Friday, November 13, 2009


What is it about Clearwater? What makes this course so darn fast? It's a conscientiously produced World Championship, thus we can assume that courses are accurate and drafting was stridently monitored and violators penalized. Right? Well, it must be a combination of field quality, media hype and the extra adrenaline these factors stimulate.

Here's a peek at the Top 5 pro women, what they just did and how it compares to their best times (according to our research) on courses that aren't located on the gulf side of central Florida.

1. Julie Dibens (GBR) - 3:59:33 (Non-Clearwater Best - 4:10:58 @ 5430 '09)
2. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) - 4:03:39 (Non-Clearwater Best - 4:33:34 - Lake Stevens '08 - Note: MB also placed 2nd at Clearwater '08; her time was 4:04 and change.)
3. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) - 4:05:27 (Non-Clearwater Best - 4:12:29 - Boise '09)
4. Caroline Steffen (SUI) - 4:05:33 (Non-Clearwater Best - 4:31:50 - Austria '09)
5. Laura Bennett (USA) - 4:07:39 (Non-Clearwater Best - 4:18:36 - Augusta '09)

The men's winner was Germany's Michael Raelert, whose 3:34:04 lopped six minutes off the WB. Our notes suggest that his previous 70.3 best was a 4:05:25 at Weisbaden earlier this season.

MINNESOTA UPDATE: Preliminary results show that Apple Valley's Cathy Yndestad placed 2nd in the 30-34W category. Her time was 4:24:02 and she beat fellow AOY contender Mandy McLane by a gaunt 2 seconds. Additionally, it appears that Lindsay Whalen, also an AOY frontrunner, has beaten Cathy by ONE SECOND. (Remember, these are preliminary results.) Yndestad has faced Whalen five times this year--Nationals, Life Time Fitness, St. Anthony's, Dallas US Open and 70.3 Worlds--and come out on top in three of those confrontations.