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A Kona Pro Rankings (KPR) Update

  • By Bethany Mavis
  • Published Jun 6, 2014
  • Updated Jul 2, 2014 at 4:02 PM UTC
Kessler is the Ironman 70.3 U.S. champion. Photo: John David Becker

The Women

Topping the list is American Meredith Kessler, who—in addition to a seventh-place Kona finish last year—has already racked up points at Ironman Arizona, Ironman New Zealand and a couple of 70.3’s. Reigning Ironman world champ and automatic qualifier Mirinda Carfrae of Australia has already validated her Kona slot with an Ironman Florida finish late last year. With a fifth-place Kona finish and a win at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Melbourne, Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen is currently ranked third.

In the top 35 are an impressive number of American women besides Kessler: Caitlin Snow (who still needs to validate with an Ironman finish), Linsey Corbin, 2012 fifth-place Kona finisher Mary Beth Ellis, Jessie Donavan, super-swimmer Amanda Stevens, Kelly Williamson (who chose not to race Kona in 2013) and Bree Wee. Other usual Kona suspects made the list: 2013 runner-up Rachel Joyce; Dutch veteran Yvonne Van Vlerken (fourth in 2013); Kiwi Gina Crawford; Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby; and Aussie Rebekah Keat. Last year’s third-place finisher Liz Blatchford has yet to validate with an Ironman finish, as does 2012 Kona champ Leanda Cave. It’s good to see Great Britain’s Cat Morrison back in the KPR after an 18-month break from the sport—she earned valuable points at Ironman Lake Tahoe and some high-point 70.3’s.

Women’s KPR Top 35:
1. Meredith Kessler (USA)
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
3. Caroline Steffen (SUI)
4. Rachel Joyce (GBR)
5. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED)
6. Liz Blatchford (AUS)*
7. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS)
8. Gina Crawford (NZL)
9. Catriona Morrison (GBR)
10. Caitlin Snow (USA)*
11. Linsey Corbin (USA)
12. Lucy Gossage (GBR)
13. Michelle Vesterby (DEN)
14. Mary Beth Ellis (USA)
15. Jessie Donavan (USA)
16. Amanda Stevens (USA)
17. Annabel Luxford (AUS)*
18. Åsa Lundström (SWE)
19. Julia Gajer (GER)
20. Angela Naeth (CAN)
21. Lisa Marangon (AUS)
22. Heather Jackson (USA)*
23. Elizabeth Lyles (USA)
24. Rebekah Keat (AUS)
25. Mareen Hufe (GER)
26. Sophie Goos (BEL)
27. Leanda Cave (GBR)*
28. Jodie Swallow (GBR)
29. Simone Brändli (SUI)
30. Svenja Bazlen (GER)*
31. Lisa Hütthaler (AUT)
32. Kelly Williamson (USA)
33. Bree Wee (USA)
34. Kimberly Schwabenbauer (USA)
35. Melanie Burke (NZL)

*Has not officially validated with an Ironman finish.

While Kona is still a ways off, there are a number of notable pro women who are currently ranked outside the top 35. Some of them haven’t raced a full Ironman yet in the qualifying year, and if and when they do, that will earn them valuable points toward a Kona slot.

Women Outside the Top 35:
37. Heather Wurtele (CAN)*: The Canadian, who’s finished as high as eighth in Kona (2011) has been getting faster, shown by her 70.3 Oceanside win and 70.3 St. George podium, both in stacked pro fields. Once she completes a full-distance Ironman, she’ll secure a spot in the top 35.

38. Rebecca Hoschke (AUS): Hoschke is just on the bubble and should have a good shot at making it back to the Big Island to improve on her 2013 18th-place finish, especially after racing Ironman Cairns this weekend.

48. Sara Gross (CAN): After earning a victory at Ironman Brazil, Gross will want redemption for her 2013 Kona DNF.

49. Amy Marsh (USA)*: A perennial Hawaii racer, Marsh should return to the Big Island (where she finished 17th last year) if she puts in a solid performance at July’s Ironman Frankfurt.

56. Natascha Badmann (SUI)*: The original “Swiss Miss” and six-time Kona champ finished a respectable 14th place last year, and while she hasn’t raced much this year, a few strong performances would punch her ticket to Kona.

77. Haley Chura (USA): The second-year pro and strong swimmer finished 24th in the women’s pro race in Kona and was fifth at Ironman Los Cabos but will need a few more podium finishes to get back to the Kona start line.

82. Corinne Abraham (GBR): After her dominant win at the 2013 Ironman Melbourne, there was talk of Abraham being the next Chrissie Wellington, but an injury derailed her plans. So far this season, she made the podium at Ironman Lanzarote and will be racing Frankfurt in July.

84. Camilla Pedersen (DEN)*: It’s great to see Pedersen back to racing again—after a near-fatal accident last year, she only got back on her bike and January and has since won Ironman 70.3 Barcelona in May and Ironman 70.3 Italy last weekend. It’s not clear whether she plans to make it back to Ironman racing this year, but if and when she does, she could be a serious contender.

85. Julie Dibens (GBR)*: After we saw the British super-cyclist drop out of Kona despite a 10-minute lead over Chrissie Wellington in 2011, the 2010 podium finisher has had a long road to recovery. It’s good to see she’s back to road triathlon this year (she raced in the 2013 Amgen Tour of California women’s time trial and the 2013 Xterra Mountain Championship) with a fourth-place finish in Oceanside and a fifth-place finish at Ironman 70.3 St. George. She hasn’t made it clear whether she plans to give Kona another go.

*Has not raced a full Ironman in the qualifying year.

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FILED UNDER: Ironman / News TAGS: / / /

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the associate editor for Triathlete and Inside Triathlon magazines. She received her B.A. in journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University and is a multiple half-marathon finisher.

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