I followed this year’s Ironman World Championship in 140 character snippets interspersed over an evening watching Avengers Assemble with friends. Then just before midnight UK time, as the Pros were leaving T2 and the race was really getting interesting, I went to bed. I had my own small race to run, or at least to pace my friend to a new 10K PB in. From a spectator’s point of view the combination of Twitter and the Irontrac app on my iPhone just about did the job, but I went to bed wishing I could follow the action and in particular see if my athlete Mike O’Brien could carry on the form he was showing on the bike to a successful run.
He could. I’m pleased to say Mike finished in a 9:47:18 with a solid 3:13 marathon at the end. Just twelve seconds faster than my first Kona, but to give him full credit by most accounts he had a much tougher day to contend with. An excellent end to his season and one happy coach when I checked results first thing this morning.
Frustrating as it was being unable to follow online through the night, or better to have been there watching, far more annoying is the difficulty in getting detailed results from Ironmanlive. Their system looks nice enough, but offers minimal functionality – I can find individuals for detailed splits or I can search categories for at most 260 results with limited information. They could look to Roth for a better example of how to execute online race tracking and timing data. And if they had my evening would have been far more relaxed, rather than pulling down data from Ironmanlive and assembling my own spreadsheet of results.
So far I’ve compiled a complete set of results including gender positions and positions by sport and by category within each sport. I’ve yet to psych myself up for the scripting task required to pull all the detailed split data from the results system; I’ve cracked out some old coding books, but I’ll admit my skills are rusty. For now, I’ve uploaded my current spreadsheet of Ironman World Championship 2012 results to Google Docs.
While I wait for Mike to send through power data to analyse (he’s on his honeymoon now, it may be some time) and perhaps start the attempt to pull split data. I’m open to suggestions on analysis to apply to the broad results set. I’ll probably start by replicating some of the areas I looked at with Challenge Roth, examining the relationship of swim, bike and run pacing to overall finish. But there’s plenty more that could be done, especially if I fetch the more detailed results.