Triathlon Rating Report 2011 is ready for download!

My 2011 Rating Report focuses on

  • the TOP 10 ratings at the end of the year
  • the best performances of 2011
  • the Ironman Money List
  • a discussion of the improvements in world records
  • tons of data about 2011 races and athletes participating in them

If you haven’t already, please join my mailing list in order to be notified when new reports become available (just use the form in the sidebar on the right).

Download the Report here.

Feel free to share with others interested in a statistical look at the 2011 season and let me know what you think.

Challenge Wanaka 2012 – Predictions (Main Post)

As always, you can find additional information on the participants in the detail post.

Previous Results

Challenge Wanaka is a smaller race slowly building on the image of a very beautiful location starting with a really cold swim in an alpine lake. It is one of the slower courses with a rating of 3:23. Last year’s races were won by Jamie Whyte (9:03:53) and Belinda Granger (10:26:17) – slower times that are not really representative of the course, so I’m expecting faster times this year.

Male Participants

Jamie Whyte is back to defend his title, but he faces a number of probably stronger racers:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Aaron Farlow AUS 08:41:07 08:44:24 45
2 Kieran Doe NZL 08:42:32 08:45:49 57
3 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:42:46 08:46:03 58
4 Jimmy Johnsen DNK 08:46:21 08:49:40 84
5 Keegan Williams NZL 08:48:41 08:52:01 95
6 Jamie Whyte NZL 08:54:24 08:57:46 121
7 Petr Vabrousek CZE 08:54:37 08:57:59 123
8 Leon Griffin AUS 08:58:37 09:02:00 147
9 Bryan Rhodes NZL 09:10:48 09:14:16 224
10 Marc Pschebizin GER 09:14:08 09:17:37 255
11 Scott Defilippis USA 09:22:59 09:26:32 329
12 Paul Hawkins GBR 09:24:25 09:27:58 342
13 Simon Cochrane NZL n/a unrated n/a

Here’s a look at the winning odds:

  • Kieran Doe: 25%
  • Aaron Farlow: 19%
  • Courtney Ogden: 18%
  • Jimmy Johnsen: 11%
  • Keegan Williams: 9%
  • Bryan Rhodes: 8%

Kieran has not had any results in 2011, so it’ll be interesting to see  how  he is going to perform. He does not have the top rating, but is a strong racer with a number of great results. If he runs into issues, Aaron Farlow and Courtney Ogden are going to fight for the won.

Female Participants

The women’s field is almost as large as the men’s field:

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Rebekah Keat AUS 09:25:07 09:28:40 10
2 Gina Crawford NZL 09:34:19 09:37:56 29
3 Candice Hammond NZL 09:48:42 09:52:24 64
4 Britta Martin NZL 09:52:26 09:56:10 72
5 Christie Sym AUS 09:59:43 10:03:29 90
6 Nicole Ward AUS 10:01:14 10:05:01 95
7 Simone Maier GER 10:11:29 10:15:20 142
8 Jodie Scott AUS 10:37:04 10:41:05 208
9 Jo Carrel NZL 10:47:49 10:51:54 230
10 Tamsyn Hayes NZL n/a unrated n/a
11 Julia Grant NZL n/a unrated n/a

Here are the winning odds for the women:

  • Rebekah Keat: 49%
  • Gina Crawford: 44%

These two athletes are close  enough in their capabilities and results that it’s almost impossible to pick one over the other. The rest of the field would have to show an amazing improvement to come close to Bek or Gina.

Update Jan 19th: Rebekah isn’t able to race – not sure why (she seems to prepare for racing Melbourne in March), but this means Gina is the clear front runner.

Challenge Wanaka 2012 – Details Post

Male Race Participants

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Aaron Farlow AUS 08:41:07 08:44:24 45
2 Kieran Doe NZL 08:42:32 08:45:49 57
3 Courtney Ogden AUS 08:42:46 08:46:03 58
4 Jimmy Johnsen DNK 08:46:21 08:49:40 84
5 Keegan Williams NZL 08:48:41 08:52:01 95
6 Jamie Whyte NZL 08:54:24 08:57:46 121
7 Petr Vabrousek CZE 08:54:37 08:57:59 123
8 Leon Griffin AUS 08:58:37 09:02:00 147
9 Bryan Rhodes NZL 09:10:48 09:14:16 224
10 Marc Pschebizin GER 09:14:08 09:17:37 255
11 Scott Defilippis USA 09:22:59 09:26:32 329
12 Paul Hawkins GBR 09:24:25 09:27:58 342
13 Simon Cochrane NZL n/a unrated n/a

