Ironman South Africa 2019 (April 7th) – Entry List

Update March 14th:

  • WPRO additions: Federica De Nicola, Mareen Hufe, Ashley Paulson, and Antonina Reznikov
  • MPRO additions: Peru Alfaro, Kyle Buckingham, James Cunnama, Karl-Johan Danielsson, Alessandro Degasperi, Tim Don, Andreas Dreitz, Eneko Elosegui, Ben Hoffman, Markus Liebelt, Eneko Llanos, David McNamee, Giulio Molinari, Sebastian Norberg, Jonas Oerarbaeck, Gustavo Rodriguez Iglesias, Evert Scheltinga, and Michael Weiss
  • The following athletes are no longer on the latest start list: Daniel Brown, and Imanol Sagarzazu – I have just added a question mark to their name in the list below.

Kona Slots and Prize Money

IM South Africa has 2m+2f +2u Pro Kona slots. It has a total prize purse of 150.000 US$, paying 10 deep.

There are 36 men and 13 women on the latest list, this would mean that both unassigned slots go to the men. (The final assignment will be based on the number of Pros starting the race. ) With quite a few males already qualified or just needing to validate their AQ slots, the rolldown could go quite far.

Male Race Participants

Name Nation
Johann Ackermann GER
Bart Aernouts (AQ) BEL
Peru Alfaro ESP
Josh Amberger AUS
Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP
Reece Barclay GBR
Daniel Brown (?) AUS
Kyle Buckingham ZAF
Vinicius Canhedo BRA
Maurice Clavel GER
James Cunnama ZAF
Karl-Johan Danielsson SWE
Gerhard De Bruin ZAF
Alessandro Degasperi ITA
Tim Don GBR
Andreas Dreitz GER
Eneko Elosegui ESP
Nils Frommhold GER
Ben Hoffman USA
Samuel Huerzeler SUI
Philippe Lamberty LUX
Markus Liebelt GER
Eneko Llanos (KQ) ESP
David McNamee (AQ) GBR
Giulio Molinari ITA
Urs Mueller SUI
Patrik Nilsson SWE
Sebastian Norberg SWE
Jonas Oerarbaeck SWE
Gustavo Rodriguez Iglesias ESP
Paul Ruttmann AUT
Imanol Sagarzazu (?) ESP
Evert Scheltinga NED
Markus Thomschke GER
Matt Trautman (KQ) ZAF
Jan van Berkel SUI
Tim Van Berkel AUS
Michael Weiss (KQ) AUT

Female Race Participants

Name Nation
Lauren Brandon USA
Lucy Charles-Barclay (AQ) GBR
Federica De Nicola ITA
Gurutze Frades Larralde ESP
Mareen Hufe (KQ) GER
Anja Ippach GER
Tessa Kortekaas NED
Angela Lindberg GER
Angela Naeth CAN
Ashley Paulson USA
Antonina Reznikov ISR
Natalie Seymour GBR
Annah Watkinson ZAF

Ironman New Zealand 2019 (March 2nd) – Seedings

IMNZLogoPrevious Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2005 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:20:15 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:30:14
2006 Ain-Alar Juhanson (EST) 03:31:05 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 04:10:32
2007 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:26:33 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:20:02
2008 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:24:49 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:16:00
2009 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:18:05 Gina Crawford (NZL) 09:18:26
2010 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:21:52 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 09:14:35
2011 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:31:07 Samantha Warriner (NZL) 09:28:24
2012 Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 03:55:03 Meredith Kessler (USA) 04:22:46
2013 Bevan Docherty (NZL) 08:15:35 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:17:10
2014 Marko Albert (EST) 08:17:33 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:08:46
2015 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:22:13 Meredith Kessler (USA) 09:05:45
2016 Cameron Brown (NZL) 08:07:58 Meredith Kessler (USA) 08:56:08
2017 Braden Currie (NZL) 08:20:58 Jocelyn McCauley (USA) 09:09:47
2018 Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 07:59:56 Laura Siddall (GBR) 09:00:44

Last Race’s TOP 3

You can find the full results and a description of how the race unfolded from last year here.

