Challenge Roth is one of the few races I’ll step outside the usual Ironman brand/Kona focus of my analyses. It’s a personal favourite and the last place I raced Ironman distance. A course known for its record setting times. This year’s race didn’t quite live up to that reputation though, age group times fell a little behind those typical of racing in Roth.
Starting with the age group medians the picture is of a race a little slower than has been typical in the previous 4 years. There’s no single major shift to focus on, generally both bike and run display slightly slower median times.
Split distributions emphasise that point and show that the slower trend spread across swim, bike and run. The cumulative effect is a larger shift to the overall finish times, but even then we’re not looking at much more than a 10 minute change.
Looking a the trend in finish times by placing over the last 5 years shows that 2015 was on the slower side, but not out of bounds for Roth. Times are often comparable with the 2014 race, in some cases a little faster. This still tends to place the race at the slower end of Roth performances, but it’s a close draw with 2014.
Finally the top twenties for each age group again place this year alongside 2014 as a slower than average race. Apart from one or two age groups completely bucking the trend the two years are remarkably similar. So this slower year in Roth is not that different to the year before. Even on a ‘slow’ year it should be noted that Roth remains one of the faster Iron distance courses available.