Last weekend saw Ironman Maryland take place. The fourth running of an event that has had more than its fair share of disruption. A last minute date change and a shortened swim in 2015, a cancelled swim and shortened bike in 2016. This year’s race appears to have gone ahead without such serious issues. It pulled a field of just over 1,000 athletes with forty 2018 Kona slots on offer.
I’ve largely excluded 2016 from this analysis, but have included 2015 which will influence the historical data with its shortened swim.
This year’s race trends slower than the 2014-2015 data. There’s obviously a big difference in the swim distributions thanks to 2015 and I would consider the 2017 results to be typical for the course. Bike and run trend slower, but not too significantly, so a fair portion of the difference in the overall comes down to the influence of the swim. Given the variation in data it’s hard to place the 2017 race in context for this course.
Again, it’s hard to draw comparisons with the many changes to this event. The 2015 numbers have a very high DNS rate due to the last minute date change. The 2016 numbers are also impacted by the swim cancellation – what wasn’t clear from the athlete tracker at the time was how many started the bike. The 2014 data seems fine and with that in mind this year’s results don’t seem unusual.
As with previous comparisons the 2015 swim makes it hard to compare swim medians, but bike and run should be safer. In the later cases we still see slower medians in 2017.
As usual we see a majority US attendance, with a spread from other nations that’s also reflected in the likely slot allocation.
Tracking times and positions gives us the best picture on how this year’s race stands. we can see how much faster the much shorter 2016 event was and that the 2015 race wasn’t particularly fast, despite the short swim. So, that suggests this year may have been on the slow side for the course; certainly in comparison with 2014.
Based on the start list I’ve estimated the slot allocation and the likely automatic qualifying times in the table above. Final numbers may have varied. You can compare with other races on my Kona qualification page.
To finish off, the times in the top twenty of each age group. What’s most worth noting is that the front runners in the top 5 or 10 tended to be average or faster for the course, but then times drop off. So although there’s some evidence this race was slower, that wasn’t so much the case at the very front, where times are more comparable.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Maryland 2017 on my Google Drive.