Beyond the usual reports on the professional race it’s hard to find much useful information about Ironman Cairns at the weekend. I’ve searched for details on Kona slot allocation, but Google throws up my own website and all I have are estimates. So this is a very data driven analysis, limited to comparing this year’s graphs and numbers with the last. Let’s start with the distributions of finisher splits.
There are broad similarities between the two year’s graphs, but also small differences. The 2013 swim looks to have been a little bit quicker than the year before, the bike perhaps a touch slower and the run more broadly spread – some faster, some slower. Overall though it feels like this year was slower than last, there appears to be slightly more weight at the tail end of its distribution.
The averages back this viewpoint up: bike and run are for the most part slower. How much this comes down to differences in conditions is hard to say, for the most part I suspect it relates more to changes in the field. There is a significant jump in competitor numbers between the two years – 2012 had 891 while 2013 had 1226. Perhaps there was a broadening of the field over the previous year with increased numbers weighted towards the slower end of the pack. We might then see a slowing in average times while the front-of-pack largely remained the same.
Until a list of Kona qualifiers from Cairns is published (if that ever happens) I can only use my estimates of slot allocation as a guide to qualifying times. As the graphs below show, for the most part qualifying in 2013 required a similar effort to the year before.
The results of the top 20 athletes in each age division actually track reasonably closely to each other (with one or two clear exceptions). That would certainly sit with my view that the front-of-pack was largely unchanged and the main influence on this year’s times and distributions is the expansion of the race. While numbers are growing it still feels like Cairns lacks the depth of field present at the other Australian races.
A relatively brief look at the results from Cairns. I’d be interested if anyone had information on the final slot allocation or who claimed their slots. I have uploaded the data from Athlete Tracker to a spreadsheet on Google Drive as usual, you can view the Ironman Cairns 2013 results and splits here.
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