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Sub-9 iron women: the list
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Tuesday 20th October 2015


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UPDATED FOLLOWING IRONMAN SOUTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP (BRASIL) 2016

[2016 Updates: following Ironman New Zealand on Saturday 5th March (Meredith Kessler) and Ironman Brasil on Sunday 29th May (Elizabeth Lyles)].

The 2014 season saw a record number of 23 instances of female athletes breaking the nine-hour barrier for the iron-distance. It also saw another milestone fall, as in winning Ironman Western Australia, Britta Martin became the 50th name on to the Sub-9 Club list.

2015 didn't quite match that total (20), but 2016 has started earlier than expected, with the first sub-nine clocking ever at Ironman New Zealand from Meredith Kessler to which #2 is a third career sub-nine from Elizabeth Lyles in Brasil.


It was - and will continue to be - widely written and reported that Chrissie Wellington "re-wrote the record books" at Challenge Roth in 2010, recording a breathtaking time of 8:19:13 for the iron distance. A year later, she did it again!

Well, here is one of those "record books", and it too has been re-written once again.

The Ironman World Championships 2011 was the first time that two ladies had finished under nine hours in the same Kona race - and that meant that Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae and Paula Newby Fraser each had two 8:XX Kona clocking's each of the six instances it had ever been achieved on the big island ahead of the 2013 edition. In 2013 Carfrae took her second Ironman World Championship in a course record time of 8:52:14, while Rachel Joyce also joined the "sub-9 at Kona club". Carfrae now stands alone with the most sub-nine hour times in Kona, with three. Four has now become five, following the 8:57:57 from Daniela Ryf in winning Hawaii in 2015.

Ironman Austria 2011 saw an all-time World Record from Marino Vanhoenacker in the men's race, which slightly overshadowed a fantastic win in the ladies race from Mary Beth-Ellis. Her 8:43:35 replaced the 2009 8:48:11 of Catriona Morrison (Challenge Roth) as the fastest debut iron-distance time ever and is currently ranked as the 14th fastest iron-distance time ever. She was followed home by Erika Csomor, Diana Riesler and Heleen Bij de Vaate who all broke the nine hour mark. Thus, Austria 2011 was only the third time ever (after Roth 2008 and 2009), that four ladies have recorded sub-nine hour times in one event. That then became four - as Joyce, Tajsich, Gajer and Crawford all broke nine hours at Roth 2012, where Gina joined the select group of ladies that have recorded three or more sub-nine times.

That record was surpassed - at Ironman Austria 2014, when for the first time in one race, FIVE female athletes finished under the nine hour barrier - with another 'four' at Challenge Roth 2014 plus another at Ironman Barcelona 2015.

As at 29th May 2016, 58 women have now finished an iron-distance triathlon with an 8:XX:XX clocking, and we now have 133 sub-9 female finishes recorded.

Number of sub-nine hour ladies iron-distance finishes?

Sport and numbers seem to be a perfect marriage. Whatever your sport, or whatever your ability, sooner or later you'll invariably be creating targets based on time. Whether that's making the 17-hour Ironman cut-off, running a sub-three hour marathon or beating 25 minutes in your club '10', everyone likes to break a barrier and set a personal best.

And, following the excitement from Quelle Challenge Roth (2009), and the fantastic world best figures of Chrissie Wellington, I thought it was a great opportunity to look, in depth, at ladies iron-distance performances. Recording a 'sub-nine' (hours) time for ladies, is a natural goal for many of the elite athletes in our sport, (just as going 'sub-eight' is for men), but, how often has it been done?

I didn't know. I researched extensively, and as far as I could see, nobody else knew either. I even found websites dedicated to this very subject - and realised I knew more than them anyway!

And so, it started... many hours of head-scratching, web surfing and historic magazine research - too many hours! - and I realised, not quickly enough, that I'd embarked on an "I'd started, so I had to finish mission". This definitely comes with a 'don't try this at home' warning. But I digress.

What follows is a result of that mission. Should you think I've missed any, please send me the details (editor@tri247.com), as my aim is to create the definitive list of sub-nine hour female iron distance finishes. The only downside of all of this work? I then had to do the same task for the sub-eight hour men!

