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Rating Analysis 2012

As part of my recently released 2012 Rating Report (get your copy here), I’m analyzing the TOP 10 ratings at the end of 2012. Here’s an excerpt looking at the TOP 10 Overall Ratings with my #1 rated athletes Andreas Raelert and Mirinda Carfrae.

TOP 10 Rated Male Athletes

Rank Name Nation Rating Last Race # Races
1 Andreas Raelert GER 08:15:26 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 10
2 Craig Alexander AUS 08:16:48 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 9
3 Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 08:17:06 IM Germany on 2012-07-08 13
4 Eneko Llanos ESP 08:20:19 IM Melbourne on 2012-03-24 17
5 Sebastian Kienle GER 08:20:53 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 5
6 Timo Bracht GER 08:21:20 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 17
7 Faris Al-Sultan GER 08:24:12 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 15
8 David Dellow AUS 08:25:32 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 4
9 Cameron Brown NZL 08:26:50 Challenge Roth on 2012-07-08 19
10 Chris McCormack AUS 08:27:19 IM Cairns on 2012-06-02 15

Compared to last year, Andreas Raelert held on to his first spot in the rankings, though his lead has gotten much smaller. He just delivers one strong season after another, but this year lacked a big highlight (in 2011 he set a new World Record time in Roth) – and I’m sure he will continue to search for ways to climb to the top spot in Kona. After his great performance in Melbourne Craig Alexander was in first place for most of the season, but after his sub-par Kona race, he fell back again to the #2 spot.

Marino Vanhoenacker and Eneko Llanos probably have mixed feelings about their season. They’ve both had good results (Marino winning in Frankfurt, Eneko having a good result in Melbourne and in his hometown of Vitoria in the ITU long distance), but as in 2011 both had disappointing DNFs in Kona.

Sebastian Kienle and David Dellow are clearly athletes on the rise that had a great 2012 season. Sebastian had an impressive autumn (winning the 70.3 championships and putting his stamp on Kona), David raced strong in Melbourne, won Cairns and had a TOP10 result in Kona.

Timo Bracht and Faris Al-Sultan are two very solid German racers. They continue to win races (Timo in Western Australia, Faris in Austria) and place well in Kona – but are they ever going to contend again for a Kona win? Cameron Brown is another “older” athlete – he’s had a frustrating DNS in Kona, but overall had a good 2012 season with fast times in Melbourne and Roth.

Chris McCormack is back to IM racing after trying to qualify for the Olympics. He just “ticked the box” in finishing Cairns, then wasn’t on form in Kona (seems that his altitude prep didn’t go as planned) – but he’ll be back for 2013 and I’m sure he wants to say goodbye to Kona with a good result.

Last year we also had Dirk Bockel and Rasmus Henning in the TOP10. Dirk had a not-so-good end to the year: His injury-hampered Kona had him finish in a solid 10th place, but trying to score some points in Cozumel ended in a 4:30 run and a steep increase in his rating. He’ll be back for more in 2013 – in contrast to Rasmus who ended his career. He’s had races in Texas and Kona not quite going to plan (each with 3:1x marathons), then said an emotional goodbye in Kona.

TOP 10 Rated Female Athletes

Rank Name Nation Rating Last Race # Races
1 Mirinda Carfrae AUS 09:12:34 IM Florida on 2012-11-03 7
2 Mary Beth Ellis USA 09:15:32 IM Cozumel on 2012-11-25 8
3 Caroline Steffen SUI 09:16:43 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 13
4 Yvonne Van Vlerken AUT 09:17:11 IM Florida on 2012-11-03 9
5 Rachel Joyce GBR 09:19:30 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 11
6 Sonja Tajsich GER 09:22:42 IM Cozumel on 2012-11-25 13
7 Linsey Corbin USA 09:23:56 IM Arizona on 2012-11-18 14
8 Amy Marsh USA 09:25:49 IM Hawaii on 2012-10-13 8
9 Rebekah Keat AUS 09:26:14 IM Western Australia on 2012-12-09 19
10 Leanda Cave GBR 09:26:26 IM Arizona on 2012-11-18 12

In the women’s ranking, we see a bit more change than on the men’s side. This is due to athletes ending their racing careers (Chrissie Wellington, Karin Thürig) or being injured (Julie Dibens, Catriona Morrison).

Mirinda Carfrae “inherited” the #1 spot from Chrissie. She struggled a bit during this year and while placing 3rd did not have the Kona she wanted. She’s also the only athlete in the TOP 10 who did not improve her rating this year. I hope she’s coming back strong for 2013, as her fantastic run makes her races very interesting to follow.

Mary Beth Ellis is still unbeaten in an Ironman outside of Kona. She was not as over-raced as last year, but came up just short in Kona. The same can be said for Caroline Steffen. She had a great 2012 season and improved her rating by leaps and bounds, but will not be satisfied with her 2nd place in Kona.

Yvonne Van Vlerken (now racing for Austria and training in Siri Lindley’s group) had a string of DNFs, but then managed to win IM Florida in November (only to follow up with another DNF in Cozumel). When she’s on form she can beat anyone, but her results are not steady enough.

Rachel Joyce also had a 2012 great season, but was sick again in Kona – barely recovering to finish 11th and already in a good position to qualify. I’m looking forward to when she races healthy in Kona!

I always feel that Sonja Tajsich is a bit under the radar. Her swim is really bad for a PRO (1:10 in Kona, 1:13 in Cozumel), so she isn’t near the front until the end of the run – but she usually has the fastest run split.

Linsey Corbin continues to move up the ranking. With two wins this year (Austria and Arizona) and a solid 8th in Hawaii she is well positioned for big things in 2013. Amy Marsh was not able to win another Ironman this year, but has posted three solid results this year and with a 10th place in Kona shouldn’t have a problem to qualify. Hopefully she can use the time to improve her run!

I’m not really sure how to sum up Rebekah Keat’s season. She has had some good results (2nd places in New York and Western Australia) so you can’t call it a disappointment. However, for an athlete that has posted a world-class sub-8:40 time, you have to think that she has a bigger potential that what she has shown this year.

Leanda Cave had the perfect Kona race, coming from behind to win it on the run. As last year, she doubled up in Arizona and has secured her Kona slot, so she is free to plan her season as she likes. She’s had some slower results in the past so she is not placed as high as her current capabilities indicate.

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