Monday, October 31, 2011

Enter to win a free copy

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sub Nine by Timothy John Moore

Sub Nine

by Timothy John Moore

Giveaway ends December 01, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sub Nine the New Normal in Kona

For a third consecutive year, a Sub Nine performance has been needed by a woman to win the Ford Ironman World Championship title.

Chrissie Wellington crossed the finish line on Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona on Saturday in 8:55:08. It marked her fourth victory in as many attempts on the legendary Big Island race course. And it was the ninth time she has finished an Iron distance race in less than nine hours; the third time this season.

The British athlete, still recovering from a hard bike crash about two weeks ago, also finished close to the 8:54:02 record she set at the world championships in 2009. Wellington didn’t race in 2010, pulling out the morning of the race due to illness.

On Saturday, Wellington struggled through the swim, reflecting her injuries. She then caught and passed her main rival, Mirinda Carfrae, on the bike before running to the front of the pro women’s field.

Wellington remains the dominant athlete of the current generation. She deflects talk of finishing times. Yet it is mostly speed that divides the elite from the rest of the field in a sport that is determined by who crosses the finish line first. Wellington has five of the top 10 fastest Iron distance times, including the world record that she set in Roth, Germany in July: 8:18:13.

Wellington is the standard by which all her peer’s are measured. How fast could she have been if she hadn’t been injured? It’s a moot point now.

As for Carfrae, she had her second Sub Nine finish, and her second consecutive one in Hawaii. In the process, the fleet-footed Aussie reset the run split record she’d set a year ago with a 2:52:09 clocking. She crossed the finish in 8:57:57. In her victory a year ago, Carfrae finished in 8:58:36.

While the qualifying process for the 2012 Ford Ironman World Championships has already begun, the race this past weekend generally marks the end of the 2011 season as most professionals take a short break.

This season was highlighted by 10 Sub Nine performances, with Wellington recording three and Australia’s Bek Keat recording two. Wellington’s first Sub Nine performance of the year came in South Africa.

Keat, who is the second fastest Iron Woman on the planet, clocked 8:59 in Roth in July and then 8:52 in Copenhagen in August. She decided not to race in Kona this year.

Another repeat Sub Nine performance came from Hungary’s Erika Csomor, who also chose not to race in Kona this year.

New to the Sub Nine list this year are American Mary Beth Ellis, Germans Diana Riesler and Julia Wagner and Heleen bij de Vaate from the Netherlands. Both Ellis and Bij de Vaate competed in Kona but had sub-par days; Ellis finished in 9:34 and Bij de Vaate in 10:35.

There now are just 26 women who have accomplished this feat. The first woman to do so was Thea Sybesma of the Netherlands. She went Sub Nine in Roth in July 1991.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The stats has a list of stats starting with the fastest age-groupers and then the fastest pros - broken down by the three disciplines.

Here's a few comments on the stats from the pro women:

Three Americans were among the top five fastest swimmers: Amanda Stevens, Kelly Williamson and Mary Beth Ellis.

Europeans and Brits dominated on the bike: Karin Thuerig, Caroline Steffen, Chrissie Wellington, Leanda Cave and Sonja Tajsich.

And on the run: Mirinda Carfrae, Chrissie Wellington and Caitlin Snow broke the three-hour mark. Next was Kelly Williamson and Sonja Tajsich.


Read about the fastest women in the sport in Sub Nine: History's Fastest Ironwomen:

"An extraordinary and inspirational reckoning of women's athletic excellence, Sub Nine is an excellent contribution to collections focusing on women's accomplishments in sports." - Midwest Book Review

"It's an interesting, well-researched read for someone who'd like to learn more about the background of triathlon - and how far women have come in racing." - Triathlete magazine

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wellington, then Carfrae

Chrissie Wellington toughed it out to win a fourth World Champion title.

Wellington swam 1:01:03, rode 4:56:53 and ran 2:52:41 for 8:55:08.

Mirinda Carfrae charged hard on the run but it wasn't enough.

Carfrae swam 57:17, rode 5:04:16 and ran 2:52:09 for 8:57:57.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Winning isn’t everything

If you’re a pro racing tomorrow, there is a lot of money on the table.

Additionally, there are a lot of points to be captured for the rankings in order to qualify for next year’s World Championships. In some cases that may be worth more for athletes who are neither in perfect form this year nor novices nor rookies when it comes to racing on the Big Island.

The added bonus for the winner is that they won’t need to rush around the world collecting points ahead of the July 29th first qualification deadline for Kona 2012. Even better the champion gets a five-year exemption from the ranking system; all he or she has to do is validate the entry by completing one Ironman during the season ahead.

On the women's side, both Chrissie Wellington and Mirinda Carfrae received that exemption this year. And so did Natascha Badmann; hers was a special exemption reflecting the devastating crash she suffered during the World Championships in 2007. Badmann, even though she's a six-time World Champion, will have to qualify within the points system for next year.

While some athletes flourish with a lot of racing, not every athlete copes the same with the physical and mental - as well as expense - related demands that are involved.

So how does the point system work in Kona?

Well Kona is a P-6000 points race; it awards more points than any other.

First place gets 6000 points, second gets 5400, third 4900, fourth 4450 and fifth 4000. It’s a sliding scale for the first 20 finishers and then there are small amounts of points for those who finish between 21-30, 31-40 and 40 plus.

Most of the other Ironman events on the schedule are either P-1000 or P-2000 events. Some of the P-1000 events are Wisconsin, Wales, Florida, Lake Place and Mont Tremblant. Some of the P-2000 events are Arizona, Cozumel, Western Australia, South Africa, Texas and Brazil.

In other words, finishing fifth in Kona is like winning four P-1000 races, in terms of points.

That makes it key to choose one's races wisely. While a P-1000 race may be somewhat less competitive because there are fewer points on offer, you probably will still need to race hard to win and that could make it harder to race at a pending P-2000 event.

And so, a Top 10 finish tomorrow can go a long way to determining which races one should put on one's schedule in the season ahead.

On the prize money front, there’s also a sliding scale - and it’s a bit more dramatic. The total price purse for Kona - for women and men - is $580,000.

The winner will take home $110,000, second place $55,000 and third $35,000. Fourth will receive $20,000 and fifth will get $15,000.

It slides still faster, leaving the athlete who crosses the line in 10th place with $6000 - and those 4000 points.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Speed is relative ...

Check out 'Speed is relative but it doesn't hurt to have it' on

It's a pre-Kona review of this season's fastest Ironwomen racing on Saturday.

Saturday, October 1, 2011