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.