Wednesday, December 31, 2008


1. Wellington confirms her status as the one to beat. She successfully challenged and defended her World Championship title and won races in Australia, Europe and the US with relative ease. She has reset the standard for a second year in a row.

2. Yvonne Van Vlerken sets a new long-distance triathlon record, and takes second in her Kona debut. It's unlikely the new mark will remain for the 14-year period as Paula Newby-Fraser's did.

3. The Sub Nine field expanded at such a fast rate that it was almost hard to keep the stats up to date. It's another sign of the depth of the women's field.

4. Racing long and a lot proved to be a successful strategy for a range of top athletes both in and out of Team TBB. The particular success of TBB also showed the value of training with other top athletes.

5. Natascha Badmann's long and dominating reign appears to be over. The now 42-year-old athlete dropped out during the run in Kona in October, and wasn't able to train at the level to which she was accustomed for most of the year because of the injury suffered after crashing into a road pylon in Kona in 2007.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Year in Review

The last 12 months marked a transition for pro women as the depth of the field helped propel their performances to their highest level yet.

In the next few days, we'll review the achievements of 2008 and set the stage for what lies ahead in 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From English to English

In three months time, Chrissie Wellington has signed up with a third coach. This time it's Simon Lessing, who recently retired as a pro himself.

See Triathlete magazine

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ferguson goes Sub Nine in WA

For the second time this season, Gina Ferguson broke the 9-hour mark. She went 8.59:24.

8:59:24 50:30 4:58:12 3:10:41

Ferguson led from start to finish.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who's on first?

So Hillary Biscay, Belinda Granger and Chrissie Wellington have left Brett Sutton and Team TBB to join Cliff English.

There's a story on slowtwitch and also on xtri.

Who is he? Well, he may be best known for coaching Sam McGlone. In the past he's also coached Peter Reid (in the pool) and Melanie McQuaid and Leanda Cave.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sara Gross - Top 20

"Into T2 and I was really feeling like crap physically and mentally. Its hard to be in that much pain for that long. So I ran. As I got going i knew that i wasnt on fire, but that if kept up the pace it might just be enough to squeak into the top 20. And it was. Phew.

The long and the short of it is that i came to this race to learn so i could do well here in future years, and learn i did! Mission accomplished. So I should be happy right?"

Linsey - Top American - 5th

"To see a dream of mine become a reality is just an indescribable feeling. From the start of the year, I have always been focused on a top-ten performance here in Hawaii. While I credit several factors to the success of my day, when it came time for the cannon to blow, I knew I was as prepared as ever to `crack a big one'."

Linsey Corbin

Gina - exhausted in 8th

"I was exhausted at the finish line. I have never been exhausted before and have always finished with plenty in reserve so at least I know I had given it my all so I am happy. I have a lot now that I can take away and try and improve upon for next year."

Gina Ferguson

Jo Lawn didn't give up - 14th

"For me Kona was and is everything ..."

Joanna Lawn

Kate Major looks ahead

Kate Major was injured heading into the race and wasn't able to run anywhere near her ability.

"In one way I was disappointed in my result but in another, I did all I could do and wont go to sleep wondering how I would have gone.

I will be back again next year!!!"

Bella's 7th!

Bella Comerford finished off a superb season with a 7th place finish in Kona.

Bella's blog

Charlotte Paul's race day - 11th

Charlotte, a Brit who's now an Aussie, came 11th in Kona with a 3:06 marathon split.

Charlotte Journey

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Top 20 Women


Wellington, Chrissie







Van Vlerken, Yvonne







Wallenhorst, Sandra







Csomor, Erika







Corbin, Linsey







Berasategui, Virginia







Comerford, Bella







Ferguson, Gina







Kehr, Gina







Griesbauer, Dede






11 Paul, Charlotte 1:03:14 5:26:31 3:06:13 9:41:15
12 Snow, Caitlin 59:01 5:36:57 3:01:59 9:43:27
13 Matter, Sibylle 56:15 5:20:13 3:23:15 9:44:54
14 Lawn, Joanna 59:00 5:16:44 3:25:10 9:45:33
15 Dogana, Martina 1:03:31 5:27:26 3:14:32 9:50:47
16 Imaizumi, Naomi 1:03:32 5:22:03 3:20:20 9:54:08
17 Granger, Belinda 56:09 5:15:24 3:39:47 9:56:01
18 Keat, Rebekah 56:19 5:26:39 3:28:27 9:56:01
19 Shiono, Emi 1:14:34 5:22:23 3:15:21 9:57:04
20 Gross, Sara 59:04 5:42:27 3:18:57 10:06:10

Wellington takes 2nd title

Chrissie Wellington secured a second consecutive Kona title and set a new course run split at the same time.

