Tri247 Newsletter


27th Aug 2007Issue 25

Welcome to the newsletter

So, are Ironman winners like buses? None for ages then three come along all at once! Certainly looks that way as we have had more Brits on Ironman podiums in the past two weekends than we can remember in a very long time. Does this mean, like the recent exam results, that it's just all getting too easy or is it because there are more events there will always be more winners? Well, it's certainly true that racing the Ironman distance isn't easy but it is the case that there are more Ironman events to have a chance of winng at - and there will be even more next year with the addition of Ironman China. And it's also true that more and more nominally ordinary people want to do the classic 2.4 mile, 112 mile, 26.2 mile distances. What is also increasingly clear is that there are more and more people who want to try to do this professionally and what isn't so clear is how they are all going to be able to make a living at it.

In a week that has seen the premature closing of the Triathlon One O One series with two of the four events (including the flagship 'World Championship' finale) cancelled and mimimal uptake for the other two, it is hard to enumerate the opportunities for a professional triathlete looking to break into the longer distances. The Ironman 70.3 series has proved remarkably successful but the way they race those these days seems not far off the way they used to race standard distance before it all went draft-legal - certainly the recovery times are not that different. Moving up to the longer distances, be that One O One or true Ironman, reduces the number of competitions to three or four a year - barring injury or accident. And that's not that much opportunity to get into the prize money.

Whilst nobody can deny that Scott Neyedli won Sherborne or that Chrissie Wellington won Korea - or that for anyone to win an Ironman race is a major physical achievement worthy of significant respect - that single win doesn't in any way indicate that professional riches will be heaped upon them any day soon. If you need confirmation you only have to look at Bella Comerford, the other British winner in recent weeks. With five wins and several podiums on her palmares she has yet to hit the big time in terms of sponsorship or product endorsement. For athletes like these, winning is when the payday comes and they keep racing to keep paying the bills. The sad reality is that, for most professional triathletes, they would probably be better off working in an office or driving one of those buses... ...but, to a committed athlete, the money isn't why they do it. For that kind of attitude you probably need to be talking to a footballer!

In this issue:


Weekend action

It must be the year for neo-Pro Brits to win at Ironman races! Last weekend saw Scott Neyedli take the top spot at Ironman UK and this weekend it's the turn of Chrissie Wellington to have her first full distance victory out at Ironman Korea. Truth be told, it was a pretty rocky start to her race as it seems like she either had a major mechanical or a blown tyre when she got to her bike in T1 and spend many minutes fixing it. However, by the time the race leader, Rebecca Preston, had reached 60k on the bike Wellington was back in contention and took the lead somewhere around the 100k mark. Her lead at T2 appears to have been minutes rather than seconds and she never even looked like being caught on the run with what appears to be a 50 minute advantage over the second-placed athlete at the finish! All of the above is based on the IronmanLive website reporting and, by their own admission, they seem to have been having serious issues with keeping track of both times and spotting information from the course so we're keeping our fingers crossed that it's all accurate...

1 Raynard Tissink 9:08:09 Chrissie Wellington 9:54:37
2 Byung Hoon Park 9:15:17 Yasuko Miyazaki 10:44:44
3 Olaf Sabatschus 9:23:49 Silvia Czaika 11:17:50

It was the 25th running of Ironman Canada and it was fairly predictable that the home nation would put on a good show - the women's field was stellar enough to pretty much guarantee that a Canadian would win! In the end the only spot on the podium that wasn't branded with a maple leaf turned out to be that of the men's winner, Kieran Doe, who hails from New Zealand. An excellent day by all accounts and there's loads of little historical facts in the online commentary which will keep any Ironman aficionado for hours.

1 Kieran Doe (NZL) 8:32:45 Lisa Bentley (CAN) 9:41:01
2 Jonathan Caron (CAN) 8:39:59 Sara Gross (CAN) 9:43:34
3 Chris Brown (CAN) 8:49:34 Heather Fuhr (CAN) 9:49:46

A couple of hours earlier than Canada dawn's early light saw the inaugural Louisville Ironman race kicking off with a rather odd start. Ironman races are, pretty much, always a mass start but because of the changed river conditions the swim start for the age groupers was run as a rolling start so the leading pro athletes were out of the water before the last age groupers were in. That must have made for some interesting timing issues... All seems to have gone pretty smoothly, at least as far as the online coverage tells the story, and the early lead established by T J Tollakson - another breakaway Ironman debutee - was slowly eaten away by the more established pros until at mile 18 when Chris McDonald passed him and carried the lead to the finish. Nina Kraft was the first female out of the water today with Carole Sharpless in a close second place. Throughout the bike, Kraft was accompanied by four-time Ironman champion, Heather Gollnick but Kraft was suffering from back pain and was expected to pull out at T2. Gollnick took the lead and entered transition nearly 13 minutes ahead. Kraft, who decided to keep on racing, took second place but it was Gollnick who claimed her fifth Ironman title and clebrated with five cartwheels in the finish chute. You can catch all the action in the IronmanLive race coverage:

Pos Men Women
1 Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:38:39 Heather Gollnick (USA) 9:23:22
2 Craig McKenzie (AUS) 8:44:14 Nina Kraft (GER) 9:51:53
3 T J Tollakson (USA) 8:46:54 Mariska Kramer-Postma (NED) 10:24:14

Previously, until London overtook it, the world's largest triathlon, the Accenture Chicago Triathlon took place on Sunday. British interest centred on the women's field with both Julie Dibens and Leanda Cave racing. With Emma Snowsill in the field it was clear the rest of the women were going to have a target to chase and in the end Dibens took the third slot behind Becky Lavelle with Leanda Cave in fifth. Full results can be found on the Timberland Timing website:

Pos Men Women
1 Greg Bennett 1:48:48 Emma Snowsill 1:59:45
2 Craig Walton 1:49:35 Becky Lavelle 2:01:24
3 David Thompson 1:51:07 Julie Dibens 2:01:47

According to reports from Switzerland, the Zofingen Powerman World Championships was a really tough race as it looks like for the first time in years they had scorchingly hot weather. Benny Vansteelant got caught out by the heat (although our spys suggest he was also suffering from a bad cold so never really looked on form) and Erica Csomor won for the third year in succession with Eva Nystrom second and Maja Jacober third. Michelle Parsons finish fantastically well in fifth place, managing to knock 50 minutes off her time from two years ago on the same course!