Sub-Nine Hour Female Iron Distance Finishes

Pos.
M-Dot
Name
Country
Location
Year
Swim
T1
Bike
T2
Run
Total
1   Chrissie Wellington GBR Roth 2011 00:49:49 00:01:56 04:40:39 00:01:17 02:44:35 08:18:13
2   Chrissie Wellington GBR Roth 2010 00:50:28 00:01:56 04:36:33 00:01:25 02:48:54 08:19:13
3   Chrissie Wellington GBR Roth 2009 00:50:28 00:02:10 04:40:28 00:01:23 02:57:32 08:31:59
4 * Chrissie Wellington GBR Port Elizabeth 2011 00:51:40 00:01:56 04:45:23 00:02:03 02:52:54 08:33:56
5 * Caroline Steffen SUI Melbourne 2012 00:53:29 00:02:25 04:35:29 00:02:06 03:01:22 08:34:51
6 * Chrissie Wellington GBR Arizona 2010 00:51:56 00:02:48 04:47:06 00:01:28 02:52:55 08:36:13
7 * Eva Wutti AUT Copenhagen 2013 00:52:55 00:02:24 04:39:58 00:01:28 03:00:51 08:37:36
8   Mirinda Carfrae AUS Roth 2014 00:55:24 00:01:43 04:46:48 00:01:33 02:53:27 08:38:53
9   Rebekah Keat AUS Roth 2009 00:50:21 00:02:16 04:50:10 00:01:11 02:55:28 08:39:24
10   Caroline Steffen SUI Roth 2013 00:51:45 00:01:38 04:42:21 00:01:46 03:03:07 08:40:35
11   Rachel Joyce GBR Roth 2014 00:52:43 00:01:42 04:43:11 00:01:30 03:03:21 08:42:25
12 * Linsey Corbin USA Klagenfurt 2014 00:53:02 00:03:28 04:47:02 00:02:18 02:56:52 08:42:42
13 * Yvonne van Vlerken NED Florida 2013 01:00:14 00:02:53 04:35:49 00:02:16 03:01:55 08:43:07
14 * Mary Beth Ellis USA Klagenfurt 2011 00:48:07 00:03:09 04:48:09 00:02:38 03:01:28 08:43:35
15 * Meredith Kessler USA Arizona 2015 00:48:25 00:02:46 04:42:13 00:01:38 03:08:58 08:44:00
16   Rachel Joyce GBR Roth 2012 00:47:37 00:01:39 04:54:07 00:01:20 02:59:53 08:45:04
17 * Eva Wutti AUT Klagenfurt 2015 00:52:39 00:02:37 04:53:57 00:01:42 02:54:42 08:45:37
18   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Roth 2008 00:53:47 00:02:07 04:54:11 00:01:22 02:54:22 08:45:48
19 * Rachel Joyce GBR Melbourne 2012 00:52:34 00:01:59 04:44:57 00:01:37 03:05:02 08:46:09
20   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Roth 2013 00:54:40 00:01:24 04:39:35 00:01:12 03:09:33 08:46:22
21 * Yvonne van Vlerken NED Barcelona 2015 00:59:57 00:01:39 04:41:28 00:00:52 03:02:48 08:46:44
22   Erica Csomor HUN Roth 2008 00:53:37 00:02:09 04:54:10 00:01:17 02:55:54 08:47:05
23 * Sandra Wallenhorst GER Klagenfurt 2008 00:57:19 00:02:13 04:50:43 00:02:24 02:54:49 08:47:26
24   Catriona Morrison GBR Roth 2009 00:51:46 00:02:09 04:48:55 00:01:25 03:03:57 08:48:11
25 * Kaisa Lehtonen FIN Barcelona 2015 00:53:22 00:02:09 04:46:41 00:00:54 03:05:34 08:48:40
26   Caroline Steffen SUI Roth 2014 00:52:08 00:01:24 04:48:14 00:01:42 03:05:05 08:48:42
27 * Leanda Cave GBR Arizona 2011 00:52:08 00:04:50 04:51:07 00:02:05 02:58:52 08:49:00
28 * Ashley Clifford USA Florida 2013 00:55:21 00:03:49 04:51:20 00:01:58 02:56:35 08:49:03
29 * Rachel Joyce GBR Texas 2013 00:54:02 00:02:21 04:42:29 00:02:55 03:07:27 08:49:14
30 * Simone Brändli  SUI Klagenfurt 2014 00:45:51 00:02:48 04:57:15 00:02:08 03:01:14 08:49:16
31 * Eva Wutti AUT Barcelona 2014 01:00:42 00:02:19 04:41:30 00:00:48 03:04:02 08:49:21
32   Sonja Tajsich GER Roth 2012 00:55:50 00:01:38 04:55:14 00:01:24 02:55:43 08:49:47
33 * Bella Bayliss GBR Klagenfurt 2009 00:54:04 00:03:31 04:49:41 00:02:35 03:00:20 08:50:13
34 * Meredith Kessler USA Arizona 2014 00:50:22 00:03:05 04:48:06 00:01:12 03:07:56 08:50:41
35= * Paula Newby Fraser USA Roth 1994 00:50:55   04:49:48   03:10:10 08:50:53
35=   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Roth 2015 00:54:46 00:01:30 04:47:34 00:01:22 03:05:43 08:50:53
37 * Daniela Ryf SUI Frankfurt 2015 00:52:46 00:03:01 04:47:50 00:01:17 03:06:06 08:51:00
38   Eva Wutti AUT Barcelona 2013 01:02:39 00:02:00 04:46:37 00:01:48 02:57:57 08:51:01
39   Julia Gajer GER Roth 2013 00:51:48 00:01:37 04:56:35 00:01:11 02:59:55 08:51:04
40 * Erica Csomor HUN Klagenfurt 2011 00:52:06 00:03:00 04:53:59 00:02:11 02:59:53 08:51:11
41 * Bella Bayliss GBR Klagenfurt 2008 00:53:11 00:02:42 04:48:12 00:02:21 03:04:49 08:51:17
42 * Lori Bowden CAN Klagenfurt 2002 00:55:46 00:02:19 04:50:58 00:02:22 02:59:55 08:51:22
43 * Chrissie Wellington GBR Frankfurt 2008 00:48:34 00:02:45 04:57:17 00:01:04 03:01:44 08:51:24
