Tri247 Newsletter


13th Oct 2008Issue 82

Welcome to the newsletter

"You're unbelievable" blasted the finish line music (by EMF...), as Chrissie Wellington savoured another victory on Alii Drive at the Ford Ironman World Championship on Saturday evening, local time. Quite! I guess it would be quite predictable to open the newsletter by talking about Chrissie Wellington and her stunning performance in Hawaii - and I'm going to do just that: she deserves it. By any measure, Chrissie Wellington is a special talent, and that was one of the single best performances this sport has ever seen.

We reported before the race how highly regarded Chrissie is within the sport, and not just among the women. Torbjorn Sindballe (third in 2007, first off the bike this year), described Chrissie: "...I think she's probably the biggest talent the sport has ever seen. I think she'll win it, and she will win by a lot." Again, couldn't have been more correct. During the race, men's winner Craig Alexander was asking how fast Chrissie was running, as he wanted to know her splits!

We also said "barring a disaster... who can really challenge her now?" Well, how about actually having that disaster happen - a puncture, caused by a spoke piercing her tube, and over 10 minutes at the side of the road trying to fix it - and still winning. How about having the iron-distance world record holder (Yvonne Van Vlerken), chasing you. How about having the official M-Dot Ironman world record holder (Sandra Wallenhorst), run the fastest time ever by a woman in Kona. And despite all of that, you run even faster (2:57:44), and win by 15 minutes. Fantastic, incredible, stunning, awesome, amazing. What else is there to say. Chrissie Wellington is quite simply the best triathlete on the planet. She is triathlon's Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. That's now five Ironman wins (undefeated), in 14 months and she hasn't yet been a pro for two years. In 2006 she was winning the World Age Group Championship in Switzerland.

Where next? Well, one would assume something of a rest! Having won the ITU World Long Distance and Hawaii, we wonder though whether she will also try and add the Ironman 70.3 crown in Clearwater, Florida next month to attempt a clean sweep. She will also be the hottest ticket for Ironman race directors, and as we've speculated before, we can imagine that the organisers of either Ironman Austria or Quelle Challenge Roth will be very keen to have her race on what traditionally have been the fastest two courses on the calendar. Just how fast can a full strength Chrissie go on a super-fast course? I really hope that in 2009 we'll have the chance to find out.

Congratulations also to all of the Brits who made it to Kona. Not everyone will have had quite as good a race as Chrissie, but we hope your experience was a good one.

There is of course one world championship still to come from Hawaii, this time from the island of Maui - XTERRA. That's on 26th October, and we'll be previewing the race which was last year won by Britain's Julie Dibens. We'll also be bringing you pictures and products from the Cycle Show that was held at Earls Court last week, plus all the latest news from around the triathlon world.

In this issue:


Weekend action

Ford Ironman World Championship - Kona, Hawaii

Australian Craig Alexander went one better than his debut last year, to become the Ford Ironman World Champion in Kona, Hawaii. Though nine minutes down on leader Torbjorn Sindballe at T2, he ran through the field to take the title. Second place (as he was at Wildflower and Ironman Germany this year), was Eneko Llanos from Spain, with Rutger Beke (BEL) third.

Despite losing around 10 minutes on the bike course due to a puncture, Chrissie Wellington smashed the field in an incredible display of power and will to defend her title by a massive 15 minutes. The finish line music was "You're unbelievable" by EMF. Chrissie - you really are! There are just not enough superlatives in the book to describe this lady. She also set a new run course record of 2:57:44, and without the mechanical problem would almost certainly have been well under the nine-hour mark. Yvonne Van Vlerken and Sandra Wallenhorst, who won Quelle Challenge Roth and Ironman Austria respectively this year, finished second and third. Wallenhorst (re)proved her run strength by also breaking the old run course record with a 2:58:35.

A brief race summary is presented below. We've extracted all of the Brit finishers from the provisional results HERE, and we also have a race day report in from Simon Ward HERE.

Pos Men Women
1st Craig Alexander (AUS) 8:17:45 Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 9:06:23
2nd Eneko Llanos (ESP) 8:20:50 Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 9:21:20
3rd Rutger Beke (BEL) 8:21:23 Sandra Wallenhorst (GER) 9:22:52

Paul Amey finished 17th (8:48:58), Stephen Bayliss 19th (8:49:38). Scott Neyedli DNF'd early in the bike leg due to sickness, while Toby Radcliffe didn't make it onto the run course.

