Sub-9 hour iron women triathletes

Chrissie Wellington celebrating win at Challenge Roth 2011

Updated following Western Ironman 2016. Daniela Ryf becomes second fastest ever while Laura Siddall joins the Sub-9 Club in Bavaria. And a week later, Daniela goes Sub-9 again in Zurich…

[2016 Updates: following Ironman New Zealand on Saturday 5th March (Meredith Kessler), Ironman Brasil on Sunday 29th May (Elizabeth Lyles), Ironman Austria on Sunday 26th June (Mirinda Carfrae, Michi Herlbauer), Challenge Roth on Sunday 17th July (Daniela Ryf, Carrie Lester, Yvonne van Vlerken and Laura Siddall), Ironman Switzerland on Sunday 24th July (Daniela Ryf), Ironman Barcelona (Astrid Stienen), Ironman Hawaii (Daniela Ryf), Ironman Arizona (Meredith Kessler, Yvonne van Vlerken and Malindi Elmore) and Ironman Western Australia (Melissa Hauschildt, Mareen Hufe, Sarah Piampiano].

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. Klagenfurt and Roth have, in typical style, accelerated the year-to-date total to nine – including a performance second only to the legendary Chrissie Wellington. And there were pleny more to follow after Roth too, bringing the 2016 total to 17.

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 women 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, and she added another – in course record time – retaining her World Championship title in 2016.

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 17th 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.

As at 4th December 2016, 63 women have now finished an iron-distance triathlon with an 8:XX:XX clocking, and we now have 148 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 ([email protected]), 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