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Terenzo Bozzone NZL 00:49:10 04:22:05 02:44:16 07:59:56
2 Joe Skipper GBR 00:51:47 04:19:13 02:49:46 08:05:32
3 Cameron Brown NZL 00:51:34 04:28:57 02:41:55 08:07:09

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time
1 Laura Siddall GBR 00:55:31 04:54:18 03:06:11 09:00:44
2 Teresa Adam NZL 00:49:32 05:01:13 03:09:34 09:05:35
3 Jocelyn McCauley USA 00:52:59 04:57:02 03:17:43 09:12:51

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 07:59:56 Terenzo Bozzone 2018-03-03
Swim overall 00:44:26 Dylan McNeice 2015-03-07
Bike overall 04:19:13 Joe Skipper 2018-03-03
Run overall 02:41:20 Matt Hanson 2016-03-05
Total female 08:56:08 Meredith Kessler 2016-03-05
Swim female 00:46:30 Monica Byrn 2005-05-03
Bike female 04:51:39 Lucy Gossage 2016-03-05
Run female 02:59:10 Jess Draskau-Petersson 2004-03-06

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM New Zealand is 07:59.

Race Adjustments for IM New Zealand

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2005 31:31 -01:28 -06:29 39:28 38 31:31 -01:28 -06:29 39:28
2007 13:54 02:18 05:44 05:53 24 22:43 00:29 -00:06 22:20
2008 11:35 02:17 05:10 04:09 36 19:00 01:06 01:41 16:14
2009 10:19 00:45 06:19 03:15 38 16:50 01:00 02:52 12:58
2010 09:23 01:42 03:24 04:18 22 15:21 01:09 02:58 11:14
2011 -04:07 00:18 -01:15 -03:11 24 12:06 01:00 02:16 08:50
2013 00:00 00:45 01:05 -01:50 24 10:22 00:58 02:05 07:19
2014 05:40 01:30 01:16 02:55 31 of 41 09:47 01:02 01:59 06:46
2015 05:53 01:05 01:24 03:24 22 of 27 09:21 01:03 01:55 06:24
2016 06:05 01:26 04:25 00:15 37 of 49 09:01 01:05 02:10 05:47
2017 -04:07 -03:00 -01:21 00:13 27 of 40 07:50 00:43 01:51 05:17
2018 09:43 00:34 06:59 02:12 28 of 34 07:59 00:42 02:16 05:01

Kona slots and Prize Money

IM New Zealand has 1m+1f +2u Pro Kona slot(s). It has a total prize purse of 60.000 US$, paying 8 deep.

Male Race Participants

The strength of the field is 29% of a typical Kona field.

# Bib Name Nat Expected Rating ESwim EBike ET2 ERun Consistency Overall
1 1 Terenzo Bozzone (KQ) NZL 08:06:25 08:15:33 00:47:34 04:27:19 05:19:53 02:46:32 74% +18% -9% (18) 8
2 3 Braden Currie NZL 08:06:49 08:19:46 00:46:13 04:32:24 05:23:37 02:43:12 39% +30% -31% (7) 12
3 2 Cameron Brown NZL 08:14:04 08:30:19 00:50:40 04:36:34 05:32:14 02:41:50 65% +5% -30% (38) 48
4 8 Mike Phillips NZL 08:15:08 08:21:53 00:48:40 04:32:05 05:25:45 02:49:23 68% +13% -19% (6) 20
5 7 Matt Burton AUS 08:20:04 08:39:42 00:51:30 04:29:23 05:25:52 02:54:12 20% +31% -49% (10) 80
6 5 Tim Reed AUS 08:22:08 08:28:56 00:48:26 04:33:15 05:26:42 02:55:26 75% +10% -15% (9) 42
7 4 Andrew Starykowicz USA 08:24:04 08:34:24 00:48:03 04:20:16 05:13:19 03:10:45 30% +28% -42% (12) 59
8 6 Mark Bowstead NZL 08:26:30 08:43:54 00:48:01 04:35:49 05:28:49 02:57:41 67% +0% -33% (7) 95
9 10 Simon Cochrane NZL 08:33:22 08:48:55 00:49:20 04:42:21 05:36:42 02:56:40 71% +17% -12% (25) 109
10 9 Dylan McNeice NZL 08:35:01 08:40:46 00:45:20 04:39:38 05:29:58 03:05:03 22% +37% -40% (19) 82
11 16 Carl Read NZL 08:53:13 09:10:36 00:52:11 04:58:38 05:55:49 02:57:24 60% +4% -36% (14) 181
12 15 Mitchell Kibby AUS 08:53:59 09:15:40 00:48:11 05:00:00 05:53:11 03:00:48 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (197)
13 12 Sacha Cavelier CAN 09:54:28 10:22:27 01:00:26 05:13:44 06:19:10 03:35:18 27% +46% -27% (5) 266
14 11 Daniel Brown AUS 10:50:39 11:16:56 01:04:29 05:45:15 06:54:45 03:55:54 45% +0% -55% (4) (272)
14 Shen-Yen Hsieh TWN n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
17 Justin Wendemuth AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Female Race Participants

