We’re heading into peak Ironman season now with another double weekend – in the US there’s Ironman Coeur d’Alene while closer to home is Ironman France. I have of course looked at historical results for both and attempted to predict Kona slot allocation, but let’s start with Coeur d’Alene.
Like most North American races there is a large field, roughly 2,600 athletes, at Coeur d’Alene this weekend and like most North American races this will likely result in a broad spread of finishing splits. The past 9 years of results certainly fit this model as the charts above show. Times are not the fastest in Ironman terms, but the distributions generally don’t show strong skews either. Rather the bulk of athletes tend to fall to the right of the peak, weighting the averages towards slower times.
Looking at median times for age divisions shows how this volume of competitors weighs down the averages. These are slow times in comparison to the medians seen in some recent Ironman analyses. It is worth noting the pro averages are not the quickest either, that may be an indication that the course is not particularly fast. It’s always difficult to separate quality of field from the impact of the course and conditions. My examination and ranking of 2012 Ironman races placed Coeur d’Alene firmly in middle ground, well ahead of races like St. George and Lanzarote.
|Number of Athletes||Number of Slots|
There are 50 Kona slots available in Coeur d’Alene. Based on the list of entrants I’ve attempted to predict their allocation in the table above. As usual it’s the 40-44 year old men who dominate the field and take the largest share of the slots. Final figures will depend on how many athletes take to the start line on race day.
While a large field may tend to bring down the average finish times there is still plenty of competition at the front of the pack. Times in the top 20 are not the fastest for Ironman races, but you still need to be comfortably breaking the 10 hour mark for a good chance of a slot in the main male age groups (25-44). The time differences between the top 10 are also relatively small compared to many of the races I’ve recently analysed – competition is tight.
On paper Coeur d’Alene appears to be a textbook North American race – a large field with a broad spread of abilities and a relatively tight front-of-pack. Averages present a relatively slow race, but there is plenty of competition for the few Kona slots on offer at this event.