Ironman South Africa 2018 – Analyzing Results

Race Conditions

The weather in Port Elizabeth was great, but the lack of wind did not create fast times. Overall, the adjustments were typical for IM South Africa: a slow Ocean swim, followed by “normal” bike and run conditions. 

Lucy Charles posted a new female swim course record (beating Lucy Zelenkova’s 2009 swim by 8 seconds). Camron Wurf was very close to setting a new bike course record, he missed Ray Tissink’s 2011 time by just 3 seconds!

Male Race Results

The swim and bike unfolded as expected: Josh Amberger was taking the lead in the swim, he was two minutes ahead of the rest of the field. But Cam Wurf wasn’t too far back and by 90k he had taken the lead, starting the run with a seven minute lead on Josh and about ten minutes to a larger group of stronger runners. That group included defending champion Ben Hoffman but he quickly had back issues and was forced to walk almost the complete marathon (still finishing in just over 12 hours, but adding an IM finish to his KPR points to be eligible for a Kona slot). 

Cameron Wurf has improved his run and he was holding on to his lead for almost three of the four run legs. By then South African Kyle Buckingham had methodically worked his way to the front, first running away from the others in his bike chase group, then overtaking Josh Amberger and eventually taking the lead. In the end, his solid 2:48 marathon was good enough for a three minute win over Josh Amberger who also ran well. Third place went to the young German Maurice Clavel who executed a smart race in the big bike group followed by a 2:54 marathon, edging out Cam Wurf for the podium.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Kyle Buckingham ZAF 00:48:22 04:31:51 02:48:42 08:13:00 -15:39 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Josh Amberger AUS 00:46:24 04:31:35 02:53:43 08:16:01 -16:10 US$ 15,000 3400
3 Maurice Clavel GER 00:48:21 04:31:56 02:54:01 08:18:51 04:09 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Cameron Wurf AUS 00:50:15 04:19:44 03:05:10 08:20:07 -08:34 US$ 6,500 2455
5 Ronnie Schildknecht SUI 00:53:53 04:35:37 02:49:03 08:23:09 -01:33 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Jonathan Shearon USA 00:53:56 04:35:48 02:49:15 08:23:57 -16:50 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Alessandro Degasperi ITA 00:48:30 04:42:43 02:48:33 08:25:10 01:03 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Giulio Molinari ITA 00:48:19 04:37:53 02:54:57 08:25:29 -02:48 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Philipp Koutny SUI 00:50:44 04:40:33 02:50:35 08:26:18 -16:16 US$ 1,500 855
10 Eneko Llanos ESP 00:48:28 04:31:48 03:07:07 08:31:56 06:21 US$ 1,000 685
11 Peru Alfaro ESP 00:48:12 04:44:57 02:58:07 08:36:18 09:24   515
12 Michael Ruenz GER 00:57:42 04:47:55 02:48:17 08:38:21 -04:53   385
13 Matt Trautman ZAF 00:49:53 04:42:56 03:09:25 08:47:14 25:33   290
14 Sebastian Norberg SWE 00:53:52 04:46:57 03:15:27 09:00:39 n/a   215
15 Alberto Casadei ITA 00:48:20 05:03:44 03:07:54 09:05:18 29:30   160
16 Darby Thomas FIN 01:00:55 04:47:19 03:14:22 09:07:29 15:23   120
17 Gerhard De Bruin ZAF 00:53:44 04:51:41 03:22:03 09:11:47 -08:48   90
18 Bekim Christensen DEN 01:05:56 04:46:32 03:28:53 09:27:13 08:48   70
19 Hans Muehlbauer GER 00:55:31 05:22:21 03:11:41 09:34:55 15:18   50
20 Philippe Lamberty LUX 00:53:49 04:56:48 04:16:20 10:11:19 n/a   40
21 Ben Hoffman USA 00:49:17 04:30:57 06:42:00 12:06:48 3:53:55   25
  Evert Scheltinga NED 00:48:14 04:41:29   DNF      
  Pedro Gomes POR 00:49:15 04:46:04   DNF      
  Reece Barclay GBR 00:48:21 04:50:00   DNF      
  Alain Djouad-Guibert MOR 01:05:48 05:26:27   DNF      
  Markus Fachbach GER 00:49:13     DNF      
  Artem Parienko RUS 00:51:29     DNF      

