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Thu 6th May 2021
The weekend (Chrissie!) preview
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 10th July 2009

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It's another three-day weekend in triathlon world... with some absolute crackers to look forward to. World record time, perhaps?


The Human Race ( crew will be rather busy again this weekend, as the seemingly weekly pilgrimage to Dorney Lake, Eton begins on Friday as they host the Marketing Industry Triathlon (standard, sprint, supersprint and relays).


After the ETU European Triathlon Championships last week, the Dextro Energy Triathlon - World Championship Series returns this week to Kitzbühel, Austria. We have the full ITU preview and video preview available HERE. Can Al Brownlee make it three in a row? Al is joined by younger brother Jonathan, Will Clarke and David McNamee, while the GB women are Helen Jenkins, Hollie Avil and Kerry Lang. The ladies race on Sunday, with the men going on Saturday. Full live video coverage will be available on

Dorney Lake reverts to a swimming venue on Saturday, for the blueseventy GreatBig OpenWater Swim events, over 1km, 1 mile or 3km. We previewed the Upton Tri+ events (standard and sprint) earlier this week, where the '+' is the promised post race party!

Other events on Saturday include the Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon, Ripon Triathlon and the Upminster Junior Triathlon, which is a regional series event / IRC qualifier for several regions.


It's...CHRISSIE! [check out her new website: - seems she was Wonder Woman from an early age!]


The most anticipated race of the weekend will surely be the Quelle Challenge Roth iron-distance event from Germany, notably due to the appearance of double Ironman World Champ Chrissie Wellington. The anticipation is increased somewhat since she is the dominant athlete in ladies Ironman racing (six starts, six wins), appearing at the course which has yielded TEN sub-nine hour female finish times. Four of those were last year alone - plus the fastest absolute iron-distance record of 8:45:48 set by Yvonne van Vlerken last year. Of course, the natural question raised (by me last September!), is then "how fast can Chrissie go in an Ironman?". And, of course, last week in winning Ironman Austria, Bella Bayliss further enhanced the British record for iron-distance by recording an 8:50:13 finish. Chrissie stopped the clock at 8:51:24 in Frankfurt last year - which we believe is the eighth fastest female iron distance time - and we figure that an on-form, fully-focussed Chrissie could well go significantly faster than that at Roth. World Long Distance Champ, Ironman World Champ - World Record Holder would be a nice addition...

Of course, that is somewhat taking for granted that she will even win! While Yvonne van Vlerken raced in Frankfurt last weekend, Erica Csomor (HUN), Gina Ferguson (NZL), Belinda Granger (AUS) and Joanna Lawn (NZL) have all recorded sub-nine times at Roth. To that you can add double World Triathlon Champion Leanda Cave, triple World Duathlon Champion Catriona Morrison and others such as Aussies Charlotte Paul and Rebekah Keat - suggesting that it is going to take an exceptional time to 'just' win the race, let alone chase records.

Judging form isn't particularly straightforward - Chrissie was sensational in winning Ironman Australia in April, but since then has had a poor result at the the Columbia Triathlon (a draft legal Olympic distance race) and a win, despite (another!) puncture at Ironman 70.3 Kansas.

So, let's cut to the chase and make a prediction! And let's go for some detail this week. I think:

a) Chrissie will win.
b) Chrissie will set a new fastest ever iron-distance time, perhaps even getting close to the 8:30 (!) mark.
c) I'll even predict the splits as:


The Chrissie factor somewhat overshadows a potentially great mens race! Normann Stadler is the headline name, but faces tough competition from Patrick Vernay (NCL), Rutger Beke (BEL) and Pete Jacobs (AUS) amongst others.

Tri247's Henry Budgett will be on-site at Ironman Switzerland, though as he reported last week, whether he actually gets to see any of the racing is a different matter! Jonathan Hotchkiss, who is making his debut at the distance, and Paul Hawkins are the only Brits listed in what is primarily a domestic (Swiss) field. We fully expect Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) to complete his 'triple-double', of winning his home 70.3 and Ironman in the same year, for three consecutive seasons. With a fourth place in Kona, he is a class athlete.

Elsewhere on the international long distance circuit is Amica Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, where we believe the cover star of the latest issue of Triathlete's World, Dion Harrison of Team ActivInstinct ( is continuing his transition to pro racing.

Domestic Racing

While Europe is going long on a BIG scale in Zurich and Roth, the UK has its own iron-distance event of a more bijou style this weekend with the second running of The Forestman. One of my very favourite articles of 2008 was the race report from race organiser Joanne Iles of - check it out HERE.

Day three at Dorney sees everyone going bananas - with the Bananaman Triathlon, a three-quarter (ish) standard distance event featuring individual, relay and team trial events.

Just down the road is the third and final race in the Hillingdon Triathlon Series at Harefield, which once again is full - so don't expect to enter on the day!

The South West Triathlon in South Wales is the latest in the fun2tri series, while in North Wales it's the first running of the Llandudno Conwy Triathlon from Xtra Mile Events.

There are a number of junior events on Sunday: the Kings Langley Triathlon, Hetten Lyons Open Water Triathlon, Portsmouth Open Water Aquathlon and the Velociraptor Triathlon.

The White Oak Triathlon in Kent is now in its 20th year, still proving popular and has been sold out for several weeks.

In the North West it's ladies only at the Diva Devas in Chester, while a tough challenge is guaranteed at the Coniston/Grizedale MTB Triathlon.

The remaining events we have on the schedule at the 1st Moti Bradford on Avon Triathlon, the Velociraptor, Plymouth Olympic, Wenlock Olympian, Race to the Bill and the Eastern Region Club Relay Championships.

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Have Your Say
Re: The weekend (Chrissie!) preview
Posted by rogerbarr
Posted at 16:44:24 10th Jul 2009
Reply to this

Reckon she'll go 8.40 (agree with your swim and bike time but reckon she'll run 2.59)