Bella Comerford achieved her pre race target, taking seventh place in 9:34:08, while Leanda Cave appears to have DNF'd on the run, after taking almost 28 minutes in T2.

How it happened...

The Swim

Predictably, the swim was lead out by top ITU and Ironman 70.3 swimmer Andy Potts (USA), and French veteran, Benjamin Sanson in his first Hawaii. Pete Jacobs (AUS) was the only athlete capable of going with the lead pair, and this trio built up a big lead against most of the pre-race favourites. Sanson exited the water in 48:40 with Potts and Jacobs right with him, with most of the favourites (Faris Al-Sultan, Chris McCormack, Craig Alexander, Cameron Brown, Torbjorn Sindballe, Eneko Llanos, Chris Lieto plus Brits Paul Amey and Stephen Bayliss), around three minutes back. Two-time champion Normann Stadler was a further two and a half minutes back. Scott Neyedli was out in 56:04, and Toby Radcliffe in 58:53.

For the ladies, Hilary Biscay form Team TBB led out in 54:35, followed very closely by Gina Ferguson, Gina Kehr, Nina Kraft, Leanda Cave and Dede Griesbauer. Chrissie Wellington was already showing her intentions in her 'weak' (?!) discipline, recording 56:20 (an improvement on last year's 58:09), and in 11th place at T1.

The Bike

Last year's third place finisher, Torbjorn Sindballe - "Thunder Bear" - soon made his way to the front of the field, along with American Chris Lieto. Faris Al Sultan was also not content to sit with the main pack, while Normann Stadler had time to make up after a slower swim. Chris McCormack appeared to be in control, in amongst the main 'pack', but around the turn in Hawi could be seen dropping back. This turned out to be mechanical, rather than physical, caused by a broken front gear cable. Despite seeking assistance from the on course support, it couldn't be fixed in any reasonable time and he was out of the race, and he later joined the Ironman Live commentary team.

Meanwhile Chrissie appeared to be doing what she has done all year - completely dominating. Unlike previous Ironman races where her strength has been in the final 30 miles of the bike leg, today was clearly a full-on, 100% effort from the first mile. She was at the head of the field, and putting minutes into everyone within the first hour. In Frankfurt she was under orders to do "just enough" to protect an injury. Today she appeared to be racing to a different theme of "complete domination." And then it all appeared to go horribly wrong... a puncture, no service car in site, malfunctioning CO2 canisters... a five minute lead was soon turned into a five minute deficit, and reports are that Rebekah Keat actually stopped and gave her a spare tube! By the time Chrissie was back on the road, most of her hard work had been undone.

Back to the men, Torbjorn really put the hammer down in the last two hours to break away from Lieto, Al Sultan, Llanos and Stadler. He ended up with a 4:27:40 split, which we initially reported as fastest of the day, but that honour actually went to Ain Alar Juhanson who rode 4:26.14. At T2 Sindballe lead by 4:17 from Lieto, 4:30 to Stadler, 5:21 to Llanos and 5:37 to Al Sultan. Estonian Ain-Alar Juhanson had a great bike ride to hit T2 in sixth place, just 6:19 back. The top-10 off the bike was rounded out by Bryan Rhodes, Timo Bracht, Mattias Hecht, Cameron Brown and Craig Alexander.

Where was Chrissie? Finally back on her bike, she just continued to hammer, caught up with all of the girls in front and simply biked straight past them, at times seemingly pushing an enormous gear. Despite losing an estimated 10 minutes at the side of the road, Chrissie still had a lead of over seven minutes at T2 from Belinda Grainger and Yvonne Van Vlerken, the iron-distance world record holder, set this year in Roth. Bella Comerford was 14th off of the bike, with Leanda Cave - an early leader - slowing in the final stages, back to 23rd.

