Tough conditions aren’t unknown at Ironman Cozumel and that looks to be the case this year – times on the bike in particular suffered for most athlete on the course. Winds were likely the problem as neither swim nor run suffered any impact, but the slower bike split meant a slower race overall.
I’ve excluded 2013 from the comparison due to its shortened swim, so 2014’s results are being compared with those from 2009-2012. It’s worth bearing in mind that the course has had a couple of alterations in that time, not least a new swim course in this year’s event. All that given, the most obvious difference in this year’s results comes on the bike where times were notably slower in most age groups. Other than that the variations in median splits are generally quite small with no significant trends across the age groups. I will note the large improvement in run times for women under 30 with medians 30-60 minutes faster than in previous years.
Moving on to compare the distributions from these two periods and the same trend is obvious. The 2014 bike distribution is much slower than the 2009-2012 distribution by an order of around 20 minutes. Swim and bike distribution variation is minimal, both appear inline with previous years in Cozumel. Of course the big shift in bike performances results in a similar shift in overall times, this year’s race was slower than we might expect from Cozumel.
At the front of the field the impact of the bike can still be seen. Few, if any, age groups finished in times ahead of the course averages. Again, I’ll note the exception in the F25-29 age group where athletes were consistently ahead of all, but the shortened 2013 results. Otherwise finish times trended behind the course averages further supporting that this year saw slow conditions in Cozumel.
As I mentioned in my pre-race analysis Cozumel has experienced varied conditions and as a consequence very varied performances. This year was clearly much slower on the bike – possibly the slowest the race has seen.
You can view the full results and splits for Ironman Cozumel 2014 in spreadsheet form on my Google Drive.