44 * Yvonne van Vlerken NED Florida 2012 01:01:26 00:02:52 04:40:20 00:02:12 03:04:45 08:51:35
45   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Roth 2007 00:57:55 00:01:56 04:51:48 00:01:19 02:58:55 08:51:55
46   Rebekah Keat AUS Roth 2010 00:52:14 00:01:50 04:56:44 00:01:19 03:00:06 08:52:10
47 * Mirinda Carfrae AUS Hawaii 2013 00:58:50 00:02:06 04:58:20 00:02:20 02:50:38 08:52:14
48 * Amanda Stevens USA Arizona 2015 00:51:07 00:02:52 04:50:10 00:01:43 03:06:39 08:52:31
49 * Caroline Steffen SUI Frankfurt 2012 00:48:58 00:02:54 04:52:34 00:01:15 03:06:52 08:52:33
50 * Corinne Abraham GBR Frankfurt 2014 00:54:23 00:03:19 04:49:06 00:01:14 03:04:38 08:52:40
51   Rebekah Keat AUS Copenhagen 2011 00:49:33 00:02:15 04:54:41 00:01:13 03:05:02 08:52:42
52 * Julia Gajer GER Arizona 2013 00:53:24 00:03:41 04:51:46 00:01:56 03:02:02 08:52:49
53 * Melissa Hauschildt AUS Melbourne 2015 00:54:44 00:02:29 04:48:01 00:01:05 03:06:32 08:52:51
54   Carrie Lester AUS Roth 2015 00:52:09 00:02:04 04:47:43 00:01:25 03:09:50 08:53:09
55 * Lisa Hütthaler AUT Klagenfurt 2014 00:52:05 00:02:36 04:48:55 00:02:18 03:07:26 08:53:20
56 * Daniela Ryf SUI Copenhagen 2014 00:48:37 00:02:39 04:44:09 00:01:53 03:16:15 08:53:33
57 * Diana Riesler GER Klagenfurt 2011 00:58:20 00:03:33 04:43:50 00:02:09 03:05:41 08:53:35
58= * Jodie Swallow GBR Kalmar 2013 00:48:30 00:01:43 04:55:39 00:01:28 03:06:41 08:54:01
58= * Kate Allen AUT Klagenfurt 2003 00:49:14 00:01:51 05:03:28 00:02:14 02:57:12 08:54:01
60 * Chrissie Wellington GBR Hawaii 2009 00:54:31 00:02:15 04:52:06 00:02:05 03:03:05 08:54:02
61 * Elisabeth Gruber AUT Barcelona 2015 01:00:19 00:02:11 04:48:34 00:00:47 03:02:12 08:54:03
62 * Elizabeth Lyles USA Brasil 2016 00:56:52 00:02:59 04:48:37 - 03:05:42 08:54:10
63 * Linsey Corbin USA Arizona 2011 00:57:00 00:03:23 04:50:11 00:01:34 03:02:28 08:54:33
64   Rebekah Keat AUS Copenhagen 2010 00:50:21 00:02:05 04:48:04 00:00:59 03:13:09 08:54:36
65 * Kelly Williamson USA Texas 2014 00:51:49 00:02:08 05:03:51 00:02:08 02:54:46 08:54:42
66 * Angela Naeth CAN Chattanooga 2014 00:45:11 00:02:43 04:50:03 00:01:43 03:15:15 08:54:55
67 * Mary Beth Ellis USA Texas 2012 00:53:32 00:02:03 04:45:52 00:02:22 03:11:09 08:54:58
68 * Paula Newby Fraser USA Roth 1992 00:50:49   04:50:09   03:14:02 08:55:00
69= * Lori Bowden CAN Forster-Tuncurry 2000 00:56:42   04:51:40   03:06:46 08:55:08
69= * Chrissie Wellington GBR Hawaii 2011 01:01:03 00:02:05 04:56:53 00:02:26 02:52:41 08:55:08
71 * Jessica Jacobs USA Florida 2011 01:02:03 00:03:08 04:53:42 00:02:51 02:53:26 08:55:10
72= * Angela Naeth CAN Texas 2015 00:59:35 00:02:12 04:41:38 00:02:41 03:09:13 08:55:19
72=   Anja Beranek GER Roth 2015 00:49:20 00:01:29 04:47:58 00:01:38 03:14:55 08:55:19
74 * Paula Newby Fraser USA Hawaii 1992 00:53:30   04:56:34   03:05:24 08:55:28
75 * Thea Sybesma NED Roth 1991 00:55:01   04:46:22   03:14:06 08:55:29
76 * Meredith Kessler USA Arizona 2013 00:50:14 00:02:47 04:45:33 00:01:08 03:16:05 08:55:47
77 * Carrie Lester AUS Chattanooga 2015 00:44:35 00:03:18 05:01:16 00:01:46 03:05:05 08:56:00
78 * Camilla Pedersen DEN Frankfurt 2013 00:48:08 00:03:02 04:54:20 00:02:02 03:09:29 08:56:01
79   Ines Estedt GER Detern/Jumme 1995 00:50:32   05:03:47   03:01:46 08:56:05
80 * Meredith Kessler USA New Zealand 2016 00:47:49 00:04:14 04:56:40 00:01:22 03:06:03 08:56:08
81 * Heleen Bij de vaate NED Klagenfurt 2011 00:58:54 00:03:16 04:52:16 00:02:03 02:59:40 08:56:12
82=   Julia Wagner GER Roth 2011 00:51:28 00:01:45 04:54:27 00:01:20 03:07:25 08:56:23
82=   Irma Heeren NED Almere 1999 01:00:48   04:59:47   02:55:48 08:56:23
84 * Britta Martin NZL Busselton 2014 00:56:39 00:02:56 04:55:37 00:01:22 03:00:00 08:56:34
85 * Elizabeth Lyles USA Frankfurt 2014 00:53:40 00:03:35 04:56:53 00:01:14 03:01:14 08:56:36
86= * Sara Gross CAN Brasil 2014 00:55:47 00:03:28 04:49:42 00:01:33 03:06:11 08:56:41
86= * Erica Csomor HUN Florida 2013 01:02:13 00:03:11 04:45:09 00:02:36 03:03:32 08:56:41
88 * Leanda Cave GBR Kalmar 2014 00:49:39 00:02:21 04:57:21 00:02:03 03:05:26 08:56:50