The Run

Surprisingly perhaps, it was Norman Stadler who looked the freshest at the beginning of the run, and he swiftly passed a tiring Chris Lieto. Up front, Torbjorn Sindballe's lead was also evaporating fast, and he was overtaken by Norman. There was action taking place behind however and Norman wasn't going to get a third title today. Eneko Llanos (ESP), was running smoothly, as his performances at Wildflower and Frankfurt had predicted, but that didn't look like it was going to be enough either. Australian Craig Alexander, despite a slightly rough early few miles, got his running legs going and started to display the awesome speed, strength and power he has been showing during Ironman 70.3 racing this season. Past 20 miles and he was looking majestic. A 2:45 marathon meant he was able to bring it home for a three-minute victory, and become the first athlete to win both Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world titles. Llanos ran well to take another second place in a major event this year, while Rutger Beke (BEL) ran 2:47:49 to finish strongly on the podium, and just head off the challenge of Ronnie Schildknecht.

Chrissie Wellington. Well, do you really need me to tell you she was looking amazing on the run too?! 10 miles in, and despite the earlier technical issues on the bike, she was 11 minutes clear of Yvonne Van Vlerken, 15 minutes ahead of the fast-moving Sandra Wallenhorst and looking set for a sub-three hour marathon. She duly delivered (2:57:44), breaking the run course record - something Sandra Wallenhorst also managed (2:58:35).

Domestic Racing

Hawaii clearly motivated plenty of British athletes to get up bright and early on Sunday morning and out for some racing!

The Devon Duathlon attracted a field of almost 100 athletes, and was won by Doug Hall and Maddie Horton. Provisional results are available HERE on the Torbay A.C. website.

Pos Men Women
1st Doug Hall 1:24:06 Maddie Horton 1:30:50
2nd David Wilkinson 1:24:33 Helen Dyke 1:33:41
3rd Zac Warwick 1:24:38 Fran Bungay 1:37:02

The Forest of Dean Duathlon was won by Lee Rankin (DB Max), who finished a close second in last weekend's Rowers Revenge Triathlon. First lady across the line was Sarah May. Full results are available HERE.

Pos Men Women
1st Lee Rankin (DB Max) 1:00:02 Sarah May 1:07:37
2nd Liam Roberts (Birmingham Uni) 1:03:17 Helen Fines (Bristol & West AC) 1:11:11
3rd James Heaton 1:05:04 Fran Osbourne (Tewkesbury Tri) 1:13:26

There was racing of a non-motorised variety at the Oulton Park Duathlon, which proved popular with around 175 athletes arriving to race at the racing circuit. Honours went to Chris Standidge ( and Louise Hogg (Ashurst Bike Club). Full results (without splits yet), are available HERE.

Pos Men Women
1st Chris Standidge ( 1:11:14 Louise Hogg (Ashurst Bike Club) 1:23:26
2nd Paul Savage (Athlete Matters) 1:11:56 Natalie Abbott 1:25:07
3rd Glen Mullins (Manchester Tri Club) 1:14:11 Joanne Stakes (Oswestry Olympians) 1:25:50

There was more duathlon action action in Kent with the Fast and the Furious Duathlon. Home club athlete Andrew Warpole (White Oak Tri), took a narrow win, while first lady was Claire Hitchings (Sevenoaks Tri), who lead a clean sweep of the ladies podium for Sevenoaks Tri. We have the results HERE.

Pos Men Women
1st Andrew Warpole (White Oak Tri) 1:06:55 Claire Hitchings (Sevenoaks Tri) 1:19:57
2nd Michael Evens (Larkfield AC) 1:07:10 Sally Mortleman (Sevenoaks Tri) 1:21:44
3rd Guy Bellamy (Tri Condor) 1:10:00 Jane Wiley (Sevenoaks Tri) 1:22:14

There was triathlon in the UK this weekend too, at the Balerno Ladies Triathlon in Scotland. The event was won by Nicola Ross. Full results HERE.

Pos Ladies
1st Nicola Ross 00:56:41
2nd Kirsti Sharratt 00:58:49
3rd Celina Davis 00:59:04

There was another triathlon this weekend! The Wadebridge triathlon, down in Cornwall. A challenging sprint event taking in 15 miles on the beautiful 'Atlantic Highway' along the North Coast of Cornwall before a 5 mile run along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge towards Padstow. Results are up at

A great race between Laurence Pidcock and Rich Brady ( for the overall, the lead went back and forth between the two, but Laurence just had enough in the final few hundred metres of the run to take the win. Good luck to them in their upcoming Ironman races, Rich in IM Florida and Laurence at IM Arizona. We don't have the ladies winner to hand at the time of writing.

