Sunday, July 10, 2011

Three Sub Nines in Roth

Three more Sub Nine times were recorded at Roth today. Chrissie Wellington (8:18:13), Julia Wagner (8:56:23) and Bek Keat (8:59:22).

Roth - Wellington 8:18:13

Chrissie Wellington has reset her own world record time in Roth, Germany with a 8:18:13 clocking, exactly one minute faster than a year ago.

She ran more than four minutes faster than a year earlier, biked about four minutes slower and swam more than half a minute faster.

She swam 49:49.

She biked 4:40:39.

And she ran 2:44:35.

You can see her results at this link.

In 2010, Wellington went 8:19:13 with 50:28, 4:36:33 and 2:48:54.

*The times exclude transitions

Twenty years ago

It was 20 years ago that the first woman - Thea Sybesma - went Sub Nine. Not recognized much for her achievement in 1991 and it appears not recognized now.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Twenty one races to go

While there are a lot of familiar names who haven't yet qualified, there's a ton of racing ahead in the next seven weeks.

There are 21 races in total, including seven Ironmans: Switzerland, Lake Placid, UK, Regensburg, Louisville and Canada.

Among those outside of the top 30 at the moment: Kate Major, Belinda Granger, Mary Beth Ellis, Sonja Tajsich, Bek Keat, Sam McGlone, Bree Wee and Natascha Badmann. Badmann no longer is an automatic qualifier.

The automatic qualifier's this year are Mirinda Carfrae, Chrissie Wellington and Michellie Jones.

Qualifying for Kona

So how do you get to Kona as a pro? This year there's a new process in place and it's based on points collected in both Ironman and 70.3 races during the season.

A pro must race at least one Ironman. Points from five races will be totaled, of which a maximum of three races can be 70.3s.

The top top 25 female pros in the KPR (Kona Pro Rankings) as of July 31, 2011 will be qualified to race in Kona 2011.

There are spots remaining for five more women. The exact size of the field will depend in part on previous winners, who receive an exemption to enter for five years after their last victory.

The final qualifying race for this year will be Ironman Canada on August 28.

More details on the KPR system can be found here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Csomor now has three Sub Nine's

Erika Csomor is showing no signs of slowing down with her superb 8:51 finish in Austria on Sunday. It is the third time that she has gone Sub Nine in the last four seasons.

Csomor's first Sub Nine performance came at Roth, Germany in 2008 and she dipped beneath the nine-hour mark at second time in Roth the next year.

The 37-year-old Hungarian is on fire this season.

She was second at Challenge Fuerteventura, a half iron distance event, in late April, very close second at the 70.3 event in Mallorca in mid May, second in the Austria 70.3 event one week later and was fifth in the 70.3 in Switzerland in early June.

In Austria yesterday, she swam 52:06, rode 4:53:59 and ran 2:59:53. Among the pro women, she had second fastest run; only two women had Sub Three marathons.

Mary Beth Ellis

Today's Ironman in Klagenfurt generated three new members of the Sub Nine club: Mary Beth Ellis, Diana Riesler and Heleen Bij De Vaate. And Erika Csomor showed that she remains super competitive.

Ellis's performance - stopping the clock at 8:43:34 - makes her the third fastest Iron Woman on the planet. Chrissie Wellington has the fastest time, 8:19:13 in Roth, Germany, a year ago and Rebekah Keat has the second fastest time with her 8:39:24 in Roth in 2009.

Ironman Austria also was Ellis's debut at the distance. From Delaware, this American now lives in Boulder, Colorado. While she ended her 2010 season on a low note, slowed by injuries and disappointing results, she's rebounded this year as a member of Team TBB.

In March Ellis won the 70.3 event in Singapore. She placed fourth in the 70.3 in Texas in early April and finished in second, just seven seconds behind Leanda Cave, at Wildflower on April 30.

The victory in Austria represents an early birthday gift to herself - she will turn 34 on July 12.

Ellis has been a pro since 2006. She's a US Olympic trials qualifier in three sports: triathlon, swimming and the marathon. She was second at the 70.3 World Championships in both 2008 and 2009. She won Escape from Alcatraz in 2009.

On her Team TBB profile, she wrote the following on how she prepares: "All the hard work is done in the years, months leading up to a race."

*Ellis is only the second US-born athlete to go Sub Nine. Sue Latshaw was the first when she went 8:59:31 in Roth in 1997.

Ironman Austria - Four Sub Nine's

Top-10 women:

1 Ellis Mary Beth USA 8:43:34

2 Csomor Erika HUN 8:51:10

3 Riesler Diana GER 8:53:34

4 Bij De Vaate Heleen NED 8:56:11