Ironman South Africa 2019 – Analyzing Results

IMSA_LogoCourse Conditions

This year’s race in Port Elizabeth started with a shortened swim, apparently the conditions were unsafe on parts of the course, especially for the weaker agegroupers. (Ironman South Africa is a normally single large loop swim.) I wasn’t on site so I can’t have an informed opinion on whether it would have been possible to have a full swim at least for the Pros. It’ll be interesting to hear comments from the leading swimmers on that. The official swim distance was 1.6k, and the times seem very slow for that – probably a result of the hard conditions. Even if the swim were half the normal distance, the times would still be slow. (Josh swam just under 25 minutes so that would have been 50 minutes – he was seeded to swim under 48 minutes in Port Elizabeth.)

Even though the bike course has changed significantly to previous years, the times were comparable to earlier years. The run was very fast, it was roughly five minutes quicker than in earlier years. This might be influenced by the shortened swim, but in all likelihood the course was a bit short. We’ll have to wait a bit for GPS tracks to be posted in the next few days. (It seems that the run was about 1k short, corresponding to roughly 4 minutes of run time.)

Of course the shortened swim invalidates all time comparisons to other years or races. Nonetheless I have calculated how the athletes times stacked up to what could have been expected from them, resulting in the “Diff to expected” columns and the coloring of the numbers (green=faster than expected, red = slower than expected). The background colors show the fastest athletes in each of the legs.

Male Race Results

Once again, Josh Amberger was leading after the swim, but with the shortened course he only had 30 seconds on the field and was quickly caught by a large group. Andreas Dreitz needed the first of two bike loops to bridge up to the lead group, but once he did the group got smaller and smaller. In the final 20k of the bike Ben Hoffman built a gap of 90 seconds to a small group of four athletes.

Once on the run, Ben was extending his lead bit by bit – in the end he ran a 2:39 marathon and won by almost six minutes over Nils Frommhold who was the best runner of the chase group. Third and fourth place went to Michael Weiss and Eneko Llanos who caught most of the chase group with solid marathons. As they were already qualified, the next two spots were also Kona qualifying places, these went to Maurice Clavel and Andreas Dreitz. Josh Amberger ran a solid sub-3 marathon but that was only good enough for seventh place, just short of a Kona slot.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money
1 Ben Hoffman USA 00:26:03 04:24:24 02:39:17 07:34:19 -13:02 US$ 30,000
2 Nils Frommhold GER 00:25:48 04:26:23 02:43:43 07:40:12 -07:07 US$ 15,000
3 Michael Weiss AUT 00:30:05 04:24:18 02:43:41 07:42:35 -03:06 US$ 8,000
4 Eneko Llanos ESP 00:25:56 04:28:24 02:45:57 07:44:59 -14:23 US$ 6,500
5 Maurice Clavel GER 00:25:54 04:26:26 02:49:03 07:45:29 -07:14 US$ 5,000
6 Andreas Dreitz GER 00:26:20 04:25:23 02:49:01 07:45:38 -06:36 US$ 3,500
7 Josh Amberger AUS 00:24:59 04:27:00 02:56:00 07:52:19 -09:50 US$ 2,500
8 Matt Trautman ZAF 00:27:17 04:33:56 02:49:00 07:54:22 -05:17 US$ 2,000
9 Bart Aernouts BEL 00:28:36 04:37:28 02:46:01 07:56:20 15:11 US$ 1,500
10 Giulio Molinari ITA 00:25:42 04:29:12 03:02:22 08:02:13 00:18 US$ 1,000
11 David McNamee GBR 00:26:00 04:52:13 02:41:24 08:04:47 18:26
12 Samuel Huerzeler SUI 00:28:32 04:43:12 02:51:52 08:08:50 03:30
13 Gustavo Rodriguez Iglesias ESP 00:28:30 04:35:19 03:01:31 08:10:52 02:59
14 Sebastian Norberg SWE 00:30:09 04:42:38 02:53:40 08:11:00 -08:55
15 James Cunnama ZAF 00:28:16 04:36:56 03:03:05 08:12:26 25:14
16 Karl-Johan Danielsson SWE 00:26:54 04:43:46 03:04:35 08:20:04 -09:53
17 Reece Barclay GBR 00:25:51 04:55:46 02:53:49 08:20:29 08:37
18 Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP 00:30:07 04:52:54 02:52:34 08:20:45 06:51
19 Paul Ruttmann AUT 00:29:37 04:46:25 03:14:15 08:35:27 n/a
20 Vinicius Canhedo BRA 00:29:38 04:57:38 03:08:18 08:41:16 02:43
21 Gerhard De Bruin ZAF 00:30:20 05:10:08 03:01:46 08:47:44 00:34
22 Eneko Elosegui ESP 00:31:04 05:09:04 03:08:24 08:55:23 01:20
Tim Van Berkel AUS 00:25:53 04:44:48 DNF
Tim Don GBR 00:25:32 DNF
Kyle Buckingham ZAF 00:25:41 DNF
Patrik Nilsson SWE 00:25:56 DNF
Alessandro Degasperi ITA 00:26:07 DNF
Markus Thomschke GER 00:28:28 DNF

