Fin­ish­ers and Fin­ish Times by Divi­sion 1997 to 2011

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front page -

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Iron­man Canada’s num­ber of fin­ish­ers grew by 64 per cent in this 15-year pe­riod, an av­er­age of four per cent per year, from 1,584 to 2,598.

Two im­por­tant dis­tinc­tions to be aware of, and this is true of nearly all Iron­man events:

1. ATH­LETES WHO DID NOT START (DNS): For a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, those who sign up do not ac­tu­ally race. In the late 1990s, the DNS rate in Canada was around seven per cent to 10 per cent. As the rage be­gan to grow by well over 100 per year, many of the new triath­letes may have been less mo­ti­vated, ex­pe­ri­enced, in­jured, or ready to race, choos­ing to opt out. For what­ever rea­son, by the mid-2000s, the DNS rate rose to 16 per cent to 20 per cent

2. ATH­LETES WHO STARTED BUT DID NOT FIN­ISH (DNF): Be­tween three per cent and five per cent of those who race do not fin­ish. That ex­plains the dif­fer­ence be­tween En­trants and Fin­ish­ers.

The chart below, of Iron­man Canada

Fin­ish­ers 1997 to 2011, is roughly par­al­lel to the num­ber of En­trants. For ex­am­ple, in 2011, the num­ber of En­trants – those whose paid reg­is­tra­tion guar­an­teed par­tic­i­pa­tion in the

126 DNF

1,660

race – was in the 3,250 range. Con­sid­er­ing the fairly nor­mal 16 per cent to 20 per cent that did not start (418) and the ac­tual 234 that did not fin­ish, the re­sult is 2,598 fin­ish­ers within the 17-hour cut-off time.

As we’ve said, ev­ery Iron­man will have some per cen­t­age of ath­letes who are not able to fin­ish, due to a va­ri­ety of fac­tors, from in­juries to me­chan­i­cal fail­ure, to de­hy­dra­tion, to plain ex­haus­tion, to weather con­di­tions.

Ev­ery year is a dif­fer­ent story. This chart presents Iron­man Canada Pen­tic­ton fin­ish­ers (blue bars, same data as in the pre­vi­ous green line chart). This chart adds the ac­tual DNF data in red for each race 1997 to 2011.

While most num­bers are rel­a­tively con­sis­tent with pre­dicted DNFs, two years are worth not­ing: 1998 and 2008. Both are out­liers that fall into the cat­e­gory of di­ver­gence from the rest due to con­di­tions. In 1998, a race I had the plea­sure to ex­pe­ri­ence, the tem­per­a­tures were so hot that we were told 200 ath­letes ended up in the med­i­cal tent, or on in the hospi­tal for overnight ob­ser­va­tion. That’s why you see a 250 DNF.

The 2008 race al­most didn’t hap­pen as an out of con­trol brush fire stormed far and wide, mile after mile to­ward Pen­tic­ton. Ath­letes were given the op­tion to skip the race rather than en­dure the thick smoke that was soon to en­velop the area. Only 2,210 ath­letes started the event, with 147 DNF, but it’s fairly cer­tain that the DNF num­ber would have been much higher among those who chose not to race.

185 DNF

1,584 1,469 2,062

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