1 9:06:23 101 Wellington, Chrissie Thetford GBR 56:20 2:06 5:08:16 1:59 2:57:44

Friday, October 10, 2008

Slowtwitch odds

Here's what slowtwitch has in mind:

Kona pre-race preview

Chrissie Wellington
Kate Major
Jo Lawn
Rebecca Preston
Nina Kraft
Dede Griesbauer
Gina Kerr
Desiree Ficker

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Triathlete Magazine

Kona issue women's preview

Chrissie Wellington
Sam McGlone (DNS because of injury)
Kate Major

Yvonne Van Vlerken
Erika Csomor

Bella Comerford
Gina Ferguson
Belinda Granger
Edith Niederfriniger

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wellington vs Van Vlerken

The duel is set for this weekend - make that August 30-31 - in Almere, The Netherlands which is hosting the ITU Long Distance World Championships.

It will be the last big race for both athletes before Kona in October.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Interview: Yvonne van Vlerken

In conversation with Yvonne van Vlerken
By Timothy Moore

For the first time in any iron-distance event, four women finished in less than 9 hours in Roth, Germany on July 13.

What’s more, in a matter of just eight days last month, on three different race courses in Europe, eight of the world’s best iron-women confirmed their membership in the elite Sub Nine Club. They have set the stage for the fastest starting line ever in Kona this October.

The race in Roth marked the third time in 12 months that Yvonne van Vlerken crossed a iron finish line in less than 9 hours. Her unexpected approach of the world record in Roth in 2007 - she was 1 minute and 2 seconds off the mark - can rightly be seen as a catalyst for the recent surge in speed among the women’s field.

In fact, the women in Team TBB - among them Chrissie Wellington, Erika Csomor and Belinda Granger - help motivate themselves in training with thoughts of putting `Yvonne VV` in her place. It’s a huge compliment to what van Vlerken has accomplished.

Including her iron debut in Roth in 2007, van Vlerken has won three iron-distance races, and she was second in her fourth, which came early in her season when, as she says, her top priority was to secure a spot to Kona.

While new to iron-distance racing, the 29-year-old has a very solid race CV including a World Duathlon Championship in 2006. She has raced and won events across Europe for more than six years. She’s preparing now for the ITU World Long-Course Championship which is being held in Almere, The Netherlands later this month.

Van Vlerken was surprised by her performance in Roth in 2007. She wasn’t aware how close she had been to Paula Newby-Fraser’s record. She didn’t intend to repeat that mistake.

"I didn’t feel any pressure. I was confident that I could win,’’ she says of her preparation for Roth a month ago. "I just knew that I could win and break the world record.’’

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What matters the most?

Already a debate has begun about who holds the real world record. It's a moot point.

Yvonne van Vlerken is now the fastest ironwoman on the planet. Period. She shouldn't be denied that accolade.

There should be no debate about whether it was or wasn't a WTC event. [There are some people who view the times set in Kona as the only ones worth recording.]

There are always going to be differences in terms of courses, the conditions and also the effect of having more or less athletes competing at the same time. But the distance is indisputable.

Eight athletes recorded Sub9 times in eight days this month, starting with Chrissie Wellington at Ironman Germany in Frankfurt on July 6 and ending with Belinda Granger at Roth, also in Germany, on July 13.

This rush to the line wasn't as sudden as it might appear, nor should it be dismissed anytime soon. It's a huge accomplishment and a great development for triathlon.

The depth of the women's field is greater now than it ever has been and the level of competition is as high as it ever has been.

Without a doubt there are comparisons to the races between Paula Newby-Fraser and Erin Baker. Each pushed each other to their personal limits and then a bit further. But it wouldn't be fair to these two legends of the sport nor to the athletes of today to dwell on who's the best based simply on time.

Newby-Fraser and Baker excelled at the highest level year in and year out and it's that consistency that makes them legends.

