Ironman World Championship 2013: Full Results and Analysis

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I DNFed my spectating of the 2013 Ironman World Championships around the time the pros started the run. Choosing sleep over the exciting race that was developing between the sponsor breaks on the live stream (who knew there was an Ironman blender?). This morning I was back in front of the computer waiting for the final finishers so I could fetch and analyse the results of this year’s race. I said we could expect a competitive age group race and if the conditions were right fast times; conditions were definitely right and there was some very fast racing for the podium places.

First though some of the top level numbers:

Finisher Numbers at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Total Males Female
Registered Athletes 2134 1569 565
Finishers 1959 1439 520
DNS 67 49 18
DNF 101 77 24
DQ 7 4 3
DNF Numbers at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Male Female Total
Starters 1569 565 2134
Swim DNF 2 0 2
Swim DNF Percent 0.1 0.0 0.1
Bike DNF 19 8 27
Bike DNF Percent 1.2 1.4 1.3
Run DNF 74 22 96
Run DNF Percent 4.7 3.9 4.5
Total DNF 95 30 125
Total DNF Percent 6.1 5.3 5.9

The DNF rate at Hawaii is quite consistent and this year doesn’t deviate. Exact DNF and DNS numbers may vary. Figures are based on information available in the Athlete tracker and assume that those athlete registered who didn’t record a swim time (and weren’t indicated as DNF) did not start. Allowing for this discrepancy we still see a typical DNF rate.

Distribution of Finisher Split Times at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona

Comparing the split times from the 2013 race with the previous 8 years of results shows distributions slightly skewed towards faster splits. This is most obvious on the bike where there are large increases in the proportion of riders finishing between 4:45 and 5:15 over the previous years. The swim shows a similar shift and while the run does show an increase in faster finishers there’s also added weight at the slower end too. The overall result is a faster set of finisher splits with more sub-10 hour age groupers than usual (see table below).

Sub 10 Hour Finishers at the Ironman World Championship
Total Finishers Sub-10 Finishers Sub-10 Percent
2005 1688 368 21.8
2006 1624 363 22.4
2007 1684 313 18.6
2008 1637 309 18.9
2009 1652 284 17.2
2010 1770 458 25.9
2011 1774 461 26.0
2012 1887 345 18.3
2013 1976 625 31.6

The median splits for each category also reflect this leaning towards faster times.

Average Finisher's Splits by Category at the 2013 Ironman World Championship
Median Splits by Category at the Ironman World Championship

Comparing Kona 2013 with past results from this event (2005 onwards) and the median split times are for the most part faster this year. The pattern is strongest on the bike and weaker for the swim; it largely holds true for the run, but there are a few exceptions. The bike appears to have been the biggest area of gain this year, the run doesn’t show such a distinctive shift in times.

The Average (mean) 2013 Ironman World Championship Athlete
Swim T1 Bike T2 Run Finish
Female 01:14:35 00:04:29 05:56:10 00:05:13 04:18:04 11:38:14
Male 01:10:47 00:04:29 05:28:00 00:05:20 04:05:50 10:54:27
Overall 01:11:48 00:04:29 05:35:28 00:05:18 04:09:05 11:06:04

The top 20 splits for each age group present the clearest picture so far.

Top 20 Male Age Group Performances at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona
Top 20 Female Age Group Performances at the 2013 Ironman World Championship in Kona

Comparing 2013 (blue lines) with the finish times seen since 2004 (average red lines with range of times indicated) it’s quite clear that at the very front of the age group World Champs times were quicker than usual. More often than not finish times are the fastest seen for that placing in the last 9 years of results. Finishing times from the qualifying season suggested a strong front of pack, with good conditions on the day the outcome was a particularly fast race.

That’s my preliminary analysis. As with last year’s race I’ll attempt to dig deeper over the next week and further break down this year’s results. So far it’s quite clear that for whatever reason Kona 2013 was one of the faster editions of this event. For those who want to examine the results in more detail I’ve upload the full results and splits from the 2013 Ironman World Championship to my Google Drive.

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