Female Race Results

When Lucy Charles-Barclay exited the swim, she was in the lead, but Lauren Brandon had been able to stay on her feet. They stayed in the lead for the first half of the bike, until German Anja Ippach had closed her four minute gap after the swim. Anja continued to ride strong in the second half of the bike and started the run with a three minute lead over Lucy and Lauren. By then the rest of the field was more than fifteen minutes back. Once on the run it was obvious that Lucy was the strongest runner of the three leading ladies, and towards the end of the first of four run loops she was able to take the lead. By then Gurutze Frades and Annah Watkinson were starting to close the gap to the front, in the end they were able to run fantastic 2:52 and 2:55 marathons and stormed onto the podium, also snagging the two available Kona slots on the female side. Lauren Brandon was able to post a new run PR, but that was only good for fourth, while Anja Ippach struggled towards the end and fell back into fifth place.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money
1 Lucy Charles-Barclay GBR 00:25:20 05:05:46 02:59:32 08:35:31 03:20 US$ 30,000
2 Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP 00:32:59 05:10:07 02:52:40 08:40:47 -17:33 US$ 15,000
3 Annah Watkinson ZAF 00:30:44 05:12:17 02:55:02 08:43:18 -21:13 US$ 8,000
4 Lauren Brandon USA 00:25:28 05:05:41 03:17:54 08:53:35 -10:05 US$ 6,500
5 Anja Ippach GER 00:29:39 04:58:09 03:24:38 08:57:10 06:20 US$ 5,000
6 Tessa Kortekaas NED 00:34:08 05:18:54 03:11:52 09:10:01 n/a US$ 3,500
7 Antonina Reznikov ISR 00:39:35 05:22:09 03:11:23 09:19:25 -20:07 US$ 2,500
8 Federica De Nicola ITA 00:32:58 05:23:42 03:20:22 09:23:10 15:29 US$ 2,000
9 Ashley Paulson USA 00:40:09 05:31:39 03:06:48 09:24:11 05:35 US$ 1,500
10 Mareen Hufe GER 00:32:56 05:17:11 03:31:59 09:27:54 45:29 US$ 1,000
Angela Lindberg GER 00:36:59 06:14:54 DNF
Natalie Seymour GBR 00:32:07 DNF

Kona Qualifying

The following athletes were able to validate their Automatic Qualifier slots by finishing IM South Africa:

  • Lucy Charles-Barclay
  • Bart Aernouts
  • David McNamee

As Michael Weiss and Eneko Llanos were already qualified before the race, these athletes received a Kona slot (pending official results and acceptance at Monday’s award ceremony):

  • Gurutze Frades
  • Annah Watkinson
  • Ben Hoffman
  • Nils Frommhold
  • Maurice Clavel
  • Andreas Dreitz

One Response to Ironman South Africa 2019 – Analyzing Results

  1. Etienne Steenkamp April 12, 2019 at 11:17 am #

    The swim was approximately 2000 – 2100 metres. Conditions were a little challenging but certainly pros and majority of age-groupers should have been able to complete the full distance comfortably. I am not a particularly good swimmer (usually around 70minutes) but felt completely comfortable during the swim.
    The run was short by approximately 1 km so approximately 41.2 km, which would account for the fast times.

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