Ironman Louisville is next on the race analysis schedule. In hot and humid conditions run performances suffered and this year’s event saw markedly slower run times that carried through to the overall results.
This year’s race started well for all age groups and the pros – swim times were distinctly faster than the previous average, suggesting either very favourable water conditions or an adjustment to the course. Out on the bike the results don’t appear to have been hugely affected by conditions with times varying, but not by large margins. It’s on the run where the real impact is seen with a large drop off in performance across most divisions.
Comparing the distributions of finisher splits gives a better view of these changes. The positive shift in swim times is significant, but more than balanced by the huge drop in run times. So while bike times remain largely unchanged the overall results see a big increase in finishing times. As we might expect the impact is smallest at the front of the field, but as you move back through the middle of the pack times increasingly fall off.
If we look at the front of pack age groupers there’s quite a lot of variation in the top twenty results. Broadly I would say that age groups trended around their averages, but there are one ot two much faster or much slower this year. Male Kona qualifiers in their thirties were some of the fastest seen on the Louisville course. Conditions may have been tougher, but competition for the podium was too.
Overall a slower year in Louisville that impacted on most of the age group field. You can view a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Louisville 2014 on my google drive.