89 * Eimear Mullan IRL Barcelona 2015 01:00:11 00:02:11 04:48:44 00:00:50 03:04:55 08:56:51
90   Katinka Wiltenburg NED Almere 1996 00:55:29   05:00:39   03:00:49 08:56:57
91   Julia Gajer GER Roth 2012 00:50:14 00:01:33 05:02:11 00:01:10 03:01:55 08:57:02
92 * Sofie Goos BEL Klagenfurt 2014 00:52:06 00:02:33 04:54:32 00:02:14 03:05:43 08:57:08
93 * Chrissie Wellington GBR Port Macquarie 2009 00:50:48 00:02:01 05:03:01 00:02:05 02:59:15 08:57:10
94   Gina Ferguson NZL Roth 2008 00:48:52 00:02:23 05:01:42 00:01:14 03:03:08 08:57:18
95 * Michelle Vesterby DEN Arizona 2013 00:53:30 00:02:54 04:42:57 00:01:20 03:16:43 08:57:24
96 * Rachel Joyce GBR Hawaii 2013 00:54:09 00:02:02 04:55:25 00:02:15 03:03:37 08:57:28
97   Lucie Reed CZE Barcelona 2013 00:56:07 00:02:02 04:51:25 00:01:55 03:06:05 08:57:34
98 * Thea Sybesma NED Roth 1992 00:53:56   04:47:01   03:16:40 08:57:37
99 * Catriona Morrison GBR Texas 2011 - - 05:51:15 00:02:22 03:04:14 08:57:51
100   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Almere 2007 00:58:30 00:02:10 04:45:49 00:02:17 03:09:11 08:57:54
101= * Mirinda Carfrae AUS Hawaii 2011 00:57:17 00:01:54 05:04:16 00:02:21 02:52:09 08:57:57
101= * Caroline Steffen SUI Melbourne 2014 00:52:03 00:02:33 04:56:38 00:01:59 03:04:44 08:57:57
101= * Daniela Ryf SUI Hawaii 2015 00:56:14 00:02:10 04:50:46 00:02:10 03:06:37 08:57:57
104 * Gina Crawford NZL Frankfurt 2014 00:49:21 00:03:27 04:56:01 00:01:40 03:07:37 08:58:06
105=   Belinda Granger AUS Roth 2008 00:48:49 00:02:01 04:50:24 00:01:45 03:15:10 08:58:08
105= * Sandra Wallenhorst GER Frankfurt 2009 00:54:22 00:03:15 04:54:02 00:00:56 03:05:33 08:58:08
107 * Leanda Cave GBR Texas 2015 00:53:13 00:02:34 04:47:43 00:02:40 03:12:02 08:58:12
108 * Paula Newby Fraser USA Hawaii 1993 00:53:29   04:48:30   03:16:24 08:58:23
109 * Kate Allen AUT Klagenfurt 2002 00:51:11 00:02:43 04:55:12 00:02:40 03:06:38 08:58:24
110   Joanna Lawn NZL Roth 2007 00:51:46 00:01:58 04:52:48 00:01:12 03:10:40 08:58:25
111 * Mirinda Carfrae AUS Hawaii 2010 00:55:53 00:01:56 05:04:59 00:02:18 02:53:32 08:58:36
112 * Nina Kraft GER Frankfurt 2004 00:48:35 00:02:26 05:05:11 00:01:30 03:00:53 08:58:37
113= * Jodie Swallow GBR Frankfurt 2013 00:46:09 00:03:00 04:50:36 00:01:18 03:17:40 08:58:43
113=   Lucy Gossage GBR Barcelona 2012 00:57:30 00:01:49 04:55:47 00:00:40 03:02:57 08:58:43
115= * Camilla Pedersen DEN Barcelona 2014 00:53:35 00:01:58 04:49:13 00:00:58 03:13:02 08:58:46
115= * Lisa Hütthaler AUT Arizona 2014 00:59:05 00:02:26 04:50:17 00:01:10 03:05:48 08:58:46
117 * Yvonne van Vlerken NED Melbourne 2015 00:59:52 00:02:32 04:44:28 00:01:12 03:10:54 08:58:58
118= * Caroline Steffen SUI Melbourne 2015 00:52:43 00:02:39 04:45:38 00:01:28 03:16:40 08:59:08
118= * Ariane Monitceli BRA Florianopolis 2015 01:00:18 00:02:59 04:57:59 00:01:24 02:56:28 08:59:08
120   Rebekah Keat AUS Roth 2011 00:51:27 00:01:50 04:51:05 00:01:11 03:13:51 08:59:22
121 * Gina Ferguson NZL Busselton 2008 00:50:30 00:01:30 04:56:42 00:01:36 03:09:06 08:59:24
122= * Erica Csomor HUN Klagenfurt 2013 00:51:57 00:03:11 04:58:03 00:02:16 03:04:04 08:59:31
122= * Sue Latshaw USA Roth 1997 00:52:44   04:55:52   03:10:55 08:59:31
124   Gina Crawford NZL Roth 2012 00:50:17 00:01:57 05:04:55 00:02:23 03:00:05 08:59:35
125   Yvonne van Vlerken NED Roth 2014 00:59:24 00:01:40 04:42:17 00:01:36 03:14:40 08:59:36
126 * Lori Bowden CAN Klagenfurt 2001 00:54:44 00:01:56 04:57:59 00:02:06 03:02:55 08:59:41
127   Erica Csomor HUN Roth 2009 00:53:16 00:02:20 04:54:37 00:01:02 03:08:29 08:59:42
128 * Elizabeth Lyles USA Busselton 2013 00:57:11 00:02:13 04:58:21 00:01:22 03:00:37 08:59:44
129= * Edith Niederfriniger ITA Klagenfurt 2008 00:49:05 00:02:15 05:04:17 00:02:51 03:01:16 08:59:45
129= * Sonja Tajsich GER Klagenfurt 2009 00:56:32 00:02:18 04:49:05 00:02:43 03:09:05 08:59:45
131   Diana Riesler GER Vichy 2013 00:56:30 00:02:39 04:44:29 00:01:58 03:14:10 08:59:48
132 * Michelle Vesterby DEN Copenhagen 2015 00:50:45 00:02:30 04:52:22 00:02:02 03:12:10 08:59:49
133 * Michi Herlbauer AUT Klagenfurt 2014 00:51:23 00:02:47 04:58:56 00:02:13 03:04:38 08:59:57