NameCountryLocationYearTime
Chrissie WellingtonGBRRoth201108:18:13
Chrissie WellingtonGBRRoth201008:19:13
Daniela RyfSUIRoth201608:22:04
Chrissie WellingtonGBRRoth200908:31:59
Chrissie WellingtonGBRPort Elizabeth201108:33:56
Caroline SteffenSUIMelbourne201208:34:51
Chrissie WellingtonGBRArizona201008:36:13
Eva WuttiAUTCopenhagen201308:37:36
Mirinda CarfraeAUSRoth201408:38:53
Rebekah KeatAUSRoth200908:39:24
Caroline SteffenSUIRoth201308:40:35
Mirinda CarfraeAUSKlagenfurt201608:41:27
Carrie LesterAUSRoth201608:42:13
Rachel JoyceGBRRoth201408:42:25
Linsey CorbinUSAKlagenfurt201408:42:42
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDFlorida201308:43:07
Mary Beth EllisUSAKlagenfurt201108:43:35
Meredith KesslerUSAArizona201508:44:00
Rachel JoyceGBRRoth201208:45:04
Eva WuttiAUTKlagenfurt201508:45:37
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth200808:45:48
Rachel JoyceGBRMelbourne201208:46:09
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth201308:46:22
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDBarcelona201508:46:44
Daniela RyfSUIHawaii201608:46:46
Erica CsomorHUNRoth200808:47:05
Sandra WallenhorstGERKlagenfurt200808:47:26
Catriona MorrisonGBRRoth200908:48:11
Meredith KesslerUSAArizona201608:48:23
Kaisa LehtonenFINBarcelona201508:48:40
Caroline SteffenSUIRoth201408:48:42
Leanda CaveGBRArizona201108:49:00
Ashley CliffordUSAFlorida201308:49:03
Rachel JoyceGBRTexas201308:49:14
Simone BrŠndliSUIKlagenfurt201408:49:16
Eva WuttiAUTBarcelona201408:49:21
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth201608:49:35
Sonja TajsichGERRoth201208:49:47
Bella BaylissGBRKlagenfurt200908:50:13
Meredith KesslerUSAArizona201408:50:41
Paula Newby FraserUSARoth199408:50:53
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth201508:50:53
Daniela RyfSUIFrankfurt201508:51:00
Eva WuttiAUTBarcelona201308:51:01
Julia GajerGERRoth201308:51:04
Erica CsomorHUNKlagenfurt201108:51:11
Bella BaylissGBRKlagenfurt200808:51:17
Lori BowdenCANKlagenfurt200208:51:22
Chrissie WellingtonGBRFrankfurt200808:51:24
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDArizona201608:51:27
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDFlorida201208:51:35
Daniela RyfGBRZurich201608:51:50
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth200708:51:55
Laura SiddallGBRRoth201608:51:59
Rebekah KeatAUSRoth201008:52:10
Mirinda CarfraeAUSHawaii201308:52:14
Amanda StevensUSAArizona201508:52:31
Caroline SteffenSUIFrankfurt201208:52:33
Corinne AbrahamGBRFrankfurt201408:52:40
Rebekah KeatAUSCopenhagen201108:52:42
Julia GajerGERArizona201308:52:49
Melissa HauschildtAUSMelbourne201508:52:51
Carrie LesterAUSRoth201508:53:09
Lisa HŸtthalerAUTKlagenfurt201408:53:20
Daniela RyfSUICopenhagen201408:53:33
Diana RieslerGERKlagenfurt201108:53:35
Jodie SwallowGBRKalmar201308:54:01
Kate AllenAUTKlagenfurt200308:54:01
Chrissie WellingtonGBRHawaii200908:54:02
Elisabeth GruberAUTBarcelona201508:54:03
Elizabeth LylesUSABrasil201608:54:10
Astrid StienenGERBarcelona201608:54:27
Linsey CorbinUSAArizona201108:54:33
Rebekah KeatAUSCopenhagen201008:54:36
Melissa HauschildtAUSBusselton201608:54:39
Kelly WilliamsonUSATexas201408:54:42
Angela NaethCANChattanooga201408:54:55
Mary Beth EllisUSATexas201208:54:58
Paula Newby FraserUSARoth199208:55:00
Lori BowdenCANForster-Tuncurry200008:55:08
Chrissie WellingtonGBRHawaii201108:55:08
Jessica JacobsUSAFlorida201108:55:10
Angela NaethCANTexas201508:55:19
Anja BeranekGERRoth201508:55:19
Paula Newby FraserUSAHawaii199208:55:28
Thea SybesmaNEDRoth199108:55:29
Meredith KesslerUSAArizona201308:55:47
Carrie LesterAUSChattanooga201508:56:00
Camilla PedersenDENFrankfurt201308:56:01
Ines EstedtGERDetern/Jumme199508:56:05
Meredith KesslerUSANew Zealand201608:56:08
Heleen Bij de vaateNEDKlagenfurt201108:56:12
Julia WagnerGERRoth201108:56:23
Irma HeerenNEDAlmere199908:56:23
Britta MartinNZLBusselton201408:56:34
Elizabeth LylesUSAFrankfurt201408:56:36
Sara GrossCANBrasil201408:56:41
Erica CsomorHUNFlorida201308:56:41
Leanda CaveGBRKalmar201408:56:50
Eimear MullanIRLBarcelona201508:56:51
Katinka WiltenburgNEDAlmere199608:56:57
Julia GajerGERRoth201208:57:02
Sofie GoosBELKlagenfurt201408:57:08
Chrissie WellingtonGBRPort Macquarie200908:57:10
Gina FergusonNZLRoth200808:57:18
Malindi ElmoreCANArizona201608:57:22
Michi HerlbauerAUTKlagenfurt201608:57:23
Michelle VesterbyDENArizona201308:57:24
Rachel JoyceGBRHawaii201308:57:28
Lucie ReedCZEBarcelona201308:57:34
Mareen HufeGERBusselton201608:57:36
Thea SybesmaNEDRoth199208:57:37
Catriona MorrisonGBRTexas201108:57:51
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDAlmere200708:57:54
Mirinda CarfraeAUSHawaii201108:57:57
Caroline SteffenSUIMelbourne201408:57:57
Daniela RyfSUIHawaii201508:57:57
Gina CrawfordNZLFrankfurt201408:58:06
Belinda GrangerAUSRoth200808:58:08
Sandra WallenhorstGERFrankfurt200908:58:08
Leanda CaveGBRTexas201508:58:12
Paula Newby FraserUSAHawaii199308:58:23
Kate AllenAUTKlagenfurt200208:58:24
Joanna LawnNZLRoth200708:58:25
Mirinda CarfraeAUSHawaii201008:58:36
Nina KraftGERFrankfurt200408:58:37
Jodie SwallowGBRFrankfurt201308:58:43
Lucy GossageGBRBarcelona201208:58:43
Camilla PedersenDENBarcelona201408:58:46
Lisa HŸtthalerAUTArizona201408:58:46
Sarah PiampianoUSABusselton201608:58:51
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDMelbourne201508:58:58
Caroline SteffenSUIMelbourne201508:59:08
Ariane MonitceliBRAFlorianopolis201508:59:08
Rebekah KeatAUSRoth201108:59:22
Gina FergusonNZLBusselton200808:59:24
Erica CsomorHUNKlagenfurt201308:59:31
Sue LatshawUSARoth199708:59:31
Gina CrawfordNZLRoth201208:59:35
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDRoth201408:59:36
Lori BowdenCANKlagenfurt200108:59:41
Erica CsomorHUNRoth200908:59:42
Elizabeth LylesUSABusselton201308:59:44
Edith NiederfrinigerITAKlagenfurt200808:59:45
Sonja TajsichGERKlagenfurt200908:59:45
Diana RieslerGERVichy201308:59:48
Michelle VesterbyDENCopenhagen201508:59:49
Michi HerlbauerAUTKlagenfurt201408:59:57

