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.
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.
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.
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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