Ironman Sweden was a Saturday race which means I can fit in some results analysis before the weekend is over. In its first 2 years Kalmar has established a reputation as a fast race, but while this year’s event was far from slow it didn’t quite match the previous races. Across most of the field split times were down.
The medians splits show most age groups came out slower on average this year with differences seen in both bike and run splits. It’s not universal, one or two age groups showed improvements in times including the women’s pro field. The forecast for race day was good so it’s my suspicion the shift in results is partly a reflection of the general depth of field. The first year at Ironman Sweden had good conditions and an incredibly strong age group field, subsequent races have not quite matched those conditions or the strength of field.
The distributions repeat the message: both bike and run are slower. The change is consistent; fewer of the fastest athletes, more in the midpack and a little more at the rear. Inevitably when both bike and run splits trend slower the same pattern is seen in the overall results.
At the front of pack there is a male/female divide. In the women’s age groups the times were broadly comparable with previous results; sometimes slower, sometimes faster, but not deviating far. The same is true for men over 45, but for the younger male age groups results tended to be slower than average, but comparable with 2013’s times. The 2012 results really do stand out as exceptional with so many fast times that have yet to be repeated.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results with splits for Ironman Sweden 2014 on my Google Drive.