Female Race Participants

Rank Name Nation Expected Time Rating Rank
1 Rebekah Keat AUS 09:25:07 09:28:40 10
2 Gina Crawford NZL 09:34:19 09:37:56 29
3 Candice Hammond NZL 09:48:42 09:52:24 64
4 Britta Martin NZL 09:52:26 09:56:10 72
5 Christie Sym AUS 09:59:43 10:03:29 90
6 Nicole Ward AUS 10:01:14 10:05:01 95
7 Simone Maier GER 10:11:29 10:15:20 142
8 Jodie Scott AUS 10:37:04 10:41:05 208
9 Jo Carrel NZL 10:47:49 10:51:54 230
10 Tamsyn Hayes NZL n/a unrated n/a
11 Julia Grant NZL n/a unrated n/a

Results for Aaron Farlow (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Western Australia 2011-12-04 08:34:09 08:41:36 08:44:24 5
IM Wales 2011-09-11 09:04:25 08:57:08 08:45:31 2
IM UK 2011-07-31 08:24:34 08:33:33 08:38:40 1
IM Regensburg 2010-08-01 08:39:41 08:45:28 08:45:28 6

Results for Kieran Doe (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 08:34:16 08:40:18 08:45:49 3
IM Arizona 2008-11-23 09:06:25 09:12:15 08:47:57 22
IM New Zealand 2008-03-01 08:33:35 08:40:09 08:39:06 3
IM Canada 2007-08-26 08:32:45 08:33:26 08:38:39 1
Challenge Roth 2006-06-24 08:11:07 08:22:20 08:41:37 3
Challenge Roth 2005-06-24 08:50:17 09:01:32 08:54:44 15
IM New Zealand 2005-05-03 08:47:38 08:47:38 08:47:38 6

Results for Courtney Ogden (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Hawaii 2011-10-15 08:38:11 08:39:49 08:46:03 16
IM Australia 2011-05-01 08:49:56 08:58:21 08:46:59 5
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 09:07:25 09:09:36 08:45:15 2
IM Western Australia 2010-12-05 08:14:01 08:25:21 08:41:19 1
IM Hawaii 2010-10-09 08:42:11 08:44:04 08:44:19 25
IM Coeur d’Alene 2010-06-27 08:38:17 08:45:03 08:44:22 2
IM Australia 2010-03-28 08:35:54 08:43:40 08:44:12 3
IM Western Australia 2009-12-05 08:22:06 08:37:05 08:44:22 4
IM Canada 2009-08-30 08:44:37 08:48:46 08:47:12 3
IM Canada 2008-08-24 08:47:04 08:54:19 08:46:20 8
IM Western Australia 2007-12-01 08:19:15 08:35:55 08:40:31 7
IM Canada 2006-08-27 08:47:46 08:47:07 08:47:07 2

Results for Jimmy Johnsen (DNK)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 09:16:45 09:18:59 08:49:40 4
IM Western Australia 2009-12-05 08:21:11 08:36:09 08:39:49 3
IM Australia 2009-04-05 08:33:43 08:36:12 08:41:01 4
IM Western Australia 2008-12-07 08:18:43 08:32:58 08:42:48 4
IM Hawaii 2007-10-13 08:55:11 08:55:23 08:47:49 25
IM UK 2007-08-19 08:40:51 08:45:45 08:43:27 3
IM Western Australia 2006-12-03 08:34:31 08:40:38 08:40:38 3

Results for Keegan Williams (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Roth 2011-07-10 08:16:01 08:38:02 08:52:01 3
IM Brasil 2011-05-29 08:37:20 08:58:23 08:55:07 6
IM New Zealand 2011-03-05 08:49:34 08:51:07 08:54:13 4
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 10:49:47 10:52:23 08:55:17 7
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 08:40:11 08:46:17 08:55:17 4
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 08:41:19 08:44:16 08:58:25 3
IM Switzerland 2009-07-12 09:00:46 09:14:53 09:05:32 14
Challenge Wanaka 2008-01-19 09:05:55 09:09:21 08:58:23 6
Challenge Wanaka 2008-01-19 08:44:08 08:47:25 08:47:25 1