Another race celebrating its 25th anniversary was the Almere Triathlon. The usual handful of Brits made their way across and best performances came from Andy White in 57th and Kate Foster in 169th. Full results can be found here.

Elsewhere on the international scene we see that Jodie Swallow won at the ITU European Cup in Split. Heather Jackson also raced and was 11th. In the men's race Gavin Noble (IRL) was 6th, Eanna McGrath (IRL) 20th and Tom Room 48th. Full results are on the ITU website .

Dave Brown flew the British flag in the men's race and finished strongly in sixth place. As mentioned already, the pre-race favorite Benny Vansteelant retired due to ill health which left the race wide open. Koen Maris stormed home to victory 11:20 in front of Aksel Nielsen and rounding up the podium in the third place was Loic Helin.

Pos Men Women
1 Koen Maris (BEL) 6:21.00 Erika Csomor (HUN) 7:06.38
2 Aksel Nielsen (DEN) 6:32.21 Eva Nyström (DEN) 7:22.06
3 Loïc Hélin (BEL) 6:34.10 Maja Jacober (SUI) 7:38.42

On the domestic front the Gatorade Dublin City Triathlon was won by Brian Campbell in 2:09:06 with Claire Connor taking the ladies title in 2:26:23. Full results are available here.

The main event in terms of status was the Birmingham Triathlon, a new event organised by Trafeco and host to a qualifier for the 2008 World Championships in Vancouver. We have received a number of messages by email and phone and there's a considerable number of comments on TriTalk which indicate that the bike course signage caused problems for a number of competitors. According to an email received from Trafeco today it seems as though the problems are confined to the sprint distance event involving the two turn points at each end of the course. They do know for example that the lead group of about five failed to turn into the finish despite it being clearly advertised, signed and marshalled. Sadly it does at the moment appear to be the best athletes leading in who have made this error. Trafeco have held a meeting involving the Technical Director, Chief Referee, Race Direction and Malcolm Westwood (age group team manager) and intend to follow a clearly defined process once the provisional results have been produced. This may well involve subjecting results to a 'credibility test' based on known standards for those athletes. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that this should have happened to Trafeco - an organisation set up to ensure that events around the country have access to the latest standards in event signage and whose website states that they are "the country's leading event route and safety consultancy". No results as yet, we'll update as soon as we know more.

The Newmarket Duathlon was won by Nathan Miller (53-12 Multisport) in 1:08:17 and Ros Viner was the fastest woman in 1:18:38. The provisional results are here but there are no split times available yet.

At the Southampton Fast Twitch triathlon the trophies went to Mark Threlfall (Total Fitness Bath) in 1:06:26 and Tracy Cook (North Dorset Tri/Tri-UK) in 1:16:36. Full results are available here.

We completely missed the Hartlepool Marina Sprint Triathlon off the calendar but they kindly sent results anyway! Richard Hunt (Army Tri) won in 1:00:53 with the women's race being won by Donna James (Durham Tri) in 1:08:50. Full results are here.

The Blithfield Triathlon also hosted the Police National Championships. Winners of the main race were Lawrence Fanous (2XU TFN) in 1:57:57 and Felicity Hart ( in 2:09:29. Results for the main race are here.

The Jordans Bedford Classic, featured in last week's How to succeed at...", saw wins by Steve Harrison (FVS) in 1:59:49 and Michelle Lee (Planet X) in 2L10L53. The Jordans Mini Tri was won by Charlie Palmer in 0:43:59 and Jennifer Hewitt in 0:46:57. Full results for the Classic are here and the Mini results are here.

The Peebles Duathlon was won by Ian Grant in 1:03:10 and Shona Robson in 1:14:55. Full results are here..

At the Rugby Sprint Triathlon the winners were Andy Tarry in 0:52:19 and Ruth Welsh in 1:03:36. The full results are here and we should be getting a report from Tri247's John Levison soon.

The Saddleworth Triathlon was won by Ashley Norie (Planet X) in 1:33:05 and Viv Slack (Manchester Tri Club) in 1:54:39. Full results are here.

At the fourth of the Thames Turbo Series at Hampton Pool the wins went to Dan Corner (Arctic Shorter) in 0:55:35 and Bethan Hopewell (Ful-on Tri) in 1:05:25. We note that Tri247 columnist Bob Holloway made good and won his category so hopefully he's up for a decent result at the Vitruvian in a couple of weeks. Full results are here.


Trek supports Tri247 results service

Since its launch, Tri247 has been dedicated to bringing you the latest results direct to your desktop just as soon as they are available. We know that our results page is one of the busiest sections of the site and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the service to enable you to monitor your performance and log your personal times throughout the season.

We are delighted to announce that another company for whom association with winning performances is a key reason for their involvement with the sport has kindly agreed to support the section for the next twelve months. That company is, of course, Trek who are already sponsoring top triathletes including the current World Triathlon Champion, Tim Don, world-class events like the London Triathlon and the British Triathlon Federation. Please visit the Trek website for more information on their outstanding bike range including the new Madone used by Tim Don at London this weekend and the recently reviewed Equinox:



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