Fastest Female Iron Distance Athletes (Best Time Only)

AthleteCountryEventYearTime
Chrissie WellingtonGBRChallenge Roth201108:18:13
Daniela RyfSUIChallenge Roth201608:22:04
Caroline SteffenSUIIronman Melbourne201208:34:51
Eva WuttiAUTIronman Copenhagen201308:37:36
Mirinda CarfraeAUSChallenge Roth201408:38:53
Rebekah KeatAUSChallenge Roth200908:39:24
Carrie LesterAUSChallenge Roth201608:42:14
Rachel JoyceGBRChallenge Roth201408:42:25
Linsey CorbinUSAIronman Austria201408:42:42
Yvonne van VlerkenNEDIronman Florida201308:43:07
Mary Beth EllisUSAIronman Austria201108:43:35
Meredith KesslerUSAIronman Arizona201508:44:00
Erica CsomorHUNChallenge Roth200808:47:05
Sandra WallenhorstGERIronman Austria200808:47:26
Catriona MorrisonGBRChallenge Roth200908:48:11
Kaisa LehtonenFINIronman Barcelona201508:48:40
Leanda CaveGBRIronman Arizona201108:49:00
Ashley CliffordUSAIronman Florida201308:49:03
Simone BrŠndliSUIIronman Austria201408:49:16
Sonja TajsichGERChallenge Roth201208:49:47
Bella BaylissGBRIronman Austria200908:50:13
Paula Newby FraserUSAIronman Europe (Roth)199408:50:53
Julia Gajer (nee Wagner)GERChallenge Roth201308:51:04
Lori BowdenCANIronman Austria200208:51:22
Laura SiddallGBRChallenge Roth201608:51:59
Amanda StevensUSAIronman Arizona201508:52:31
Corinne AbrahamGBRIronman European Champs (Frankfurt)201408:52:40
Melissa HauschildtAUSIronman Melbourne201508:52:51
Lisa HŸtthalerAUTIronman Austria201408:53:20
Diana RieslerGERIronman Austria201108:53:35
Kate AllenAUTIronman Austria200308:54:01
Jodie SwallowGBRIronman Kalmar201308:54:01
Elisabeth GruberAUTIronman Barcelona201508:54:03
Elizabeth LylesUSAIronman Brasil (South American Champs)201608:54:10
Astrid StienenGERIronman Barcelona201608:54:27
Kelly WilliamsonUSAIronman Texas201408:54:42
Angela NaethCANIronman Chattanooga201408:54:55
Jessica JacobsUSAIronman Florida201108:55:10
Anja BeranekGERChallenge Roth201508:55:19
Thea SybesmaNEDIronman Europe (Roth)199108:55:29
Camilla PedersenDENIronman European Champs (Frankfurt)201308:56:01
Ines EstedtGEREuro Champs Ð Detern/Jumme199508:56:05
Heleen Bij De VaateNEDIronman Austria201108:56:12
Irma HeerenNEDAlmere199908:56:23
Britta MartinNZLIronman Western Australia201408:56:34
Sara GrossCANIronman Brasil201408:56:41
Eimear MullanIRLIronman Barcelona201508:56:51
Katinka WiltenburgNEDAlmere199608:56:57
Sofie GooesBELIronman Austria201408:57:08
Gina FergusonNZLChallenge Roth200808:57:18
Malindi ElmoreCANIronman Arizona201608:57:22
Michelle VesterbyDENIronman Arizona201308:57:24
Lucie ReedCZEChallenge Barcelona201308:57:34
Mareen HufeGERIronman Western Australia201608:57:36
Belinda GrangerAUSChallenge Roth200808:58:08
Joanna LawnNZLChallenge Roth200708:58:25
Nina KraftGERIronman Frankfurt200408:58:37
Lucy GossageGBRChallenge Barcelona201208:58:43
Sarah PiampianoUSAIronman Western Australia201608:58:51
Ariane MonitceliBRAIronman Latin American Championship201508:59:08
Sue LatshawUSAIronman Europe (Roth)199708:59:31
Edith NiederfrinigerITAIronman Austria200808:59:45
Michi HerlbauerAUTIronman Austria201408:59:57