That's why in any sport, an era is defined as a period of time.

The current women's field entered a new era last year when van Vlerken in her rookie ironman event at Roth almost set a new world record. What she accomplished then was to inject confidence in herself, and among her competitors, to reset the goalposts. With her time on Sunday, she now has gone Sub9 three times in a year. She'll make her Kona debut this October.

Wellington's unexpected win in Kona, and her four ironman wins in as many races are another point of definition.

These athletes are just the tip of the iceberg.

Hawaii is poised to be one very exciting race this year.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Eight Days in July

These results are the eight athletes who recorded Sub9 times from July 6 to July 13 at three races in Europe: Ironman Germany, Ironman Austria and Quelle Roth Challenge.

*For a larger image, click on the table

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quelle Challenge Roth

Yvonne van Vlerken, Erika Csomor, Gina Ferguson and Belinda Granger broke the 9-hour mark at Quelle Challenge Roth in Germany.

Van Vlerken has set a new standard for iron-distance racing with her 8:45.48 clocking.

Csomor went 8:47:05, Ferguson 8:57:18 and Granger 8:58:08.

Ironman Austria

At Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt, Sandra Wallenhorst went 8:47:26, Bella Comerford 8:51:17 and Edith Niederfriniger 8:59:45.

For a short period of time Wallenhorst was the world record holder.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wellington 8:51:24

At Ironman Germany in Frankfurt, Chrissie Wellington won her fourth straight ironman race and came within a whisker of setting a new world record.

She led from start to finish, crossing the line about 26 minutes ahead of her next competitor.

Instead of racing to the line, she slowed during the final stretch to celebrate.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wellington - a tough athlete

Chrissie Wellington has been named to the Sports Illustrated list of toughest athletes. She's 10th and the toughest woman.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lawn wins 6th NZ

Jo Lawn won her sixth Ironman New Zealand on Saturday and she did so in dramatic style.

After taking control of the race during the bike, her strength, she saw her about four minute lead at the start of the run evaporate by the 28km mark when Aussie Kate Bevilaqua caught her.

The two women ran side by side for about 10km, with each trying to press ahead at various times only to have their move countered.

At about the 38km mark, heading back into Taupo, Lawn dug deep and Bevilaqua wasn't able to respond. Lawn kept pushing and crossed the line in 9:16:00 to set a new course record.

In her immediate post-race comments, Lawn said there was no way she would have been able to push herself as hard as she did if it hadn't been for Bevilaqua running at her side.

Rankings - 1 March 2008

*Click on the table for a large image

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Speedy Iron Demons

*Click on the table for a larger image

**Based on the 2008 season to date

Speedy Half Demons

*Click on the table for a larger image

**Based on the 2008 season to date

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fastest Women of 2007

Here are the five fastest times and athletes who set them:

First: 8:51:55 Yvonne van Vlerken - Quelle Challenge Roth

Second: 8:58:25 Joanna Lawn - Quelle Challenge Roth

Third: 8:58:28 Yvonne van Vlerken - Quelle Challenge Roth

Fourth: 9:00:55 Charlotte Paul - Ironman WA

Fifth: 9:04:11 Nicole Leder - Ironman Germany

Who is Yvonne van Vlerken?

Yvonne van Vlerken made a very impressive start to her ironman career by winning both races she entered and by finishing sub9 in both of them too.

Her iron debut came in Roth in late June when she finished in 8:51:55, recording a 2:58 marathon time. Two months later in Almere, the Netherlands she scorched the course with a 8:58:28 finish.

While new to iron distance racing, Van Vlerken has a formidable race CV. She won the world duathlon championships in 2006 and came third in 2007. She was voted Dutch Triathlete of the Year for her 2007 season.

She says she’s headed to Malaysia to race in February.

Yvonne’s site

Roth - The Fastest Course

The race in Roth, which was part of the WTC circuit until 2001, is home to the world records for Ironman distance events. In fact, the world records for men and women together have been set six times at Roth.

In 1996, Lothar Leder became the first triathlete to finish sub8 in 7:57:02. One year later, Luc van Lierde lowered the world record to 7:50:27. It still stands.

On the women's side, the current race and world record was set by Paula Newby Fraser in 1994 in 8:50:53.

In 2007, two women went sub9: Yvonne van Vlerken in 8:51:55 and Joanna Lawn in 8:58:25.

