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Ironman World Championship 2013: Full Results and Analysis

I DNFed my spectating of the 2013 Ironman World Championships around the time the pros started the run. Choosing sleep over the exciting race that was developing between the sponsor breaks on the live stream (who knew there was an Ironman blender?). This morning I was back in front of the computer waiting for the final finishers so I could fetch and analyse the results of this year’s race. I said we could expect a competitive age group race and if the conditions were right fast times; conditions were definitely right and there was some very fast racing for the podium places.

First though some of the top level numbers:

Finisher Numbers at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Total Males Female
Registered Athletes 2134 1569 565
Finishers 1959 1439 520
DNS 67 49 18
DNF 101 77 24
DQ 7 4 3
DNF Numbers at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Male Female Total
Starters 1569 565 2134
Swim DNF 2 0 2
Swim DNF Percent 0.1 0.0 0.1
Bike DNF 19 8 27
Bike DNF Percent 1.2 1.4 1.3
Run DNF 74 22 96
Run DNF Percent 4.7 3.9 4.5
Total DNF 95 30 125
Total DNF Percent 6.1 5.3 5.9

The DNF rate at Hawaii is quite consistent and this year doesn’t deviate. Exact DNF and DNS numbers may vary. Figures are based on information available in the Athlete tracker and assume that those athlete registered who didn’t record a swim time (and weren’t indicated as DNF) did not start. Allowing for this discrepancy we still see a typical DNF rate.

Distribution of Finisher Split Times at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona

Comparing the split times from the 2013 race with the previous 8 years of results shows distributions slightly skewed towards faster splits. This is most obvious on the bike where there are large increases in the proportion of riders finishing between 4:45 and 5:15 over the previous years. The swim shows a similar shift and while the run does show an increase in faster finishers there’s also added weight at the slower end too. The overall result is a faster set of finisher splits with more sub-10 hour age groupers than usual (see table below).

Sub 10 Hour Finishers at the Ironman World Championship
Total Finishers Sub-10 Finishers Sub-10 Percent
2005 1688 368 21.8
2006 1624 363 22.4
2007 1684 313 18.6
2008 1637 309 18.9
2009 1652 284 17.2
2010 1770 458 25.9
2011 1774 461 26.0
2012 1887 345 18.3
2013 1976 625 31.6

The median splits for each category also reflect this leaning towards faster times.

Average Finisher's Splits by Category at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Median Splits by Category at the Ironman World Championship

Comparing Kona 2013 with past results from this event (2005 onwards) and the median split times are for the most part faster this year. The pattern is strongest on the bike and weaker for the swim; it largely holds true for the run, but there are a few exceptions. The bike appears to have been the biggest area of gain this year, the run doesn’t show such a distinctive shift in times.

The Average (mean) 2013 Ironman World Championship Athlete
Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Finish
Female 01:14:35 00:04:29 05:56:10 00:05:13 04:18:04 11:38:14
Male 01:10:47 00:04:29 05:28:00 00:05:20 04:05:50 10:54:27
Overall 01:11:48 00:04:29 05:35:28 00:05:18 04:09:05 11:06:04

The top 20 splits for each age group present the clearest picture so far.

Top 20 Male Age Group Performances at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona
Top 20 Female Age Group Performances at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona

Comparing 2013 (blue lines) with the finish times seen since 2004 (average red lines with range of times indicated) it’s quite clear that at the very front of the age group World Champs times were quicker than usual. More often than not finish times are the fastest seen for that placing in the last 9 years of results. Finishing times from the qualifying season suggested a strong front of pack, with good conditions on the day the outcome was a particularly fast race.

That’s my preliminary analysis. As with last year’s race I’ll attempt to dig deeper over the next week and further break down this year’s results. So far it’s quite clear that for whatever reason Kona 2013 was one of the faster editions of this event. For those who want to examine the results in more detail I’ve upload the full results and splits from the 2013 Ironman World Championship to my Google Drive.

All Ironman Results and Statistics

A growing collection of results and statistics for the whole Ironman race calendar.

