:27 09:41:09 00:51:50 05:16:41 03:27:05 39
8 27 Lucie Reed CZE 09:35:30 09:41:12 00:50:31 05:17:43 03:27:40 40
9 38 Edith Niederfriniger ITA 09:42:42 09:48:29 00:54:42 05:26:58 03:21:09 (55)
10 29 Dianne McEwan ZAF 09:50:24 09:56:15 00:56:10 05:26:33 03:21:24 (71)
11 39 Karina Ottosen DEN 09:54:56 10:00:50 00:58:48 05:28:31 03:27:04 (85)
12 37 Katja Konschak GER 09:56:24 10:02:19 00:52:22 05:29:39 03:30:12 88
13 34 Monique Grossrieder SUI 10:11:44 10:17:48 01:04:44 05:34:07 03:27:16 113
14 35 Claire Horner ZAF 10:42:02 10:48:24 01:01:43 05:37:25 03:59:15 138
15 36 Caroline Koll ZAF 10:55:03 11:01:33 00:59:09 05:58:36 03:59:37 143
40 Linda Scattolin ITA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)
32 Astrid Ganzow GER n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

Ronnie Schildknecht is back to defend his title from last year. His 2013 win gives him great odds. Nils Frommhold has won his IM debut in Arizona with a great time, but he was injured for most of the 2013 season. Faris Al-Sultan is racing as well, and even if his statistical odds are not that great, he is rarely beaten outside of Kona. James Cunnama will try to win his home race – after his great 2013 season he can focus his early season on South Africa. Another athlete of note is South African Kyle Buckingham, who’s doing his first Pro race after being the fastest age grouper in Kona 2013.

  • Ronnie Schildknecht: 38% (2-1)
  • Nils Frommhold: 18% (4-1)
  • Faris Al-Sultan: 15% (6-1)
  • James Cunnama: 13% (7-1)
  • Bas Diederen: 7% (13-1)
  • Jens Petersen-Bach: 4% (27-1)
  • Miquel Blanchart: 2% (42-1)

Female Race Participants

Jessie Donavan is back to defend her title, but Jodie Swallow has gained more experience doing Ironman races and was steadily improving. Michelle Vesterby is another top athlete who excels in tight racing conditions. Lucy Gossage also had a great 2013 season (ending with wins at both IM UK and Wales), has taken some time to finish her doctorate and can focus on Ironman racing for a bit. Then you also have the veterans Erika Csomor (always a threat on the run) and Natascha Badmann (eager to race after missing IM Melbourne when she was hit by a car while training).

  • Jessie Donavan: 20% (4-1)
  • Jodie Swallow: 20% (4-1)
  • Michelle Vesterby: 17% (5-1)
  • Lucy Gossage: 14% (6-1)
  • Erika Csomor: 11% (8-1)
  • Natascha Badmann: 11% (8-1)
  • Lucie Reed: 3% (34-1)
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