Our final event of the weekend is not multisport, but had plenty of tri/du-athletes present at the RunKingston Running Festival, for the 8.2-mile and 16-mile events. We have the results for the 8.2-mile HERE and the 16-mile HERE.

16 Mile Event
Pos Men Women
1st Graham Breen 1:28:49 Alice Braham 1:37:57
2nd Masahide Kaneda 1:29:19 Isobel Rea 1:47:29
3rd Martin Rea 1:30:15 Lucie Custance 1:53:09
8.2 Mile Event
1st James Trapmore 00:42:22 Maryanne Howe 0:53:58
2nd Ian Leitch 0:43:28 Amanda Hepburn 0:54:32
3rd Nicholas Houlton 0:45:31 Liz Pinches 0:55:31

Win a year's supply of Taut

Tri247 has linked up with the British Triathlon Federation and Taut (the official drink of the British Triathlon Federation) to offer everyone that signs up to an account on Tri247 the chance to win a year's supply of Taut. Unlike many special deals, if you have already signed up to Tri247 you don't need to do it again - we have already entered you into the draw!

The promotion is currently being promoted on the British Triathlon Day Licences for England and Wales but the competition is open to anyone; you don't have to be a member of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon - just registered on Tri247.

If you haven't signed up, just follow this link to register: additional benefits include getting our weekly newsletter which features all the latest results from the weekend's racing, the ability to post comments to articles on the site and, best of all, the facility to collect all your race results from our archive which goes back over ten years!

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British Triathlon is now a Federation, whose members are the three Home Nation's Associations of Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon. British Triathlon is responsible for matters such as the Great Britain Elite and Age Group Teams, British and International events, anti-doping and international representation. British Triathlon also manages a number of services that are shared with the three Home Nations. For more details on membership and information on how to join see the website on or telephone 01509 226161.

NEW Mountain Hardwear Open5 Adventure Race Series

The events are for pairs and solos, with venues chosen to showcase the most spectacular countryside the UK has to offer. Competitors have to visit as many points as possible in five hours by Mountain Bike and on a foot - with many of the points in quirky locations to give competitors that little smile.

The new series starting in November will visit the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, York Moors, North Pennines and the Peak District. Those entering all five events will get a real tour of the country and experience some great views and amazing cycling.

For further details and online entry check out

Tame the Exmoor Beast

Looming large in the calendar is the Exmoor Beast. Now in it's second year, the end of season challenge is looking to improve on last years event. If you are looking for a great way to spend the 2nd of November why not head down to Exmoor. This year the start and finish is at the picturesque Wimbleball Lake, which offers a fantastic venue for the event. There are closed roads where needed and there will be plenty of marshalls with a well signed route to allow you to concentrate on powering across the spectacular Exmoor Countryside. Find out more here.

Leukaemia Research introduce Banana Card

Leukaemia Research have introduced their new exciting Banana Card. By joining the Banana Army team you will not only be helping a great charity but you will also be entitled to some great discounts and fantastic giveaways with our partners and supporters. Click here to find out more.

Training by Power Seminars

Cyclepowermeters ( have teamed up with Cycleops Power and Cycling Weekly to bring you a fantastic opportunity to help you use your power meter to your best advantage.

This is the first ever UK seminar by Hunter Allen enabling you to access all his experience and knowledge about training by power. Hunter is owner of the Peaks Coaching Group, co-developer of CyclingPeaks Software WKO+, and author of 'Training and Racing with a Power Meter'. He is *the* recognized expert on training by power. For more information, see this page on the website.

The Seminar's take place on Saturday 25th October (1-day) and Sunday / Monday 26th-27th October (2-day advanced).



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Tri Central



Top 10 Article Of Last Week
  1. Hawaii: Alexander and Wellington
  2. Hawaii: British Results
  3. Kona Pictures [UPDATED]
  4. Live from Kona: Parade day.
  5. Hawaii Ironman 2008: The Men
  6. Hawaii Ironman 2008: The Women
  7. Chrissie Wellington's pre triathlon days
  8. Kona Diary: Part Three
  9. Live from Kona: Simon says... part one
  10. Kona Diary: Part Two

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