The North American Ironman Championship took place in Texas a few days ago now. So this is a late analysis, largely thanks to some apparent changes in tracker data forcing me to update my code. The results are in though and with the added benefit of more precise DNS numbers. Ironman Texas moved to an earlier date in the calendar this year and the result was better conditions for racing. A championship race with extra age group slots inevitably brings some competition and the race for top spots was certainly fast.
Before I work through the usual set of charts and tables, a couple of notes. Firstly, I’ve excluded the 2016 results from this analysis as the bike course was significantly shortened last year which skews the data. Secondly, as mentioned the delay in analysis is a result in apparent changes to the tracker for this event. The overall impact is small, but DNS and DNF numbers are taken directly from the tracker which also influences my calculations for Kona slot allocations (in theory making them more accurate).
The earlier race date was expected to bring better racing conditions and this certainly looks to be the case. Comparing the results with previous years (barring 2016) and while the bike is slightly faster it’s the run where we see the biggest change. There’s still a wide spread to this years histograms and a definite weight in the rear half of both the bike and run graphs.
|Listed Athletes||Swim Finish||Swim DNS/DNF||Bike Finish||Bike DNF||Run Finish||Run DNF||Overall DNS/DNF|
I always make note of the difficulty of separating DNS and DNF numbers when the tracker doesn’t clearly label them nor indicate how many signed up for the race compared with how many turned up. In this instance DNS was clearly labelled and could be excluded from the calculations for 2017. It appears everyone completed the swim and bike and run DNF numbers fall comfortably towards the lower end of the scale too.
Comparing median splits across age groups it’s worth noting that not every age group produced a faster race. On the bike the major shifts to medians appear in the biggest age groups, men around the 30 to 50 range. On the run the trend to faster splits this year is more universal.
|Country||Percentage of Slots||Percentage of Field|
Based on my Kona slot estimates qualifiers largely tally with the athlete numbers from given countries. US and Canada dominate with a number of the smaller attending countries pulling in a handful of remaining slots.
Tracking finishing times for a variety of age groups and positions within them shows how this year’s race was faster. If you discount the 2016 times on an adjusted course then 2017 is often faster than previous years. It’s not universal and does vary with position too, a step forward rather than a leap.
|Slots||Winner||Average Kona Qualifier||Final Qualifier|
Based on the athlete tracker I’ve calculate the slot allocation I’d expect at Ironman Texas and based on that the automatic qualification times in the results. I can’t account for roll downs so actual times may vary. You can compare this with other races and past results on my Kona qualification page.
The final set of graphs look at the top twenty performances in each age group with a particular focus on Kona qualifying times. 2016 obviously comes in much faster than any other year, but discounting that 2017 is one of the fastest. In those big, male age groups it’s often the fastest year seen; in others it’s normal faster than average.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Texas 2017 on my Google Drive.