Fastest Female Iron Distance Athletes (Best Time Only)

Rank
Best Time
Athlete
Event
1 08:18:13 Chrissie Wellington Challenge Roth 2011
2 08:34:51 Caroline Steffen Ironman Melbourne 2012
3 08:37:36 Eva Wutti Ironman Copenhagen 2013
4 08:38:53 Mirinda Carfrae Challenge Roth 2014
5 08:39:24 Rebekah Keat Challenge Roth 2009
6 08:42:25 Rachel Joyce Challenge Roth 2014
7 08:42:42 Linsey Corbin Ironman Austria 2014
8 08:43:07 Yvonne van Vlerken Ironman Florida 2013
9 08:43:35 Mary Beth Ellis Ironman Austria 2011
10 08:44:00 Meredith Kessler Ironman Arizona 2015
11 08:47:05 Erica Csomor Challenge Roth 2008
12 08:47:26 Sandra Wallenhorst Ironman Austria 2008
13 08:48:11 Catriona Morrison Challenge Roth 2009
14 08:48:40 Kaisa Lehtonen Ironman Barcelona 2015
15 08:49:00 Leanda Cave Ironman Arizona 2011
16 08:49:03 Ashley Clifford Ironman Florida 2013
17 08:49:16 Simone Brändli  Ironman Austria 2014
18 08:49:47 Sonja Tajsich Challenge Roth 2012
19 08:50:13 Bella Bayliss Ironman Austria 2009
20 08:50:53 Paula Newby Fraser Ironman Europe 1994 (Roth)
21 08:51:00 Daniela Ryf Ironman European Champs 2015 (Frankfurt)
22 08:51:04 Julia Gajer (nee Wagner) Challenge Roth 2013
23 08:51:22 Lori Bowden Ironman Austria 2002
24 08:52:31 Amanda Stevens Ironman Arizona 2015
25 08:52:40 Corinne Abraham Ironman European Champs 2014 (Frankfurt)
26 08:52:51 Melissa Hauschilt Ironman Melbourne 2015
27 08:53:09 Carrie Lester Challenge Roth 2015
28 08:53:20 Lisa Hütthaler Ironman Austria 2014
29 08:53:35 Diana Riesler Ironman Austria 2011
30= 08:54:01 Kate Allen Ironman Austria 2003
30= 08:54:01 Jodie Swallow Ironman Kalmar, Sweden 2013
32 08:54:03 Elisabeth Gruber Ironman Barcelona 2015
33 08:54:10 Elizabeth Lyles Ironman Brasil 2016 (South American Champs, Florianopolis)
34 08:54:42 Kelly Williamson Ironman Texas 2014
35 08:54:55 Angela Naeth Ironman Chattanooga 2014
36 08:55:10 Jessica Jacobs Ironman Florida 2011
37 08:55:19 Anja Beranek Challenge Roth 2015
38 08:55:29 Thea Sybesma Ironman Europe 1991 (Roth)
39 08:56:01 Camilla Pedersen Ironman European Champs 2013 (Frankfurt)
40 08:56:05 Ines Estedt Euro Champs - Detern/Jumme (1995)
41 08:56:12 Heleen Bij De Vaate Ironman Austria 2011
42 08:56:23 Irma Heeren Almere 1999
43 08:56:34 Britta Martin Ironman Western Australia 2014
44 08:56:41 Sara Gross Ironman Brasil 2014 (Florianopolis)
45 08:56:51 Eimear Mullan Ironman Barcelona 2015
46 08:56:57 Katinka Wiltenburg Almere 1996
47 08:57:08 Sofie Gooes Ironman Austria 2014
48 08:57:18 Gina Ferguson Challenge Roth 2008
49 08:57:24 Michelle Vesterby Ironman Arizona 2013
50 08:57:34 Lucie Reed Challenge Barcelona 2013
51 08:58:08 Belinda Granger Challenge Roth 2008
52 08:58:25 Joanna Lawn Challenge Roth 2007
53 08:58:37 Nina Kraft Ironman Frankfurt 2004
54 08:58:43 Lucy Gossage Challenge Barcelona 2012
55 08:59:08 Ariane Monitceli Ironman Latin American Championship 2015 (Brasil, Florianopolis)
56 08:59:31 Sue Latshaw Ironman Europe 1997 (Roth)
57 08:59:45 Edith Niederfriniger Ironman Austria 2008
58 08:59:57 Michi Herlbauer Ironman Austria 2014

