Monday, April 14, 2008

Ironman Arizona and Trends in Ironman

Yesterday was a typical Ironman race day. What? Wasn't it hot? Yes...every Ironman is either too hot, too windy (or both if you are in Kona), too rainy, too drafty - and starts to sound like a Dr. Seuss book. Thing One and Thing Two running around and bumping into each other. Times did vary a little but they are around the same numbers.

First - I'd like to congratulate those who finished no matter what. One of my athletes didn't have the day she signed up for but she kept slugging it out all day and I am proud of you T! To break it down for you...she had a few mishaps during the swim and was, well -not what she is capable of by a whole lot. Anyway, T went to work on the bike passing 317 people in the wind and then another 90 on the run when everyone else was walking. As Natasha told me, "You go make good fight!"

It takes guts to finish what you started. There were a lot of people DNFing. I'm not sure if that was due to health issues, injury, bad race preparation, weak minds or they were just using this race as a warm up for something else. A $500 catered workout with bibs and marshals I guess. My philosophy on DNFing is "you'll have to take me off the course and put me in an ambulance". If I had somehow qualified for Kona and had an Ironman race like Wisconsin "in the way" I'd ask to defer it a year or not start.

Of course, this could also be "Iron Fever" - the everyman starting to sign up like lemmings for a marathon like in the original Ironman which was a bar bet with liquid courage and military egos at stake.

Of 2027 who started 1689 finished. (337 DNFs - 16.6% of the field quit)

8:59:59 or faster - 7 people
9:59:59 (9 hr IM) - 48 people - impressive
10 hr IM - 336 people - also impressive
11 hr IM - 201 people - nice work
12 hr IM - 289 people
13 hr IM - 304 people
14 hr IM - 290 people
15 hr IM - 222 people
16 hr IM - 185 people

So if my math is right...and I think it is...

1) 1,001 people finished after 13 hrs or roughly half the field. Hats off to these folks.
2) ~25% (24.17%) of the field finished between 11 hrs and 12 hrs (!)
3) ~20% of the field finished between 10 hrs and 9 hours - *AN EARLY SEASON RACE, TOUGH CONDITIONS, which means that if you're going to Kona you gotta be really fast...early.

So the trend continues...more folks in the back of the pack and those in contention for an Ironman slot get bunched more closely together in the 10 hour range. Basically, you better be under 10:30 to have real hope for Kona if you are an under 50 male.

My best is 11:07:00 (also on a very hot day with a flat tire, but not so windy).

The gauntlet is down. My work for 2009 is cut out for me.

1 comment:

  1. Heck ya, a lotta work but you can do it! One of the many reasons I read your blog is all your mental strength and "tuff-guy" way... SO... I think you got it in the bag with some hard work of course!
    Best to you for a season of AWESOME training!