Results for Jamie Whyte (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Cairns 2011-06-05 08:35:07 08:43:23 08:57:46 4
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 09:03:53 09:06:04 09:06:18 1
IM Canada 2010-08-29 08:57:48 09:06:33 09:06:33 13

Results for Petr Vabrousek (CZE)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Western Australia 2011-12-04 08:35:08 08:42:36 08:57:59 6
IM Hawaii 2011-10-15 09:13:42 09:15:27 08:58:42 30
IM Texas 2011-05-21 08:37:59 08:44:18 08:57:55 9
IM St. George 2011-05-07 09:11:11 09:11:55 08:58:31 9
IM South Africa 2011-04-10 08:40:36 08:52:30 08:57:55 8
IM New Zealand 2011-03-05 08:58:30 09:00:04 08:58:10 6
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 09:27:44 09:30:00 08:58:04 5
IM Cozumel 2010-11-28 08:39:52 08:50:48 08:56:35 8
IM Florida 2010-11-06 08:29:59 08:44:44 08:56:52 7
IM Hawaii 2010-10-09 08:56:26 08:58:22 08:57:27 41
IM Canada 2010-08-29 08:39:16 08:47:43 08:57:25 4
IM Lake Placid 2010-07-25 08:46:33 08:50:20 08:57:54 2
IM Brasil 2010-05-30 08:36:15 08:54:34 08:58:18 6
IM St. George 2010-05-01 09:09:43 09:05:10 08:58:30 6
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 09:00:08 09:03:12 08:58:08 4
IM Western Australia 2009-12-05 08:57:08 09:13:10 08:57:52 10
IM Arizona 2009-11-22 08:37:45 08:51:47 08:57:03 10
IM Hawaii 2009-10-10 09:23:03 09:19:39 08:57:21 50
IM Wisconsin 2009-09-13 09:08:26 09:08:11 08:56:04 7
IM Lake Placid 2009-07-26 09:10:24 09:09:54 08:55:21 6
Challenge Roth 2009-07-12 08:15:03 08:35:33 08:54:28 10
IM Brasil 2009-05-31 08:37:18 08:50:33 08:55:41 3
IM South Africa 2009-04-05 08:36:07 08:47:25 08:56:01 3
Challenge Wanaka 2009-01-01 08:44:38 08:50:30 08:56:35 2
IM Arizona 2008-11-23 08:28:09 08:33:34 08:57:00 8
IM Florida 2008-11-01 08:23:00 08:41:01 08:58:36 3
IM Hawaii 2008-10-11 09:04:42 09:03:32 08:59:52 33
IM Lake Placid 2008-07-20 08:55:20 08:54:15 08:59:36 2
IM Switzerland 2008-07-13 08:53:05 09:06:26 09:00:00 6
IM Brasil 2008-05-25 08:53:58 09:04:10 08:59:28 4
IM Australia 2008-04-06 09:11:11 09:13:51 08:59:04 11
Challenge Wanaka 2008-01-19 09:09:36 09:13:03 08:57:42 7
IM Western Australia 2007-12-01 08:27:15 08:44:11 08:56:16 10
IM Florida 2007-11-03 08:53:05 09:09:31 08:57:28 21
IM Hawaii 2007-10-13 09:42:26 09:42:39 08:56:10 71
IM Louisville 2007-08-26 10:58:00 11:02:16 08:50:38 22
IM Germany 2007-07-01 08:22:31 08:35:41 08:50:38 5
IM Brasil 2007-05-27 08:40:42 08:51:47 08:52:29 6
IM Arizona 2007-04-15 08:41:59 08:44:59 08:52:34 4
IM South Africa 2007-03-18 08:48:19 08:47:09 08:53:43 4
IM Hawaii 2006-10-21 09:10:45 09:08:19 08:54:52 54
IM Lake Placid 2006-07-23 09:03:12 08:55:17 08:52:24 7
IM Arizona 2006-04-09 08:44:54 08:47:13 08:51:49 8
IM South Africa 2006-03-18 08:38:52 08:40:38 08:52:53 3
IM Western Australia 2005-11-27 08:36:05 08:38:21 08:56:32 5
IM Hawaii 2005-10-15 09:12:17 09:12:00 09:34:01 54
IM Wisconsin 2005-09-11 11:19:03 11:00:54 09:42:05 23
IM Brasil 2005-05-28 09:06:45 09:06:45 08:58:25 6
IM Arizona 2005-04-09 08:49:46 08:49:46 08:49:46 4