*Results from the Challenge Roth website

Almere - Flat and Fast

Almere is the Netherlands iron distance race and it turned 25 years old in 2007. While out of the limelight, it remains one of the fastest courses in the world.

Women have finished sub9 three times on this course including once in 2007 when Dutch woman Yvonne van Vlerken won in 8:58:28. This was her second sub9 iron distance finish during the year - she won in Roth which was her iron distance debut!

For more on the course, see the website

Fastest WTC race courses 2007

For the women, the fastest courses were WA, Germany, Florida and Austria.

Top 10 Fastest WTC Iron women - 2007

First: 9:00:55 Charlotte Paul - WA

Second: 9:04:11 Nicole Leder - Germany

Third: 9:04:16 Andrea Brede - Germany

Fourth: 9:05:35 Nina Kraft - Florida

Fifth: 9:07:40 Heleen Bij de Vaate - Florida

Sixth: 9:08:23 Gina Ferguson - WA

Seventh: 9:08:45 Chrissie Wellington - Kona

Eighth: 9:08:47 Edith Niederfriniger - Austria

Ninth: 9:09:18 Tyler Stewart - Florida

Tenth: 9:09:33 Veronika Hauke - Austria

*results from ironmanlive leaderboard's for each of the 21 WTC Ironman races held during calendar 2007

**note both Florida in November and WA in December were qualifying races for the 2008 world championships

Who is Charlotte Paul?

She ended 2007 with a 9:00:55 performance at Ironman WA where she smashed the course record by about 10 minutes.

The 34-year-old athlete has made a substantial career move in recent months by winning her first half ironman in Port Macquarie, Australia and then her first Ironman in Busselton. The WA race course has been good to her; in 2006, she was third and in 2005, she was second.

She's coached by both her husband, Kristian Manietta, and John Mergler. While always a threat on the run - she had a run PB of 3:05:05 at WA, Mergler has helped push her to a new level in terms of her cycling. She had the third fastest women's pro bike split on the day at 5:01:34.

Charlotte's blog

Podiums - WTC Ironman 2007

Most podium places - Bella Comerford
SA 3rd, Brazil 3rd, UK 1st, WA 3rd

Most wins - Two each
Nicole Leder, Nina Kraft, Heather Gollnick
Leder won in Malaysia and Germany
Kraft won in Brazil and Florida
Gollnick won in Arizona and Louisville

Both Kraft and Gollnick tied for the highest finishing places each with two wins and one second place finish. Kraft's second place came in Louisville, while Gollnick's came in NZ.

Other multiple race podium stops:

Belinda Granger - Australia 2nd, Lake Placid 1st

Rebecca Preston - Switzerland 1st, Austria 3rd
*these races were one week apart! Preston won both back to back in 2006.

Alison Fitch - Malaysia 2nd, Switzerland 3rd

Gina Ferguson - Wisconsin 1st, WA 2nd

Tyler Stewart - Lake Placid 2nd, Florida 3rd

The Sub Nine Group

Yvonne van Vlerken (Roth, Almere)
Joanna Lawn (Roth)

Lori Bowden (Austria)

Lori Bowden (Austria)

Lori Bowden (Australia)

Irma Heeren (Almere)

Sue Latshaw (Roth)

Katinka Wiltenburg (Almere)

Paula Newby-Fraser (Roth) *world record 8:50:53

Paula Newby-Fraser (Kona)

Paula Newby-Fraser (Roth, Kona)

Thea Sybesma (Roth)

*this list is a work in progress as there appears to be no definitive site

**please forward any updates to

Who am I?

I'm an editor and journalist with two decades of experience in observing, deciphering and analysing the economy, financial markets and companies.

My approach is simple: turn numbers into words. Except for this brief comment, I'll be keeping a low profile. The story is the athletes.

As for triathlon, I fell into it seven years ago. Since then, I've raced Ironman events in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Malaysia and in 2007 I debuted in Kona.

Let me be clear: I am not a pro, nor do I have any illusions of turning pro. However I've been fortunate to train with some superb triathletes including a number of pros both women and men.

Part of the reason to set up this blog was to provide a forum for their success. The Sub Eight bog is focused on men. Moore's Triathlete Rankings is a way for me to keep track of who is among the most consistent.