It was a warm year for Ironman Florida with water temperatures making yesterday’s swim non-wetsuit (at least for those looking to Kona qualify). Conditions look to have taken their toll throughout the race too. Unsurprisingly the swim was particularly slow without wetsuits, but bike and run times also appear to have suffered.
The split distribution chart above clearly demonstrates that shift in this year’s race. The non-wetsuit swim had a huge impact, shifting swim times back by 15 minutes across the pack. Bike splits are very slightly slower, most notably at the front of the field, but we should note that some of the fastest splits will be missing with the absence of a pro race. While bike times are only slightly slower run times see a change of similar magnitude to the swim. Grouped together there’s a shift in excess of 30 minutes to the overall finishing splits.
|Listed Athletes||Swim Finish||Swim DNS/DNF||Bike Finish||Bike DNF||Run Finish||Run DNF||Overall DNS/DNF|
The DNF rate also appears to be up. When interpreting this table it’s important to remember that precise DNS and DNF data is not available in the athlete tracker, it has to be deduced from the timing data making it impossible to fully separate the two in the numbers above (final results will provide further detail when available). Even with this complication bike and run DNF numbers are raised and the jump in the swim DNF/DNS number would suggest there was an increase there too. All of this, along with the slower distributions, points to tougher racing conditions than usual.
For more detail we can examine individual age group medians. The pattern here matches what we’ve previously seen: swim and run show noticeable shifts towards slower times while the bike is more comparable with past results.
Another way to place this race is to see how finishing times have varied over the last decade. By looking at times for specific finishing places within each age group we can see some of the trends and place this race in a broader context. The swim was cancelled in 2014, hence its unusually fast times. This year’s results are at the slower end of the scale, but aren’t that extreme when viewed in this way.
|Slots||Winner||Average Kona Qualifier||Final Qualifier|
The table above uses my estimates for the slot allocation in Florida (final numbers may vary depending on exact age group starting numbers) and provides data on the automatic qualification times corresponding to this allocation. You can check against times on my Qualification Stats page to see how this compares to previous years or with other races.
Qualification numbers are perhaps a little clearer in the charts above. The top twenty times for each age group this year, last year and the 10 years prior to that too. Again this year’s results come out on the slow side, in quite a few cases these are the slowest results seen. The very front of each age group tends to fall much closer to the averages, but that drops off further back. In a few instances age group results are about average for Florida and in a couple of female age groups, faster. Overall though most divisions follow the slower trend.
It looks like a pretty tough day at Ironman Florida. Conditions less favourable for racing that had an impact from the front through to the back the field. The banning of wetsuits always has a major affect on swim times, conditions appear to have also hit the run hard. Not a fast qualifying year, but still a competitive one.
You can view a spreadsheet of all the results and splits from Ironman Florida 2015 on my Google Drive.