Results for Leon Griffin (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Western Australia 2011-12-04 09:03:49 09:11:42 09:02:00 12
IM Cozumel 2009-11-29 13:30:58 13:39:18 08:39:06 16
IM Western Australia 2008-12-07 08:24:41 08:39:06 08:39:06 6

Results for Bryan Rhodes (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Canada 2011-08-28 09:23:24 09:28:36 09:14:16 15
IM Lake Placid 2010-07-25 10:18:40 10:23:06 09:10:13 25
IM Hawaii 2008-10-11 08:53:35 08:52:26 08:51:18 23
IM Canada 2008-08-24 08:30:12 08:37:13 08:51:06 1
IM Florida 2007-11-03 08:26:52 08:42:30 08:54:05 3
IM UK 2007-08-19 09:36:07 09:41:33 08:56:28 23
IM Coeur d’Alene 2007-06-23 08:46:38 08:48:18 08:45:39 5
IM Hawaii 2006-10-21 08:59:13 08:56:50 08:44:52 41
IM Lake Placid 2006-07-23 09:00:18 08:52:26 08:40:58 6
IM Western Australia 2005-11-27 08:34:25 08:36:41 08:35:59 4
IM UK 2005-08-21 08:42:11 08:29:41 08:35:35 1
IM New Zealand 2005-05-03 08:42:01 08:42:01 08:42:01 3

Results for Marc Pschebizin (GER)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 09:14:15 09:17:23 09:17:37 6
IM Hawaii 2009-10-10 09:42:43 09:39:12 09:17:40 65
IM Lanzarote 2009-05-23 09:27:24 09:24:12 09:13:05 16
IM New Zealand 2009-03-07 09:03:02 09:11:09 09:10:29 10
Challenge Wanaka 2009-01-01 08:53:36 08:59:34 09:10:17 4
Challenge Roth 2008-07-13 08:34:55 08:55:43 09:14:15 10
IM Hawaii 2007-10-13 09:13:18 09:13:30 09:23:05 41
IM France 2007-06-24 09:05:23 09:13:10 09:29:04 8
IM France 2006-06-24 09:41:32 09:50:16 09:50:16 14

Results for Scott Defilippis (USA)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Florida 2011-11-05 08:27:13 08:47:57 09:26:32 8
IM France 2011-06-26 09:26:26 09:30:39 09:35:35 13
IM St. George 2011-05-07 09:58:05 09:58:53 09:36:54 15
IM Florida 2010-11-06 08:43:35 08:58:44 09:29:16 12
IM St. George 2010-05-01 09:53:07 09:48:13 09:42:24 17
IM Florida 2009-11-07 09:31:53 09:48:27 09:38:59 17
IM Louisville 2009-08-28 09:25:00 09:28:58 09:28:58 16

Results for Paul Hawkins (GBR)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM UK 2011-07-31 09:03:41 09:13:22 09:27:58 7
IM France 2010-06-27 14:16:23 14:38:06 09:42:36 19
IM UK 2009-08-02 09:28:35 09:25:22 09:42:36 10
IM UK 2008-09-07 10:06:40 10:04:56 11:51:07 12
IM Switzerland 2007-06-24 14:00:55 14:21:24 14:24:24 25
IM France 2006-06-24 14:15:35 14:28:25 14:28:25 23

Results for Simon Cochrane (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race

Results for Rebekah Keat (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Roth 2011-07-10 08:59:22 09:23:19 09:28:40 3
Challenge Cairns 2011-06-05 09:26:31 09:35:36 09:29:24 1
IM Western Australia 2010-12-05 09:22:37 09:35:32 09:28:27 2
IM Louisville 2010-08-29 09:33:15 09:35:53 09:27:21 1
Challenge Roth 2010-07-18 08:52:10 09:11:08 09:25:56 2
IM Australia 2010-03-28 09:33:10 09:41:48 09:28:46 2
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 09:30:41 09:33:55 09:26:00 2
Challenge Roth 2009-07-12 08:39:24 09:00:55 09:24:01 2
IM Australia 2009-04-05 09:21:33 09:24:16 09:30:25 2
IM Hawaii 2008-10-11 09:56:01 09:54:44 09:32:32 17
Challenge Roth 2008-07-13 09:02:34 09:24:29 09:23:00 5
IM Hawaii 2007-10-13 09:27:19 09:27:32 09:22:00 6
IM Australia 2007-04-08 09:12:58 09:15:36 09:15:36 1

