Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2014: Results and Splits

Second analysis of the day: Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Austria may have been virtually textbook, but Coeur d’Alene appears to have had a far slower bike distribution than we’d expect. With swim and run largely as normal it’s a big enough shift to impact the overall finish times and yield a slower than usual race.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2014
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2003-2013

While the professional athletes largely performed on par, in fact a little faster for the men, the age group times this year are noticeably slower on the bike. It’s a surprisingly consistent change, enough to make me check over the data a couple of times in case I’d made an error (I can’t spot one!) Reports I’ve seen so far focus on the pros so I can’t say how conditions might have played a role in this change. Clearly though, for age groupers this wasn’t a fast year in Coeur d’Alene.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Coeur d'Alene Comparing 2014 with 2003-2013

The distributions of splits shows the difference in bike times much more clearly with the 2014 results heavily weighted on the right of their chart. From front to back of the age group race times are much slower on the bike. The run times on the other hand are similar to previous years, perhaps ever so slightly faster, but with a slower swim distribution as well the overall 2014 times fall behind the previous 10 years of results.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2014
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2014

At the front of the pack the impact is less pronounced with finishing times for the top twenty athletes in each age group often falling close to the race average. That said they tend more to the slow side than the fast although qualification times themselves aren’t too different to normal.

And that’s Coeur d’Alene. I can’t say why the bike times were so impacted until I see some age group reports, but whatever the reason there was a very difference race on the bike this year. As we’d expect the impact was felt most strongly from the middle to the back of the pack, up at the front qualification requirements were still pretty sharp.

You can view a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2014 on my Google Drive.

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  • Flatlander

    I was there, as a mid-pack age grouper (10:44, but my run was so strong that for all intents and purposes I was definitely in the middle for the bike). It was incredibly windy out there yesterday. The course runs straight into the wind from miles 14-35 and again from 70-91. The speed difference going each direction was hard to believe. I don’t know why the pros would be less affected, unless the wind picked up during the extra hour that the age groupers had to start. Most people I spoke with had a rough day out there.

  • Thanks for the feedback on conditions. I’ve had a couple of reports now confirming that winds were the major factor on the bike and they must have been strong to make such a big difference on the overall results.

    It’s certainly possible that the winds picked up over the day and affected slower athletes more, this is the case at Kona for example. Other factors I can imagine are that the faster athletes may also tend towards more aerodynamic setups which would reduce the impact of windy conditions again. Also, when considering the pros (and to an extent the fastest AGers) they likely can handle a higher workload a little better during the race. Of course that’s speculation, but from the shift in bike results it’s clear these winds were a big factor on the day.