Ironman Melbourne 2013: Results and adjusting for a Shortened Swim

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There have been two delays to producing statistics for Ironman Melbourne: firstly the alteration to the swim meant all my standard templates needed adjusting, and secondly the amount of rum consumed celebrating Gill’s birthday last night reduced my productivity today. I’ve got so far as uploading a spreadsheet of the full results and splits for Ironman Melbourne 2013 but I have only just started to put together the usual collection of graphs. However, I do have something new.

How Do the Pros at Ironman Melbourne 2013 Compare? A Look at the Top 20 Performances in 2012, 2013 and 2013 "Corrected" for Swim Distance

There are many ways I could have dealt with the abbreviated swim. I could, as I have with shortened New Zealand races, simply ignore it and choose never to compare Ironman Melbourne with other events, but that’s not very interesting. I could, as I have with the current assisted New York swim times, only compare bike and run times between races to eliminate the differences, but this underplays the impact of a short, but tough swim. Alternatively I could make an assumption, as I have in the graph above, I could assume that every athlete would maintained the same pace over a full 3.8 kilometres as they did over 1.5K (which it appears the final swim distance was) and I could adjust their times accordingly.

The results of that very simplistic adjustment is the sometimes slower dashed blue line of the “Corrected” 2013 times in the graph above, it’s suggestive that conditions were tougher this year and while the shortened times are faster, the equivalent times would be fractionally behind 2012’s. Of course it’s speculative and based on a major assumption. If you change the swim you change the race, the dynamics of the day would shift, different packs would form, different pacing strategies would be adopted, but it may be the only way I have to consider the swim times. I’ll add the same adjustments to my age grouper charts tomorrow for comparison.

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