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Ironman New Zealand 2013: Full Results and Analysis

Taupo is a convenient 13 hours ahead of UK time making it easy to gather, correct and analyse the results of today’s (yesterday’s if you’re actually in New Zealand) Ironman and have them uploaded before anyone who raced is awake. Although chances are if they sleep anything like I do after an Ironman they’re already awake. As usual I have retrieved all the results and split timings from the Ironman.com Athlete Tracker and uploaded them in a more convenient spreadsheet form: Ironman New Zealand 2013 Full results and Splits. Then I’ve added the results to my Ironman database and produced a few graphs to compare this year’s race with previous events.

Ironman New Zealand 2013: Finisher Distribution

Race day conditions – according to the forecast I read at least – sounded good and with a new course record set by Bevan Docherty I expected 2013 to be a faster than normal race. The chart above shows the distribution of finisher times this year. On its own it doesn’t say much, but compared with the chart below, showing the distribution of finisher times for all previous editions of the race available on the Athlete Tracker, we can see that this year’s results are actually skewed a little further to the right.

Ironman New Zealand: Finisher Distribution

So conditions may have sounded good and there is a new course record, but the race itself may actually have been marginally slower than we might expect. How much this shift in finishers is related to conditions or the athletes in question – it could be a consequence of growing competitor numbers in part – is hard to say.

I can examine this a little more closely by considering the top 20 finishers in each age group. I used this approach earlier in the week to look at likely Kona Qualifying times, I can overlay the 2013 results onto those charts to see how the year compares at the front of the age group field.

Ironman New Zealand: Male Age group average times by placing

Ironman New Zealand: Female Age group average times by placing

The under forties under performed! Well the men at least, the picture is less clear in the women’s field, but for men under the age of forty race times appear to be slower than average, often slower than the previous slowest time for that placing; the older athletes tended to match or outperform past predictions. Frustratingly inconsistent, half the field suggesting conditions were slower than normal, the other half suggesting there’s little difference.

With such a mixed picture from the age group results I’ll wait for the race reports before drawing any more conclusions about the day. My instinct is that it was a touch slower, although not by a huge margin, there has been much worse.

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Comments

  • Nadine

    It was hot! There will be some funny tan lines here in Taupo today. It was around 27 degrees for most of the day, and it is a hot dry heat here in NZ. It was still really warm at the finish line at midnite. The wind kicked up a bit later so that would have affected the slower cyclists, not a headwind but some gusty side winds in places. The heat seemed to knock a lot of people around, there seemed to be more fast looking fit guys walking around the run course than i remember seeing before. I cranked out a 45min PB thanks to Lordy’s coaching so for me it was a magic day!!

  • Thought it might be heat related, saw the 27C forecast, but I’m a little skewed in that I’ve always liked racing in the heat and at least feel like I race well in it. But yes I can see that hitting people and I did wonder if the impact was more significant for those working harder; whether those men under 40 tended to work at a higher effort (poorer pacing) than their older counterparts. It sounds like the kind of day that punished mistakes, but might reward the careful athlete.

    Well done on the big PB – great job. Bet Lordy is pleased.

  • Nadine

    Thanks! Yep Lordy is pleased 🙂
    It was hot from the start, even the swim, I was starting to get quite warm in my wetsuit from about halfway. I raced Cairns last year and found that a better heat even tho it got to 32 there. Big difference in Cairns was that the aid stations were all really well stocked with ice whereas they kept running out yesterday so it was hard to cool down and Cairns the sun set around 5 so it cooled down earlier, here it was 8pm before it started to cool off. A lot of people would have turned up here expecting a cooler day cos it has been for the last few years.

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