Ironman World Championships Contenders: The Women

Place your bets on who'll take home the women's Ironman World Championship title on Saturday

by John Carroll

chrissie wellington

Chrissie Wellington (UK)

Care to bet against the three-time world champion? Didn't think so. Sure, she had a nasty (but not serious) crash off the bike in September but that's not the sort of thing that bothers her. This year she set a new Ironman-distance record at Challenge Roth (8:18:32), breaking her own record, and she also won Ironman South Africa. She has never lost an Ironman race. She is unlikely to lose this one.

Julie Dibens (UK)

The 36-year-old from Salisbury came third at Kona in 2010, a remarkable result considering it was her first Ironman. She's having a good year, with wins in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, the New Orleans 70.3, the Rev 3 Quassy and the Coeur d'Alene Ironman. She set a course record of 9:16:40, but still found room to criticise her performance. The three-time Xterra World Champion asks a lot of herself and it seems to be paying off.

Mirinda Carfrae (Aus)

At her first Kona, in 2009, Carfrae smashed the run course record (2:56:51) and came second, behind Chrissie Wellington. Last year she won, with the fourth fastest women's time (8:58:36) at Kona; she also knocked three minutes off her run course record. This year, the 30-year-old she has won Rohto Ironman 70.3 California and Subaru Ironman 70.3 Eagleman. She tends to take little account of the received wisdom that you should save something for the run. She goes all out and doesn't stop and says she does her best running off the bike.

Caroline Steffen (Sui)

The woman known to her TBB teammates as Xena, Warrior Princess, was runner-up last year in Kona, her first race there as a pro. She also won the ITU Long Distance World Championships. This year she has won Ironman Australia (9:29:54), and Ironman Germany (9:12:13). The former pro cyclist is a powerhouse on the bike and she simply does not give up. Many have said she reminds them of one Chrissie Wellington.

Mary Beth Ellis (US)

The 34-year-old raced her first Ironman in July, in Austria. She won in 8:43:44, which made her the third-fastest woman over the distance. A month later she won Ironman Regensburg and at the end of August she won Ironman Canada, in a course record time of 9:03:13. She is in blistering form but three Ironman races in relatively quick succession may take their toll in the fierce heat of Kona.

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Find out more about the leading contenders for the men's Ironman World Championship title.

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Ironman World Championships Contenders: The Men
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Ironman World Championships: Kona 2011


Discuss this article

Hmmm, missing a few athletes out here I think. For example (although I admit to some bias);

Podium in every ironman she has entered except for Kona, where she has twice started with an ilness.

You've missed some others too, but I'll leave you to return to your research. 

Posted: 06/10/2011 at 11:16

If they're looking at contenders for the win I think there's a few too many on the list, to be honest.

But yes, it would be good to see what a fully fit Cat Morrison can do in the race.

Posted: 06/10/2011 at 13:55

Are you related Alasdair ? But yes I think she stands a good chance - its been sad to see her not live up to the hopes on Kona in the past. Hope she's luckier this time.
Posted: 06/10/2011 at 14:43

Crazy validation problems...

Yup, you caught me, Cat is my sister. Pleased to inform that she does not have the swine flu or some other inappropriately timed virus yet (don't want to tempt fate). So all being well, we'll see a much more realistic account of her abilities! Hopefully she'll get some more recognition and no longer being classed as someone who doesn't cope in the heat (IM Lanzarote, St Croix 70.3, IM Texas and 70.3 Texas seem to suggest otherwise...).

If I could find anywhere accepting bets, I'd happily say she'll podium. Think top 3 will be Chrissie, Cat, Miranda, in no particular order. I think 2nd to 10th is very open though. With Cat of course way ahead...

 Did I mention I may be biased? 

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 14:41

Nothing wrong with being biased!! If there's one person I want to beat Chrissie it's Cat, but that might be something to do with being from north of the border myself!

Fingers crossed for her!

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 14:49

Best thing Cat can do to ensure she podiums is race in yellow and black!!!

Loved her tweet about getting a suntan as two of her freckles have joined up!

Hope the weather is kind to her on the day. I think Chrissie first, probably Rinny second and a great battle for third. Would like to see Julie Dibens, Cat, Leanda Cave, Rachel Joyce, Xena and Mary Beth Ellis have a really great race of it.

Tell her this is the place for her official race report! None of the pros ever visit our little forum!

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 17:16

I know Chrissie came off her bike the other week - I wonder if that will take something out of her ?

I'd love to get a bet on, but I cant find anywhere either.

Go Cat !
Posted: 07/10/2011 at 17:22

Gladys (all over!) M. wrote (see)
Loved her tweet about getting a suntan as two of her freckles have joined up!

I can relate to that!!  It's called a Scottish Suntan when you go from blue to white!!

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 17:46

Ah well, a good day for the Brits anyway. Wellington is just a supreme competitor. How well did Leanda Cave do as well!
Posted: 09/10/2011 at 16:39

The girls did an astounding job

Pity they wont get the media attention that they deserve
Posted: 09/10/2011 at 16:43

The BBC site is over a week out of date with info about Kona, if a footballer had farted it would have been updated quicker.
Posted: 09/10/2011 at 16:52

Yes, coverage here is a joke, considering how many world class athletes we have. Unless it's an olympic sport, football or rugby, forget about media interest! Crazy how they are all much more well known in the US and Australia etc...

Great Britain - Fostering athletic talent (as long as we like your sport). 

Posted: 09/10/2011 at 18:34

Hats off to Cat! But I did say that to podium she needed to race in black and yellow! #justsaying

Send her congrats for a great season from the Pirates!
Posted: 09/10/2011 at 19:40

Alasdair .... do you partake in the old tri religion yourself ??????   
Posted: 09/10/2011 at 19:55

Will pass on the good wishes!

Ha ha, hells no I don't triathlon! It would be too much to bear being beaten by my sister all the time! I'll stick to ball games, racquet sports and mediocre 10k times! 

Posted: 10/10/2011 at 00:24

You sound like ideal pirate potential   
Posted: 10/10/2011 at 06:58

Alasdair Morrison 2 wrote (see)

Yes, coverage here is a joke, considering how many world class athletes we have. Unless it's an olympic sport, football or rugby, forget about media interest! Crazy how they are all much more well known in the US and Australia etc...

Australia isn't that much better unfortunately.The race/results itself didn't even make the front page of the main Australian news website and the article re Crowie, Pete and Miranda's results all feature in one article at the bottom of the sports news page titled 'Aussie makes triathlon history.' Needless to say, there was quite a delay till the article even being published. The rugby results went live on the main news page as soon as the game finished.

Posted: 10/10/2011 at 08:13

That surprises me about Oz. One of my friends just moved there and says he has met more people that have heard of Cat in one month than he ever did living in Glasgow. 
Posted: 10/10/2011 at 10:26

Who's Cat?

Just kidding. My comment above was referring to the media coverage, or lack thereof, not the public's awareness. Is your friend a triathlete too?
Posted: 10/10/2011 at 13:59

Usually better public awareness means the media coverage is better too... I think the Aussies take participation in exercise far more seriously though, so that migt be why.

Nope, he's also not a triathlete. It's just for crazy folks! 

Posted: 10/10/2011 at 19:40

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