The strength of the field is 15% of a typical Kona field.

# Bib Name Nat Expected Rating ESwim EBike ET2 ERun Consistency Overall
1 21 Laura Siddall GBR 09:05:00 09:15:13 00:56:22 04:59:13 06:00:36 03:04:24 82% +16% -2% (18) 12
2 22 Teresa Adam NZL 09:07:05 09:13:19 00:49:45 05:04:41 05:59:26 03:07:39 100% +0% -0% (3) 10
3 24 Meredith Kessler USA 09:07:17 09:18:48 00:49:40 05:03:16 05:57:56 03:09:21 71% +3% -26% (31) 19
4 23 Jocelyn McCauley USA 09:10:20 09:36:55 00:53:59 05:03:54 06:02:52 03:07:28 25% +22% -53% (12) 46
5 35 Emily Loughnan AUS 09:22:42 09:40:32 00:54:14 05:15:11 06:14:25 03:08:17 100% +0% -0% (2) (53)
6 29 Melanie Burke NZL 09:29:31 09:39:08 01:05:43 05:07:48 06:18:31 03:11:00 77% +20% -3% (15) 50
7 25 Kristin Liepold GER 09:30:57 09:41:10 01:02:28 05:24:13 06:31:40 02:59:17 79% +5% -16% (25) (53)
8 26 Jessica Mitchell AUS 09:54:02 10:13:04 01:01:55 05:22:49 06:29:43 03:24:19 62% +19% -19% (8) 104
9 27 Nicole Luse USA 10:08:12 10:26:18 01:09:19 05:34:57 06:49:15 03:18:57 53% +47% -0% (4) (117)
10 33 Carly Johann USA 10:14:00 10:37:06 01:01:15 05:33:18 06:39:33 03:34:27 18% +82% -0% (2) (124)
11 32 Erin Furness NZL 10:16:14 10:43:08 01:02:42 05:36:33 06:44:15 03:31:59 45% +4% -51% (8) 127
30 Rebecca Clarke NZL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
31 Claire Davis AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
34 Chloe Lane AUS n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
36 Karen Toulmin NZL n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

  • Terenzo Bozzone: 53% (1-1)
  • Braden Currie: 25% (3-1)
  • Cameron Brown: 10% (9-1)
  • Mike Phillips: 8% (12-1)
  • Andrew Starykowicz: 2% (62-1)

Female Race Participants

  • Laura Siddall: 50% (1-1)
  • Teresa Adam: 27% (3-1)
  • Meredith Kessler: 12% (8-1)
  • Jocelyn McCauley: 11% (8-1)

Ironman Texas 2019 (April 27th) – Entry List


  • March 25th: Added Lucy Charles-Barclay, Jennie HansenSarah LewisJocelyn McCauleyAshley Paulson (WPRO) and Clemente Alonso McKernanReece BarclayWill ClarkeGregory CloseNils FrommholdNicholas GranetYorlliry MorenoSebastian NajmowiczDavid PleseMatthew RussellOhad SinaiJoe SkipperAndrew Starykowicz, and Michael Weiss (MPRO). Some of these are probably only on the list as a back up for IM South Africa.
  • March 6th: Added Palmira Alvarez, Daniela Ryf, Jeanni Seymour, Lesley Smith, Natasha Van der Merwe (WPRO) and Balazs Csoke, Clay Emge, Pedro Gomes, Alexander Schilling, Jonathan Shearon (MPRO)
  • Linsey Corbin has indicated that she won’t be racing Texas, also Kirsty Jahn announced a move to running. Both are probably not racing and I have crossed them out in the list.