Athlete & Race Analysis

NameCountrySub 9 hour finishes
Yvonne van VlerkenNED12
Chrissie WellingtonGBR9
Caroline SteffenSUI6
Daniela RyfSUI6
Rebekah KeatAUS5
Erica CsomorHUN5
Rachel JoyceGBR5
Mirinda CarfraeAUS5
Meredith KesslerUSA5
Julia Gajer (nŽe Wagner)GER4
Gina Crawford (nŽe Ferguson)NZL4
Eva WuttiAUT4
Paula Newby FraserUSA4
Leanda CaveGBR3
Lori BowdenCAN3
Elizabeth LylesUSA3
Carrie LesterAUS3
Catriona MorrisonGBR2
Bella BaylissGBR2
Mary Beth EllisUSA2
Sandra WallenhorstGER2
Sonja TajsichGER2
Thea SybesmaNED2
Diana RieslerGER2
Jodie SwallowGBR2
Linsey CorbinUSA2
Camilla PedersenDEN2
Lisa HŸtthalerAUT2
Angela NaethCAN2
Michelle VesterbyDEN2
Kate AllenAUT2
Michi HerlbauerAUT2
Melissa HauschildtAUS2
Belinda GrangerAUS1
Edith NiederfrinigerITA1
Heleen Bij de vaateNED1
Ines EstedtGER1
Irma HeerenNED1
Jessica JacobsUSA1
Joanna LawnNZL1
Katinka WiltenburgNED1
Lucy GossageGBR1
Nina KraftGER1
Sue LatshawUSA1
Lucie ReedCZE1
Ashley CliffordUSA1
Kelly WilliamsonUSA1
Sara GrossCAN1
Simone BrŠndliÊSUI1
Sofie GooesBEL1
Corinne AbrahamGBR1
Britta MartinNZL1
Ariane MonitceliBRA1
Anja BeranekGER1
Kaisa LehtonenFIN1
Elisabeth GruberAUT1
Eimear MullanIRL1
Amanda StevensUSA1
Laura SiddallGBR1
Astrid StienenGER1
Malindi ElmoreÊCAN1
Mareen HufeGER1
Sarah PiampianoUSA1
YearSub 9 hour finishes
19911
19923
19931
19941
19951
19961
19971
19980
19991
20001
20011
20022
20031
20041
20050
20060
20073
20089
20099
20105
201115
201210
201321
201423
201520
201617
LocationSub 9 hour finishes
Roth38
Klagenfurt22
Arizona13
Frankfurt10
Barcelona10
Hawaii10
Texas6
Melbourne6
Busselton6
Florida5
Copenhagen5
Almere3
Brasil (Florianopolis)3
Chattanooga2
Kalmar2
Detern/Jumme1
Forster-Tuncurry1
Vichy1
Port Macquarie1
Port Elizabeth1
Taupo1
Zurich1

Commentary

Not surprisingly, Roth wins in terms of course speed. Thirty three sub-nine’s in the past ten races (2007-2016), 38 in total, the four fastest times ever plus six of the top-10…

However Ironman Austria (Klagenfurt) comes closest now with 22 following the 2016 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.

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. All change following Roth 2016 – Daniela Ryf producing a stunning 4:31:29 bike split. That, is, fast.

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 55th best time in history, and she also became one of just 11 (at the time, it’s now 33…) 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. She is showing no signs of stopping and is now up to eleven following Challenge Roth 2016 and twelve at Ironman Arizona 2016.

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 sat 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).

Athlete #59 and #60 to this list (Laura Siddall (Roth 2016) and Astrid Stienen (Barcelona 2016) are both ‘first timers’ in 2016, while #61 is Malindi Elmore (CAN) at Ironman Arizona 2016, with Mareen Hufe and Sarah Piampiano (both Ironman Western Australia), members #62 and #63 respectively.

Something new – Daniela Ryf becomes the first female athlete to break the 9-hour barrier twice in a week, following Challenge Roth and Ironman Switzerland. Would that impact her efforts in Kona – not at all, as she went on to break the course record and defend her title in Hawaii. She now has six career sub-nine hour finishes, joining Caroline Steffen on that mark.


Tri247 Iron-Distance Statistics Library

Do you believe there is a performance missing here? If so, please do let me know via [email protected].