The year is not quite over, there are three more Ironman races on the 2012 calendar: Arizona, Cozumel and a personal favourite Western Australia. I will fetch, graph and analyse results from each of them. But rather than waiting for fresh results I turned my hand to the task of retrieving the wealth of historical data buried in the Ironman Athlete Tracker. I won’t bore you with the details, it involved programming text books and hours spent at a text editor and command line, my coding skills have held up surprisingly well for a five year absence. More importantly it involved retrieving detailed results for every Ironman event of 2012 so far. There were one or two stumbling points and the quality of some of Ironman’s data raises questions, but I now have a full year’s worth of Ironman results.
But what to do with it all?
The volume is a little overwhelming and I intend to expand on it – working back through the years. Most likely it will end up in a database, the aim being to be able to do comparison both within and between races more easily. I can no longer complain about limited data sets, instead statistical knowledge is becoming my limiter; I’ve purchased a few books to help refresh distant undergrad knowledge. All of this is long term though.
In the short term, the obvious starting point was to take the concept of my last post – the charts showing the distribution of finishers for Ironman Florida, Hawaii and Challenge Roth, and to expand that to include all of this year’s Ironman races.
No commentary – for now – just graphs. I will say that Ironman New Zealand 2012 was excluded as it was reduced to a 70.3, that Brazil lacks any detailed run splits for comparison (now fixed – realised I could at least get overall run times by subtracting other splits from finish time), and that the current in the Hudson river gives a huge advantage in an Ironman swim. Other than that I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.