Kona Slots and Prize Money

IM Texas has 2m+2f +2u Pro Kona slots. It has a total prize purse of 150.000 US$, paying 10 deep.

Male Race Participants

Name Nation
Clemente Alonso McKernan (KQ) ESP
Reece Barclay GBR
Blake Becker USA
Alexander Berggren SWE
Will Clarke GBR
Gregory Close USA
Balazs Csoke HUN
Trevor Delsaut FRA
Pete Dyson GBR
Clay Emge USA
Martin Fredriksson SWE
Nils Frommhold GER
Pedro Gomes POR
Pablo Gomez COL
Nicholas Granet FRA
Matt Hanson (KQ) USA
Allan Hovda NOR
Colin Laughery USA
Yorlliry Moreno VEN
Urs Mueller SUI
Sebastian Najmowicz POL
David Plese SLO
Sam Proctor GBR
Matthew Russell USA
Alexander Schilling GER
Jonathan Shearon USA
Ohad Sinai ISR
Joe Skipper GBR
Andrew Starykowicz (KQ) USA
Michael Weiss (KQ) AUT

Female Race Participants

Name Nation
Palmira Alvarez MEX
Anne Basso FRA
Lucy Charles-Barclay (AQ) GBR
Linsey Corbin (KQ) USA
Dimity-Lee Duke AUS
Hilary Fenton USA
Jennie Hansen USA
Kirsty Jahn CAN
Jessica Jones USA
Sarah Karpinski USA
Sarah Lewis GBR
Nicole Luse USA
Jocelyn McCauley (KQ) USA
Kimberley Morrison GBR
Angela Naeth CAN
Ashley Paulson USA
Daniela Ryf (AQ) SUI
Jeanni Seymour ZAF
Lesley Smith USA
Caroline St-Pierre CAN
Natasha Van der Merwe USA
Annah Watkinson ZAF

What to Look for in 2019 Long-distance Racing

Before the start of the 2019 long-distance racing season, here is a subjective list of trends and athletes to look for. I’m sure that there will be more athletes that are going to impact racing this year, so apologies in advance to anyone who isn’t mentioned!

Further Improvements

Last year’s post had a long list of athletes that were getting ready for their debut race on the IM distance. Some of them (e.g. Anne Haug, Sarah True) had great first seasons and huge results in Kona, some did well but maybe not quite as well as expected (e.g. Javier Gomez), some even struggled to qualify or even had to postpone their debut race and missed Kona qualifying (e.g. Emma Pallant or Laura Philipp).

SarahT Finish

The 2019 season is probably not going to see another influx of new names but rather a progression of athletes in their Ironman racing: Anne and Sarah have done well in Kona and will be looking to build on their Kona 2018 results. Emma will have to continue to work on her long-distance racing skills – it seems she still has to figure out proper race nutrition in order to do well in the last hour of racing. Laura has overcome her mid-season injuries and qualified for Kona 2019 with a new German fastest time in Barcelona.

In addition, there are athletes who made some progress in 2018 who will work hard for an even better 2019. Lucy Charles was already second in Kona twice, she’ll continue to work on closing the gap to Daniela and stay ahead of the rest of the field in Kona. Braden Currie and Joe Skipper have had great seasons and good Kona results, both are hungry to prove that last season’s results have just been an intermediate step. And Cam Wurf – while breaking bike course records whenever he raced – has also made solid progress on his run, closing the gap to the Kona podium from 21 minutes in 2017 to nine minutes in 2018.

Progress of the German Women

While the German men have been dominating in Kona for a number of years (five wins in the last five years), the German women haven’t been able to have similar successes. Last year I predicted two German women in the Kona Top 10, and with Anne Haug in third and Mareen Hufe in 13th that goal was almost reached.

