Kona Strength: Who is racing well in Kona?

My ratings are a course-independent number, so they don’t give a complete picture of how an athlete is going to do in Kona. By comparing the relative performances in Kona and on other courses, I can determine athletes who are racing well in Kona and those that struggle on Hawaii. I’m expressing this number – the “Kona Strength” – as the time difference between the expected result (based on the athlete’s rating before the race) and the actual result (finishing time adjusted for the course and conditions on race day). For example, Caroline Steffen has a Kona Strength of 24:29 – this means that here results in Kona have been more than 24 minutes faster than her rating predicted. A Kona Strength of 0 shows that an athlete is not racing faster or slower in Kona than their rating predicts, and a negative number (e.g. -31:18 by Meredith Kessler) shows that the athlete has struggled in Kona. I’ve added a number to show how many Kona results the Kona Strength is based on – one race may always be a fluke (so maybe the one result by Meredith Kessler was not caused by the Kona heat and she’s going to do much better this year).

Good Kona Results

Here is a list of athletes that have races well in Kona:

  • Caroline Steffen 24:29 (2)
  • Pete Jacobs 22:34 (4)
  • Mirinda Carfrae 21:26 (3)
  • Caitlin Snow 18:07 (4)
  • Rachel Joyce 14:15 (3)
  • Ronnie Schildknecht 10:09 (4)
  • Craig Alexander 09:05 (5)

Inferior Kona Results

The following athletes have struggled in their Kona races:

  • Meredith Kessler -31:18 (1)
  • Jan Raphael -25:35 (3)
  • Rebekah Keat -16:50 (2)
  • Linsey Corbin -12:09 (5)
  • Marino Vanhoenacker -09:34 (4)
Jan Raphael has declined his Kona slot (he qualified late in the year in Sweden), he wants to get his bad Kona results out of his mind before trying again. 

New to Kona

There are also a few athletes that haven’t yet raced in Kona. Usually, these athletes should race a bit conservatively and build some experience in the Kona conditions:

  • Jordan Rapp
  • Trevor Wurtele
  • David Dellow
  • Sebastian Kienle
  • Michael Raelert
  • Greg Bennett
  • Michelle Gailey
  • Michelle Vesterby
This post is an excerpt from my Kona Rating Report. You can receive your copy by using this link to subscribe to my email list.
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