Results for Gina Crawford (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Wisconsin 2010-09-12 09:27:26 09:29:52 09:37:56 1
IM St. George 2010-05-01 10:11:51 10:06:48 09:39:00 4
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 09:28:26 09:35:06 09:35:13 2
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 09:28:57 09:32:10 09:35:14 1
IM Western Australia 2009-12-05 09:16:52 09:33:29 09:35:45 1
IM New Zealand 2009-03-07 09:18:26 09:26:47 09:36:12 1
Challenge Wanaka 2009-01-01 09:28:27 09:34:48 09:37:57 1
IM Hawaii 2008-10-11 09:36:53 09:35:39 09:38:38 8
Challenge Roth 2008-07-13 08:57:18 09:19:00 09:39:23 3
IM New Zealand 2008-03-01 09:33:29 09:40:49 09:45:42 5
Challenge Wanaka 2008-01-19 09:33:46 09:37:22 09:47:35 1
IM Wisconsin 2007-09-09 09:37:03 09:36:42 09:53:41 1
IM New Zealand 2007-03-03 10:09:32 10:13:24 10:13:24 5

Results for Candice Hammond (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Cairns 2011-06-05 09:43:03 09:52:24 09:52:24 4

Results for Britta Martin (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM France 2011-06-26 09:48:56 09:53:20 09:56:10 3
IM France 2010-06-27 09:40:53 09:55:37 09:57:36 4
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 09:47:11 09:54:04 09:58:51 5
IM New Zealand 2009-03-07 09:56:18 10:05:13 10:05:13 8

Results for Christie Sym (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Cairns 2011-06-05 09:49:09 09:58:36 10:03:29 6
Challenge Wanaka 2011-01-15 10:36:57 10:39:30 10:05:34 2
IM Canada 2010-08-29 09:41:30 09:50:57 09:44:54 5
IM Western Australia 2009-12-05 09:20:41 09:37:25 09:37:25 2

Results for Nicole Ward (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Australia 2011-05-01 09:49:23 09:58:45 10:05:01 3
IM Coeur d’Alene 2010-06-27 09:56:48 10:04:36 10:06:39 6
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 09:51:05 09:58:01 10:07:10 6
IM Hawaii 2009-10-10 10:20:46 10:17:01 10:09:56 33
IM New Zealand 2009-03-07 09:56:04 10:04:59 10:07:19 7
IM Western Australia 2008-12-07 09:43:12 09:59:52 10:08:23 5
IM Western Australia 2007-12-01 09:44:35 10:04:06 10:14:37 9
IM Australia 2007-04-08 10:24:18 10:27:17 10:27:17 12

Results for Simone Maier (GER)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
Challenge Cairns 2011-06-05 10:05:37 10:15:20 10:15:20 8

Results for Jodie Scott (AUS)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM Wisconsin 2010-09-12 10:41:15 10:44:00 10:41:05 10
IM New Zealand 2010-03-06 10:24:51 10:32:10 10:40:19 9
Challenge Wanaka 2010-01-16 10:15:26 10:18:55 10:42:42 4
IM Australia 2009-04-05 10:13:05 10:16:03 10:51:56 9
IM Western Australia 2008-12-07 10:22:43 10:40:30 11:08:03 10
IM Australia 2007-04-08 11:00:23 11:03:32 11:27:08 16
IM Australia 2006-05-11 11:50:29 11:47:47 11:44:50 15
IM Australia 2005-04-08 11:40:49 11:40:49 11:40:49 8

Results for Jo Carrel (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race
IM New Zealand 2011-03-05 10:54:31 10:56:26 10:51:54 10
IM Wisconsin 2010-09-12 10:43:55 10:46:41 10:46:41 11

Results for Tamsyn Hayes (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race

Results for Julia Grant (NZL)

Race Date Total Adjusted Rating Rank in Race

Working on a 2011 Rating Report

I’ve started to work on my end-of-season Rating Report. In addition to some of the things that I’ve already posted on this blog or stuff that has been discussed on the IMTalk podcast, there will also be some new material. As the Kona report, it will be a 10-page-or more PDF file with tons of information for the “data geeks”, looking back at the 2011 Ironman-distance season. If you haven’t done already, please subscribe to my mailing list using the form in the right-hand column and I’ll let you know when it’s available. I’m quite busy in the next week, but I plan to have it out by mid-January.