Mareen Bike

Anne and Mareen continue to race this season (Anne just needs to validate her Kona slot with an IM finish and Mareen secured her Kona slot with a win in Malaysia), and there’s another increase in strong German women looking towards a good Kona result. Daniela Sämmler posted a German record in Roth 2018, then already qualified for Kona with a win at IM Italy in September.   (She’ll be racing as Daniela Bleymehl now after getting married shortly before Christmas.) Laura Philipp broke Daniela’s German record by winning IM Barcelona, and Svenja Thoes also won her IM debut in Cozumel. Anja Beranek (now racing again under her maiden name Anja Ippach) was fourth in Kona 2016, but she struggled in 2017 and 2018. After recovering from Mononucleosis, she is now being coached by Siri Lindley and is back to solid training for the 2019 season. Three recent moms are returning to IM racing, but Julia Gajer, Astrid Stienen and Kristin Liepold (née Möller) will need some more time to get in top shape. Nonetheless, things are looking quite for female IM-distance racing in Germany.

Coming Back From Injury

Last season saw two great “return from life-threatening injury” stories with Matt Russell and Tim Don, and it would be great to see these two celebrate even more great results in 2019.

Jan Kraichgau

This year we’re unlikely to see quite that dramatic stories, but there are a number of athletes that haven’t been able to show their full potential because they were struggling with injuries for parts of the 2018 season. Jan Frodeno had a fantastic season until September when he won every race he started, including IM Germany and 70.3 Worlds but then suffered from a hip stress fracture and wasn’t even able to start in Kona. He mentioned that another big win in Kona could have been his last race, so his 2019 is probably focused one more big bang in October. Terenzo Bozzone is another athlete who wasn’t able to race Kona after he was hit by a car and had to take some more time to properly recover from the injuries he sustained. By winning IM Western Australia he already punched his Kona ticket and indicated that his accident was hopefully just a short break of improving his Ironman racing skills. Ben Hoffman never really got his 2018 season properly going, a crash at Cape Epic kept him from racing well in South Africa, and before Kona he suffered from a stress fracture. Hopefully 2019 will see him return to the solid races he has had in the previous years, both in his qualifying races and in Kona. Boris Stein has finished in Kona Top 10 three times in a row between 2015 and 2017, but his season was disrupted just a few days before his target race IM France when he hit a cat in one of his last bike rides. He snagged a last-minute qualifying spot at IM Copenhagen, but didn’t feel good enough in his final Kona build and canceled his start. The final male athlete I want to highlight is Sebastian Kienle – after winning Challenge Roth which was the fastest 2018 time outside of Texas, an achilles niggle flared up in his Kona build, leading to a sub-standard bike and a DNF early on the run. He’s changed up a few things and I expect him to come back shooting for another Kona win this year.

There were also some athletes on the female side who didn’t have a consistent 2018 season as well. Mel Hauschildt recovered from her surgery to win IM Texas (her third Regional Championship on three different continents!) but then needed another surgery on her other leg and couldn’t race Kona. Annabel Luxford managed to qualify for Kona but also didn’t race – she seemed to struggle with chest infections and that had a major impact on her  Kona prep.

All of these stories are examples of the fine edge between “being fit and being f*cked” (as Sebi put it before Kona) and how one little thing – often without any “fault” of the athlete – can disrupt a whole season. Hopefully struggles in 2018 are going to be offset by a better 2019 season!

Who dominates in North America – USA or Canada?

The US has been dominating the early years of Ironman racing, but the most recent North American winners are from Canada: Lori Bowden and Peter Reid in 2003. That’s a long time ago, and it’s an interesting question where the next North American winners will be coming from.


On the men’s side, there have been podium results by US athletes Tim O’Donnell (third in 2015) and Ben Hoffman (second in 2014), but the closest to a Kona win was been Lionel Sanders who finished second in 2017. In 2018, the top North American finisher was again Tim O’Donnell but there is a strong contingent of Canadians we can expect to race well in Kona: Lionel will work hard to bounce back from his disappointing 2018 race, and Cody Beals has won both IMs he’s been racing so far. Brent McMahon is racing well in his qualifying Ironman races but hasn’t been quite figured out how to transfer that to Kona.