Athlete / Race Analysis

ATHLETE
YEARS
VENUE
Yvonne van Vlerken 10 1991 1 Roth 34
Chrissie Wellington 9 1992 3 Klagenfurt 20
Caroline Steffen 6 1993 1 Frankfurt 10
Rebekah Keat 5 1994 1 Arizona 10
Erica Csomor 5 1995 1 Hawaii 9
Rachel Joyce 5 1996 1 Texas 6
Paula Newby Fraser 4 1997 1 Melbourne 6
Julia Gajer (née Wagner) 4 1998 0 Florida 5
Gina Crawford (née Ferguson)  4 1999 1 Barcelona 9
Mirinda Carfrae 4 2000 1 Copenhagen 5
Eva Wutti 4 2001 1 Almere 3
Meredith Kessler 4 2002 2 Busselton 3
Lori Bowden 3 2003 1 Kalmar 2
Leanda Cave 3 2004 1 Chattanooga 2
Daniela Ryf 3 2005 0 Brasil (Florianopolis) 3
Elizabeth Lyles 3 2006 0 Detern/Jumme 1
Bella Bayliss 2 2007 3 Forster-Tuncurry 1
Catriona Morrison 2 2008 9 Vichy 1
Kate Allen 2 2009 9 Port Macquarie 1
Mary Beth Ellis 2 2010 5 Port Elizabeth 1
Sandra Wallenhorst 2 2011 15 Taupo 1
Sonja Tajsich 2 2012 10 (21 courses) 133
Thea Sybesma 2 2013 21    
Diana Riesler 2 2014 23    
Jodie Swallow 2 2015 20    
Linsey Corbin 2 2016 2    
Camilla Pedersen 2   133    
Lisa Hütthaler 2        
Angela Naeth 2        
Michelle Vesterby 2        
Carrie Lester 2        
Belinda Granger 1        
Edith Niederfriniger 1        
Heleen Bij de vaate 1        
Ines Estedt 1        
Irma Heeren 1        
Jessica Jacobs 1        
Joanna Lawn 1        
Katinka Wiltenburg 1        
Lucy Gossage 1        
Nina Kraft 1        
Sue Latshaw 1        
Lucie Reed 1        
Ashley Clifford 1        
Kelly Williamson 1        
Sara Gross 1        
Simone Brändli  1        
Sofie Gooes 1        
Michi Herlbauer 1        
Corinne Abraham 1        
Britta Martin 1        
Melissa Hauschildt 1        
Ariane Monitceli 1        
Anja Beranek 1        
Kaisa Lehtonen 1        
Elisabeth Gruber 1        
Eimear Mullan 1        
Amanda Stevens 1        
(58 athletes) 133        