 

January 14th Update: The report is almost done, I’m at 30+ pages and have some small editing tasks left. I will publish early next week. If you want to be notified as soon as it’s available, please use the form in the right-hand column to subscribe to my mailing list!

When will Chrissie beat the male Ironman-distance World Record?

Gary Fagan asked the following question for the IM Talk podcast “end of year” show:

Based on current improvements, when will the women become faster than the men?

Let’s get a few things out of the way first: I find the wording question of world record vs. world best not very interesting – these are just word games. Also I don’t care whether the time was set in an “official” Ironman (organized  by WTC) or not (such as Challenge Roth). One reason is that most of the records were set in Roth – and I can’t see why a 1997 race (when it was an official WTC event) would count, but a 2012 (when it was run by Challenge) on pretty much the same course should not. When discussing these fast times, the issue that always comes up is that these courses are short. Unless triathlon organizations come up with a protocol for measuring  courses (which I think would be a very good idea), we won’t really know. Then again, as most records were set in Roth and that course has basically been unchanged, the old records from the 90s are comparable to the times from this year – at least the impact of the course changes do not play a major factor in the improved times.

World best times

Before discussing the question asked by Gary, let’s have a look at the data first.

Male world records

Here is how the male world record developed over the last years:

Date Athlete Course Time
July 1997 Luc van Lierde Roth 7:50:27
July 3rd 2011 Marino Vanhoenacker Austria 7:45:58
July 10th 2011 Andreas Raelert Roth 7:41:33

Not very exciting – Luc van Lierde’s record stood for quite a while – 14 years. From what I heard, it must have been a great race with quite a few people pushing the pace for the whole distance. Compared to that, Marino and Andreas were pretty much racing on their own to break the record.

Female world records

There was a bit more movement on the women’ side:

Date Athlete Course Time
July 1994 Paula Newby-Fraser Roth 8:50:53
July 13th 2008 Sandra Wallenhorst Austria 8:47:26
July 13th 2008 Yvonne van Vlercken Roth 8:45:48
July 12th 2009 Chrissie Wellington Roth 8:31:59
July 18th 2010 Chrissie Wellington Roth 8:19:13
July 10th 2011 Chrissie Wellington Roth 8:18:13

It took the females 14 years to break the old record as well, when Sandra Wallenhorst and Yvonne van Vlercken broke the record on the same day but on two different courses. (In fact, even with the slower time, Sandra completed her race before Yvonne as Sandra’s Austria start time was before Yvonne started in Roth – but Sandra had the record for less than an hour.) Since Chrissie took the record there has been a lot of improvement – it’s interesting to speculate if we are going to see some more records on the men’s side now that the old record has been broken.

Looking forward

If we want to extrapolate from these few data points, we can work with an average improvement for the women of 115 seconds per year on the women’s side (22:40 minutes in 17 years). (A little side note: The best linear approximation would give a progress of “only” 98 seconds, so the number I’ll be using is probably a best-case scenario.) If this average rate of improvement continues, it will take the women  about 19 years to catch up to current men’s record. But then the men’s record may improved as well – their improvement was at a rate of 38 seconds per year, so the women are catching up at a  rate of 77 seconds per year. Based on that, it’ll take more than 28 years to catch up to the men’s record.

Looking at these results (even putting aside all the objections one should raise when mechanically projecting progress forward), it does not look as if the women will be catching up to the men in the foreseeable future. Maybe a more interesting speculation may be when the women will be able to break 8 hours: If the rate of improvement continues, it seems feasible to go sub-8 within the next ten years. (A similar question for the men: When will they break 7:30? This is “just” another 11 1/2 minutes – but as their progress has been slower, that would take about 18 years.) This might be a good “discussion of the week” for a future IMTalk podcast

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