Female Race Results

The female race was “The Lucy Show”: Lucy Charles posted the fastest swim and started the bike with a five minute lead. She was also riding well (the only female sub-5 bike split), by T2 she was eleven minutes ahead of Rachel McBride, twelve ahead of Susie Cheetham and 19 ahead of Linsey Corbin. All four leaders were running well, and even though Rachel fell back to fourth place, her 3:16 run was a new marathon PR for her. Linsey finished third with the best marathon in the field, her best marathon since 2014 season when she finished the fastest North American Ironman. Susie Cheetham set a new marathon PR, just missing the 3-hour mark but finishing a very solid second an continuing her streak of four podium finishes in Port Elizabeth in a row. But the undisputed winner by six minutes was Lucy, who also set a new marathon PR while winning her first Regional Championship and securing an Automatic Qualifier slot for Kona. 

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money KPR Points
1 Lucy Charles GBR 00:47:32 04:57:21 03:05:45 08:56:06 -11:39 US$ 30,000 4000
2 Susie Cheetham GBR 00:55:48 05:01:54 03:00:47 09:02:58 -07:31 US$ 15,000 3400
3 Linsey Corbin USA 00:55:48 05:08:14 02:58:16 09:07:10 -09:12 US$ 8,000 2890
4 Rachel McBride CAN 00:52:47 05:04:06 03:16:55 09:18:34 -13:50 US$ 6,500 2455
5 Manon Genet FRA 00:59:43 05:06:05 03:11:21 09:21:59 -22:45 US$ 5,000 2090
6 Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 00:59:18 05:11:02 03:14:38 09:30:14 -06:34 US$ 3,500 1670
7 Katharina Grohmann GER 01:10:06 05:13:17 03:06:53 09:35:07 -14:35 US$ 2,500 1335
8 Martina Kunz SUI 01:02:04 05:16:01 03:13:27 09:36:40 -03:26 US$ 2,000 1070
9 Maja Stage Nielsen DEN 00:58:06 05:17:11 03:16:59 09:37:21 18:57 US$ 1,500 855
10 Annah Watkinson ZAF 00:59:17 05:20:44 03:12:15 09:38:30 05:54 US$ 1,000 685
11 Leslie DiMichele Miller USA 00:59:54 05:27:53 03:12:17 09:45:19 00:39   515
12 Saleta Castro Nogueira ESP 00:55:42 05:29:38 03:17:26 09:47:58 02:50   385
13 Corina Hengartner SUI 01:04:25 05:38:38 03:09:36 09:58:59 06:31   290
14 Patricia Bueno Perez ESP 01:06:41 05:55:17 04:03:38 11:12:58 26:03   215
  Charlotte Morel FRA 00:52:58 05:14:11   DNF      
  Emma Pallant GBR 00:55:47 05:13:39   DNF      
  Judith Corachan Vacquero ESP 00:55:46 05:15:35   DNF      
  Katja Konschak GER 00:55:50 05:24:41   DNF      
  Lina-Kristin Schink GER 01:07:29 05:21:00   DNF      
  Carolin Lehrieder GER 00:55:48     DNF      

Kona Qualifying Implications

This early in the season, a lot of athletes are looking to position themselves for an early Kona slot or at least a good path towards a slot. Here’s where the top finishers are currently placed.

Men

  • Automatic Qualifier: Kyle Buckingham
  • Safe for a July slot: Cameron Wurf, Maurice Clavel, Josh Amberger, Ben Hoffman
  • On the Bubble: Jonathan Shearon (at 3.290 he will probably need more points)
  • Close, but will need more points: Ronnie Schildknecht

Women

  • Automatic Qualifier: Lucy Charles
  • Safe for a July slot: Susie Cheetham, Linsey Corbin
  • All others will still need a good number of points to get to the projected cutoff of 4.400 points, the best placed are Manon Genet (3.370 points), Maja Stage Nielsen (3.335) and Rachel McBride (3.295). 
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