Find out what it takes to place in your age group or to qualify for the Ironman Worlds Championships in Kona.

Comments

  • Russ Brandt

    Russ, I suspect the difference of sub 10 finishers between 2011 (Crowie’s course record year with near perfect conditions) and this year of 5% more represents the sharpening of the WC field due to thinning of the slots at most races. The WC pool will continue to get better. What do you think?

  • I do think the overall age group field is strengthening in Ironman – that is there is an increasingly fast FOP looking to place and go to Kona (there’s also a lot of athletes simply racing to complete of course). My feel is that times are getting faster, but so far the work I’ve done on this suggests it may be happening, but probably not as significantly as we perceive.

    That said there are some very fast age groupers and that certainly contributes to shifts in race times. In this case I think conditions must have played a role to see such a large shift on one day. That so many top 20 places went faster than times from the last 8 years says to me conditions were a factor.

    Truth is both the field and the conditions change – it makes it hard to analyse causes precisely. One of the reasons I tend to only comment on relative speed of the race and not heavily suggest causes – can’t assign significance to each.

    Russ

  • Hi Russ,

    I’m a triathlete and graduate student in statistics. I was wondering if the Kona 2013 results are available for download in either Excel spreadsheet format or as a .csv? I’ve been searching the Ironman website, and all I can find is the searchable list. Meanwhile, I came across your website, and your data analyses are interesting and look great!

    Any help would be appreciated. I am working on a project for class (probably going to do some kernel density estimations) and was really wanting to use this dataset.

    Thanks,
    Brittany

  • Hi Brittany,

    I’ve uploaded a CSV version of the data to Google Drive linked at the bottom of this post. You can get to it here – full results and splits form the 2013 Ironman world Championship. You should be able to download that I think? If not email me on russell.m.cox@gmail.com and I will send you copy in CSV format.

    Cheers

    Russ

  • Brittany Ballard

    It worked! Thank you very much 🙂

  • Bruce Buchanan

    Hi Russ

    How many age group records were set this year in the hawaii ironman ?

    What were they ?

    Thank you

  • Hi Bruce,

    Lots of Age Group records set this year, at least based on the results I can find. I have produced a quick table (below) of the current age group records in response to a Slowtwitch thread.

    Age Group Records at Kona in 2013

    I make that 14 new age group records set this year, so about 50% of age groups had new records set. There’s not a huge amount of information out there on Kona records for age groupers unfortunately. I relied on a 2007 article on Ironman.com and then updating with the results since that year to build this. I might put something up tomorrow with more detail including by how much the records were broken.

    Russ

  • Hi Russ,
    Just by chance I found your website this morning, and as a triathlete and math teacher, you can imagine how I love it! I’m beginning to comb the internet for information and inspiration, with an idea to writing a book about the 1984 Hawaii Ironman, a race in which I finished 7th. After nearly 25 years away from ironman, I got back in shape in 2011, qualified in South Africa, and then finished 5th in the 50-54 at Kona.
    The basic premise of a book: that the freak show and survivathon of its first seven interations became a race and began to be a truly world-class event on that October day in ’84.
    You clearly are more integrated with what is happening in the sport. Do you have any good sources of information that might assist my research? Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    David Evans

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for the comment, glad you’ve found the site useful. I wish I could point you to more useful resources, but to be honest the history and results of Ironman Hawaii are not well documented on the internet. It’s remarkable really, but reliable information is hard to come by. Most of the content on this site relating to results is taken from the information available on Ironman.com; all I’ve really done is take this timing data, put it in a database and then play with the numbers. Outside of that I’ve struggled to find much more information.

    That said I have come across a site that may be of use to your research: http://www.ironman-hawaii.com/ironman-ergebnislisten.php?language=en&list=hawaii. It lists all the results from 1978 forwards, although with the oldest races it’s often in the form of a scanned results listing. Still that’s probably the most comprehensive listing for Ironman Hawaii that’s available.

    Good luck with the book, hopefully you can find what you’re looking for out there. Congratulations on your return to the sport too – two impressive performances at Hawaii 25 years apart.

    Russ

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