Commentary

Not surprisingly, Roth wins in terms of course speed. Twenty nine sub-nine's in the past nine races (2007-2015), 34 in total and of course the three fastest absolute times ever from Chrissie, plus six of the top-10... However Ironman Austria (Klagenfurt) comes closest now with 20 following the 2015 edition. Roth was also the venue of the first ever sub-nine clocking from Thea Sybesma (NED) in 1991, in what at the time was 'Ironman Europe'.

Following Chrissie's quite staggering performances at Roth 2009, Roth in 2010 and Roth 2011, added to her figures from Ironmans Arizona and South Africa, Chrissie held the five fastest iron-distance times ever. Those top five times, along with her Kona course record (2009) were all achieved in consecutive races...which she followed up with arguably her greatest performance ever at the 2011 Ironman World Championships, even if it wasn't (quite!) a Kona record. Quite a form line... Caroline Steffen's heroics at Melbourne 2012 however mean that she now has the fifth fastest time ever, pushing Chrissie's Arizona result down to sixth. With another swift 8:40:35 at Challenge Roth 2013, Xena now has two of finishes in the all-time top-10 fastest listing, the only athlete aside from Chrissie to manage that statistic.

Want some more Chrissie stats? 2011 was the second time (2009 being the first) that Chrissie has achieved three sub-nine hour finishes in one year. Indeed, you have to go back to Kona 2008 for the last time Chrissie didn't finish with 8:XX on the clock - and that was the year that she spent 10+ minutes on the side of the road with a puncture... and still won with a finish time of 9:06:23. It's now eight consecutive sub-nine finishes 2009-2011 inclusive (and nine in total). Raising the bar for sure - though no more following Chrissie's Ironman retirement.

In 2008, Chrissie Wellington received much comment about celebrating 'too much' on the run-in to the line in Frankfurt, and thus missing the then world best of Paula Newby-Fraser (8:50:53). Things have moved on so quickly that Chrissie's 8:51:24 from that race doesn't even make the top-40 now anyway - and following Daniela Ryf's 2015 efforts, it isn't even the course record any longer!

The performance of Cat Morrison at Roth 2009 was surpassed by Mary Beth Ellis as the fastest debut iron-distance performance following her Klagenfurt 2011 win (8:43:35). That said, Eva Wutti's 8:37:36 at Ironman Copenhagen 2013 was her first Ironman finish - but not technically a debut, having been a DNF earlier in the year at Ironman Austria. Eva has since added a second entry to this listing with another win, this time at Challenge Barcelona 2013 (8:51:01), a third at the same race (this time under 'Ironman Barcelona' branding) to defend that title a year later in a new course record of 8:49:21 - and now a fourth on home soil at Ironman Austria 2015.

American Krista Whelen missed out on this list my just one second - she recorded nine hours exactly in 1992 at Roth. Ironically, for 17 years her bike time of 4:45:59 that day was the fastest women's Ironman bike split - smashed by Chrissie with a 4:40:28 at Roth 2009, and then again (4:36:33) in 2010. Chrissie's marathon (2:48:54) was also a world's best... until 10th July 2011 when she improved that yet again to 2:44:35. That bike mantle has now been taken by Caroline Steffen though, her 4:35:29 (Melbourne 2012) is now the gold standard, though Yvonne Van Vlerken was just 20 seconds short of that at Ironman Florida 2013.

Though somewhat lost in the majesty of the world best ahead of her at Roth in 2010, Rebekah Keat in second place (8:52:10) still recorded what is currently the 46th best time in history, and she also became one of just 11 (at the time, it's now 31...) athletes to have broken the nine hour mark more than once, to which she then added another at Challenge Copenhagen just weeks later. Another sub-9 at Challenge Roth 2011 brought her total to four and with a second consecutive win at Challenge Copenhagen 2011 (8:52:42), she moved past the legendary Paula Newby Fraser and into sole second place on the 'most sub-9's' rankings with five.

