It appears to be two years since I posted any race analysis, sorry about that. Especially given that I still do the analysis but haven’t had time to write it up. In any case, I’ve run the numbers for Ironman NZ 2019 and they are interesting as always.
The key points are that it was slightly slower than the average conditions, though that didn’t prevent 177 people from setting their best times at this event. A definite positive is that finisher numbers were well up.
On average the 2019 edition was only 3mins slower than the 2018, both significantly faster than 2017 (the last race that I wrote about). Comprised of a slightly slower swim-bike and faster run.
You can see a big jump in both starters and finishers this year, which is a great sign for the sport.
I’ve added another column to the table, showing the number of athletes under 10 hours. 2019 was right on average for this metric. It can be hard to pick whether this metric reflects depth of field or conditions. This year looks to be mostly about conditions, whereas 2011 had much slower winners times but fast times for others – suggesting a deeper field.
The winners times this year gave us a new record for the ladies courtesy of Jocelyn McCauley and a time that would have been a record in the mens if not for Terenzos stunning 7.59 last year.
Repeat Competitor Analysis
For athletes who’ve competed more than once we can track performance over the years. This same-athlete analysis offers a more precise comparison across the years
A good number of repeaters this year, ensuring a robust comparison.
The swim was pretty much right on average time, showing consistency in setting the distance.
The bike was fractionally slower for our repeat athletes and flowed on to a slower run. Usually a colder day will lead to slower bike times but good run times, in this case – the wind on the bike likely led to a lot of athletes overdoing the bike to hit target pace and suffering for it later.
As mentioned above – a good number of athletes set personal bests, the ratio for this matches the long run average.
So all in all, it was a pretty average year, slightly on the slower side. Not enough to prevent great performances but not really fostering breakthrough days either.
I had posted on Facebook prior to the race about the forecasted conditions. Essentially predicting all day crosswinds on the bike. Feedback I received from athletes running past as I spectated indicated that to have been reality.
I have had a number of people claim that the weather turned out to be worse than forecast but the data above reflects the predictions nicely. It is just that all day crosswinds are a bit mentally draining.
The wind rose below shows the distribution of wind directions for a 5hr rider. Which backs up any feeling you might have had that you never got a tailwind all day…
New records for Womens run and overall as well as the Mens bike split. Turns out that enough power overcomes nearly anything the weather can throw at you.