There is a similar rivalry on the female side: Heather Jackson has been the top North American finisher in Kona except this year, but with Sarah True another US woman finished fourth behind three Europeans. Linsey Corbin finished tenth, followed by Sarah Piampiano in eleventh place. Other strong American women include Meredith Kessler (still working on “getting Kona right”), Lesley Smith, Lisa Roberts, Jocelyn McCauley, Jodie Robertson and Lauren Brandon – all of these have the potential for an Ironman win during the season and a good Kona result. But Canada also had a Kona Top 10 finish this year (Angela Naeth in eighth place), and with Jen Annett, Kirsty Jahn, and Rachel McBride there are a few more promising athletes.

It looks to me that the US still has a few more athletes with Kona Top 10 potential, but things are pretty even when looking for the next North American Kona winner.

Photo Credits: All Photos © by Ingo Kutsche, used with permission.

Who to Look for in 2018 – How did they do?

Last year in March, I posted on the athletes I expected to have an impact on 2018 racing (see Who to Look for in 2018 Long-distance Racing):


Here’s a brief look back on how the 2018 season developed for the athletes I mentioned.

Athletes Stepping Up to Ironman Racing

  • Emma Pallant
    Emma struggled a bit moving up to the longer distances. She DNF’d in her first IM in South Africa, then finished third at IM Austria, securing her Kona slot (another DNF). She had more success over the 70.3 distance, winning three races and finishing ninth in the 70.3 World Champs.
  • Laura Philipp
    After three 70.3 wins at the start of her season, Laura had to cancel her IM debut that was planned for IM Germany when she had issues with her Achilles. She recovered in time for two more 70.3 wins and her first full Ironman which she smashed with a new German fastest time and a win at IM Barcelona.
  • Anne Haug
    Anne had a good build-up to IM Germany where she struggled with a flat early in the bike and pacing issues on the run. She still finished fourth, just enough to get a Kona slot. After finishing third at 70.3 Worlds she raced Kona without any expectations. The race turned out extremely well for her when she was able to ride with a big bike group and then to have the fastest run of the day which allowed her to finish in third place.
  • Javier Gomez
    Javier had a good first IM in Cairns when he finished sub-8 and in second after a close running duel with Braden Currie. He continued to race well on the 70.3 distance and was third at 70.3 Worlds after close racing with Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee. His Kona race didn’t quite go according to plan when he lost some time with a flat in the last part of the bike and then didn’t quite have the run everyone (including himself) thought he had in him. After running just under three hours, he eventually finishing eleventh.
    For 2019/2020 he has announced a renewed focus on the shorter distances and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Returning Super Moms

  • Mirinda Carfrae
    Rinny had a solid first season back: She raced (and won) a few 70.3s, validated her Kona slot with a second place at IM Cairns, then finished fifth in Kona. She also secured her place on the Kona 2019 start line by finishing IM Mar del Plata in early December. I think you can expect her to contend for the Kona podium in October 2019.
  • Meredith Kessler
    Meredith had to race a lot for her Kona slot – she finished two full IMs and four 70.3s between April and August. She wasn’t able to “figure out Kona” (adding a DNF to her long list of disappointments on the Island) and also didn’t seem to be fresh for Arizona in November.
  • Liz Blatchford
    Liz had an up (wins at IM Philippines and IM Mont Tremblant) and down season (more injuries), so she decided to end her career after Kona. Racing without expectations, finishing twelfth is a satisfying good-bye race for her.
  • Jodie Cunnama
    Jodie had to focus this year on taking care of son Jack and supporting husband James, as a miscarriage made racing impossible. Hopefully 2019 is going to be a better year for her!
  • Caroline Steffen
    Caroline took some time coming back, but she ended the year with a bang by winning IM Western Australia and securing a Kona slot. I’m sure she has her eyes on delivering another great race in Kona 2019.

The First Sub-4 Bike Leg?

  • Andrew Starykowicz
    Andrew delivered the first sub-4 bike ride at IM Texas (3:54:59), at first not accepted by Ironman because of the slightly shortened course. A few days after the race Ironman accepted the Texas results as valid as a lot of other courses are also short. Still, there wasn’t much marshaling and a lot of Texas results are questionable because of drafting – something that is unlikely to have Andrew him as there isn’t much drafting at the front of the race and without motorbikes on the course.
  • Cameron Wurf
    Cam Wurf set bike course records on every course he raced this year (including Kona), but instead of cracking the four-hour mark was probably more focused on improving his run and placing well overall.