Yvonne Van Vlerken recorded her first sub-9 clocking for more than four years when winning Ironman Florida 2012, which was the fourth time she has achieved that, leaving her tied for third place (with Paula Newby Fraser) behind Chrissie Wellington (nine) and Rebekah Keat (five) in the "most sub-9 finishes" all-time list. Not content with that, Yvonne came within seconds of her own PB figures while finishing second to Caroline Steffen at Challenge Roth 2013 (8:46:22) to join Rebekah Keat on five sub-nine's, only to then recorded her best ever time (8:43:07) when winning Ironman Florida 2013, just weeks after taking fourth place at Kona. That was six, but with Challenge Roth 2014 (8:59:36) and now Melbourne 2015, Yvonne Van Vlerken was just one short of Chrissie's record, with eight Sub-nine finishes to her name. No longer... as another Challenge Roth victory in 2015 means that Yvonne now pulled level with Chrissie, only to become the first woman into double figures with her tenth sub-nine finish at Ironman Barcelona 2015.

Erika Csomor made it three sub-nine clocking's at Ironman Austria 2011 (and added a fourth in 2013 at the same event.... and then a fifth at Ironman Florida!), while Gina Crawford (née Ferguson) made it three for her at Challenge Roth 2012 and four at Ironman Frankfurt 2014. Rachel Joyce achieved her third at Ironman Texas 2013 a fourth at the Ironman World Champs 2013 and a fifth at Challenge Roth 2014, where third placed Caroline Steffen has matched her with five. (One 'might' (!) argue that it should/could be six - but her win at Ironman Cozumel in 2013 was on a shortened swim course due to sea conditions). Steffen now sits alone in third place in the 'most Sub-9's' with six, following her third place in Melbourne 2015.

The 36th name to join the 'Sub-9 Club' was Lucie Reed, Challenge Barcelona 2013 (second place, 8:57:34), with the 37th member Ashley Clifford with second place (8:49:03) at Ironman Florida 2013. Members 38 and 39 came via Ironman Arizona 2013 via Meredith Kessler (second place, 8:55:47) and Michelle Vesterby (third, 8:57:24). Elizabeth Lyles, winner Ironman Western Australia 2013 was the 40th time on the list while more recent additions are (#41), Kelly Williamson courtesy of a win (8:54:42) at Ironman Texas 2014 and (#42), Sara Gross at Ironman Brasil (8:56:35).

Ironman Austria 2014 added four more names. While Linsey Corbin won in 8:42:42 (a PB time, and her second Sub-9, currently ranked as the 12th fastest time on record), positions two thru five in that race saw four more Sub-9 club members in Simone Brändli  (#43), Lisa Hütthaler (#44), Sofie Goos (#45) and Michi Herlbauer (#46).

The very latest additions to the listing is include yet another fast British athlete, as Corinne Abraham's 8:52:40 at Ironman Frankfurt makes her member #47. Behind her, Gina Crawford (her fourth) and Elizabeth Lyles (her second), added to their totals. Member #48 goes to Daniela Ryf, thanks to her 8:53:33 and second Ironman victory, at Ironman Copenhagen 2014, #49 is Angela Naeth (Ironman Chattanooga 2014), #50 is Britta Martin, winner at Ironman Western Australia 2014 and the latest new names from 2015 are, #51, Melissa Hauschildt (Melbourne), #52, Ariane Moniticeli (Brazil), #53, Carrie Lester (Roth), #54, Anja Beranek (Roth), #'s 55-57 (Kaisa Lehtonen, Elisabeth Gruber and Eimear Mullan) at Ironman Barcelona and #58 is Amanda Stevens (Arizona).


Tri247 Iron-Distance Statistics Library

Do you believe there is a performance missing here? If so, please do let me know via editor@tri247.com.



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Have Your Say
Re: Sub-9 iron ladies: a history
Posted by Banana
Posted at 11:12:19 17th Jul 2009
Reply to this

Very intersting stuff and totally proves the point that the women ARE going faster.

John also makes the point about course length. Triathlon is a sport that althoughh precise in most other aspects has gernally had a "that'll do" attitude to course measurement.

Whilt it is generally better now than when I was competing 25 year ago, there is still no governance from the NGB with regards to this issue or formal measuring system in place.

In kids' races it is even worse and is really is mostly guesswork which results in around 20% of races actually flouting the rulebook regarding maximum distances (a personal gripe of mine).

The other factor would have to be equipment. PNB's Hawaii times may well have been swum without wetsuits (I can't remember) and even if they were used did not offer the same flotation/buoyancy assistance that even the basic modern suits have designed-in as standard. That is even before we look at changes in bike design good and bad (Softride anyone?).

Even running shoes promise better "energy return" than shoes from the '80s and '90s so really comparision over the years is actually pretty meaningless.

It is probably suffice to say (and pretty much a given) that Chrissie W and PNB were both superb athletes but can only (as the author states) be certain that these women have gone sub-9 on Ironman distance (or thereabouts) courses.