The new Ironman season had its first new race on Sunday with the inaugural Ironman Los Cabos. So this morning – a little too soon as it happened – I began the process of retrieving results, cleaning data and importing into the Ironman database for examination. I’ve uploaded the Ironman Los Cabos 2013 Full Results and Splits in a more user friendly spreadsheet format to my google drive and, as usual, followed that with a selection of charts to help place the race in context. Without experience of the region or historical data to work with that’s always tricky, so feedback from the venue is always welcome.
My starting point is the finisher distribution chart above that gives a small indication of race day conditions and quality of the field. In comparison with some of these charts from 2012, Los Cabos does not lie at the fast end of the Ironman spectrum, professional times and the broad spread of overall splits with their mild right skew support this. The distributions themselves seem typical of American Ironman races, just shifted a little further right than we might expect; each discipline a little slower suggesting conditions were a contributory factor.
Looking at the median split times of individual age groups brings the focus more towards the bike. The bike is consistently slower than the Ironman averages of 2012, while the swim is marginally faster and the run varies in its deviation. I’m hesitant to draw strong conclusions from such a broad picture, but whatever the causes Los Cabos seems to be a slower than average race.
The final area I’ll look at today is the front of the pack, the top 20 in each age group, and to make the data more useful I’ve compared this years finishing times for age group placings with the averages for all Ironman races in 2012. Again the pattern, at least among the men, places Los Cabos somewhere between the average and the slowest times for a given placing. As is often the case in the smaller female field the picture is less clear, trending closer to the averages of 2012.
Entering a new race comes with an element of the unknown and so does the analysis of new data. It’s hard to place a race in context when there is no history to examine. Finish times at Los Cabos seem slightly slower than most American races, but not hugely so. With a typical allocation of Kona slots the competition for a place at the World Championship was likely as stiff as ever, front of pack athletes varying less from course to course.