The recent discussion on IM Talk about the Kona ranking prompted John Newsom to ask me for my Top 10 ratings. I’m not totally happy with the races that I have evaluated (most notable, Austria and Switzerland are missing which may lead to some shifting around), but I think the general TOP10 look quite stable, so I’ve decided to take the bait and publish the rankings and a little discussion. If you want to have a more detailed look at the individual race results, choose “Top 10 Ratings” from the menu or follow the link.
Here is a table with “my” TOP 10 male pros:
Rank Name Rating Last Race # Races 1 Raelert, Andreas 08:19:58 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 5 2 McCormack, Chris 08:20:38 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 13 3 Alexander, Craig 08:22:44 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 5 4 Llanos, Eneko 08:27:07 IM Texas on 2011-05-21 13 5 Bracht, Timo 08:27:19 IM Lanzarote on 2011-05-21 13 6 Henning, Rasmus 08:28:21 IM Arizona on 2010-11-21 4 7 Vanhoenacker, Marino 08:29:18 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 6 8 Al-Sultan, Faris 08:31:27 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 10 9 Bockel, Dirk 08:33:29 IM Florida on 2010-11-06 4 10 Brown, Cameron 08:33:32 IM New Zealand on 2011-03-05 15
The top 3 athletes (Andreas, Macca and Crowie) stand a bit above the rest of the athletes. Between Andreas and Macca it is pretty even, but adding the results from IM Germany gave Andreas a little edge (he was just a few seconds slower than Macca in 2009, but beat him by more than 9 minutes in 2010). Statistically, Andreas is a little bit ahead, but the difference is so small that any new race could change things and I’d not really venture a guess if they actually ended up racing each other again.
After the Top 3, you have a group of very solid racers, each of which could win Hawaii without causing too much surprise. Eneko and Timo have raced quite a lot (and are the top athletes to look pretty solid for Hawaii) , Marino had to drop out of a few races lately, and Rasmus (also a lock-down for a Hawaii slot) may just have built enough experience to be in the running for a podium in Kona. Dirk Bockel is in a similar point in his career.
Then we also have Faris Al Sultan (who is just a very solid racer, no big surprises on either side of the spectrum) and Cameron Brown (coming off another great win in New Zealand) – both of which “belong” in the Top 10, but are probably not in real contention for winning Kona.
On the female side, here are my picks for the Top 10:
Rank Name Rating Last Race # Races Total Rank 1 Wellington, Chrissie 08:57:24 IM South Africa on 2011-04-10 10 81 2 Carfrae, Mirinda 09:18:38 IM New Zealand on 2011-03-05 3 179 3 Van Vlerken, Yvonne 09:22:54 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 6 211 4 Keat, Rebekah 09:30:19 Challenge Roth on 2010-07-18 9 259 5 Steffen, Caroline 09:31:08 IM Australia on 2011-05-01 6 263 6 Thuerig, Karin 09:33:25 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 3 275 7 Morrison, Catriona 09:33:38 IM Texas on 2011-05-21 4 277 8 Wallenhorst, Sandra 09:34:38 IM Germany on 2010-07-04 5 282 9 McGlone, Samantha 09:34:45 IM Hawaii on 2010-10-09 5 283 10 Marsh, Amy 09:35:27 IM Brazil on 2011-05-29 4 285
No surprises on the first two spots: Chrissie and Mirinda are just heads above all the other girls.
The rest of the Top 10 is an interesting mix between athletes still improving (Caroline Steffen, Cat Morrison, Amy Marsh), established solid racers (Yvonne Van Vlerken, Sandra Wallenhorst, Sam McGlone) and some “wildcards” – Bek Keat with great results on fast courses such as Roth, but never quite on top of her form in Kona and Karin Thuerig who can’t decide if she wants to be a cyclist or a triathlete. A very interesting mix for sure, but it seems that the top 2 spots are just out of reach for anyone not names Chrissie or Rinnie.
Comparing Thorsten’s Tri Rating to WTC’s Kona Pro Rankings
There are a few differences between the Kona Pro Rankings by WTC (used to determine the Kona qualifiers) and Thorsten’s Tri Rating:
- TTR is time based, KPR is points based
- KPR is limited to just one year, TTR uses all results of an athletes in a weighted fashion (i.e. old results count, but not as much as a new race)
- KPR weights races (indeed, quite heavily so – with races such as Texas or Germany being six times more important than New Zealand or Australia), for TTR a fast time in New Zealand is as important as anywhere else (TTR tries to “normalize” results, so a fast time on a slow course results in the same adjusted time as on a fast course)
- KPR also uses points from 70.3 races, TTR only uses Ironman-distance races (even a few non-WTC results such as Challenge Wanaka and Challenge Roth)
Of course, this leads to different TOP 10 rankings. Here’s a look at some notable Top10 athletes from the KPR that are missing from the TTR Top 10:
- Men’s KPR leader Tim O’Donnell only has one result (so he’s not eligible for a Top10 ranking yet. His Texas result would put him right along Crowie.
- Raynard Tissink (KPR#3) and Luke Bell (KPR#5) are rated 15th and 53rd. Luke is “hurt” by his attempts of breaking through – his results are either 8:30ish or 9:30ish.
- Peter Vabrousek (KPR#10) is racing a million times. His results (and rating) of around 9 hours are good enough to collect a lot of points – but racing often in about the same time does not improve your rating.
- On the women’s side we see similar issues, but the differences are not that large. Most of the athletes that are in the KPR Top 10 but not in the TTR Top 10 are ranked between 11 and 25.
All in all, I’m quite confident that the fields that you’d get from TTR and those you will get using KPR will be very similar. There is however one requirement that WTC has put up for Kona qualification that might turn out to be very interesting (at least for the men): The requirement to have at least one IM outside of Kona. Currently, only 5 of my Top10 (and only 5 of the Top 10 Kona finishers from 2010) have fulfilled that requirement, and the Top3 athletes haven’t and will probably struggle a bit (Andreas Raelert is rumored to race Challenge Roth, Macca prefers to shoot for the Olympics, and Crowie is still MIA after being sick for Australia).