Coming Back from Injury

  • Mel Hauschildt
    Mel was able to win IM Texas with what is officially the IM-brand record, but the had more problems while racing 70.3 Philippines. It was determined that she needed another procedure to correct issues with her iliac artery, this time in her right leg. She had surgery in November 2018 and is hopefully recovering well to have a successful 2019 season.
  • Angela Naeth
    Angela returned to IM racing in June at IM Boulder, but she had contracted Lyme’s disease and struggled to run well. After racing more IMs in the Netherlands and Sweden, she received a Kona slot in late September when her protest led to a DQ of two athletes in the Netherlands. She had a great race in Kona, finishing in eighth place.
  • Tim Don
    After being forced to wear a halo after breaking his neck in Kona, Tim had a great Boston Marathon in April and also won his first 70.3 in Costa Rica. He was looking to add enough KPR points by racing IM Hamburg (9th) and IM Copenhagen (DNF) and was the final August qualifier when one slot rolled down. He tackled his Kona demons and was happy to race, finishing 36th.
  • Matt Russell
    Matt is clearly the “comeback of the year”. After hitting a truck in the Kona race and almost bleeding to death, he was able to race IM Texas in April, but he still wasn’t fully healed quite yet. He missed qualifying even after podium finishes at IM Canada and IM Mont Tremblant, but he received a well deserved wild card entry by Ironman. In Kona he had a fantastic day, making up time on the bike and also having a great run, finishing in sixth place.

Regional Trends

  • (Even) More Germans in Kona
    A number of top Germans struggled in Kona, Jan Frodeno wasn’t able to race at all and Sebastian Kienle DNF’d. Still, Patrick Lange was able to extend the “German Streak” of male winners since 2014. He was helped by Andi Dreitz who finished 13th, while Maurice Clavel also biked well but then fell back on the run to 19th place.
    Anne Haug – representing the German ladies – had a great result with her podium finish in Kona. Some other women had issues (see the section on athletes stepping up to the IM distance above), but there is a long list of promising athletes for 2019.
  • The Big American Hope to Win Kona
    The list of great American Ironwomen had an interesting addition with Sarah True who finished second in Frankfurt and fourth in Kona in her first season of long-distance racing. Heather Jackson struggled in Kona but then went on to set a new US fastest time when winning IM Arizona. Other American ladies did well but didn’t quite have the great results they were looking for.
    The “old US guard” on the men’s side is still going strong, this year Tim O’Donnell, Matt Russell and Andy Potts finished in the Top 10, while Ben Hoffman struggled with two injuries and wasn’t able to race Kona. Beyond these four, there still isn’t a proven Kona contender. For example, Matt Hanson continued his string of great racing in Texas and frustrating Kona results (33rd this year).
  • Scandinavian Ladies
    Once again, the top Scandinavian Kona finisher was Kaisa Sali, even though she was probably looking for more than seventh place. The other established Scandinavian ladies weren’t quite able to match her and finished well outside of the Top 10.
  • Rule Britannia
    This year’s Kona race had some more good results for British athletes, with Lucy Charles and David McNamee repeating their second and third places from last year and Joe Skipper and Corinne Abraham also moving up into the Top 10. With all the success on the shorter distances, it seems likely we will see more British athletes doing well in the coming years.
  • Aussie Aussie
    On the female side, the Aussies have had two Top 10 (Mirinda Carfrae fifth, Sarah Crowley sixth), while Cameron Wurf was the best Aussie male in ninth place. Another solid year for the Australians, but it doesn’t look as if they will be able to snag their next Kona win soon.
  • Asians Starting to Close the Gap
    Ironman continues to work on their expansion in Asia and China, but the number of changing venues indicates that this is not an easy goal to achieve. We also haven’t seen any notable results by Asian athletes last season – the fastest IM finish was an 8:55 at IM Malaysia by Japanese athlete Kaito Toharo. It seems to me that the growth of races and athletes will feed off each other, and both will need a bit more time.

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