Posted by: Ian | June 17, 2013

Wimbleball 70.3 2013 Stats

The results from yesterday’s Wimbleball 70.3 are in and here’s some analysis…

Entrants came from 45 countries, with the vast majority coming, of course, from Great Britain. The distribution is shown here:


The Other bar is catching all of the countries other than those explicitly shown on the x-axis.

IronStatusThere were 1,650 names on the start sheet. Of these, 319 did not start – or at least didn’t record a swim time – 154 started but didn’t finish and 1,177 made it through to an official time at the end. Of these, three were in excess of the 8:30 official cut-off, according to the site stats. The more the better in my opinion: I watched the ref telling people at the end of the bike leg that they hadn’t made the cut-off and it was heart-breaking.

For my stats here, I’m ignoring the 14 teams who completed the event because worthy and worthwhile as their endeavours no doubt were, they weren’t engaged in the same challenge as everyone else and there’s no point comparing their efforts.

The accredited finish times ranged from 4:15:04 to 8:43:00, with a median of 6:40:06 and a mean of 6:40:54.

The swim times for finishers ranged from 23:56 to 1:01:04, with a median of 39:54 and a mean of 40:25.

The bike times for finishers ranged from 2:32:45 to 4:48:01 with a median of 3:40:30 and a mean of 3:41:48.

The run times for finishers ranged from 2:32:49 to 3:14:59 with a median of 2:03:36 and a mean of 2:05:24.

I’ve shown before that triathlons disadvantage relatively strong swimmers and favour relatively strong cyclists. This is also evident from the distribution of results at Wimbleball as the above stats indicate and these charts more conclusively show:

Dispersion by Leg

The variance amongst swim times is far more compressed than the variance of bike times, giving the stronger cyclist much more scope to gain ground than the stronger swimmer; the run is not quite as significant as the bike but much more so than the swim. Clearly this is a statistical rather than an absolute finding: at the top of the event, for example, Tim Don pipped Ritchie Nicholls on the swim and the bike legs but still lost the overall title due to Ritchie Nicholls blisteringly fast run. However, for the vast mass of participants, as a competition a triathlon remains essentially a damp bike ride.

In the blog I reference above I also give an explicit formula for how to rebalance a triathlon to make it fairer while trying to preserve the median finish time. At Wimbleball this would require lengthening the swim from 1.2 to 3.4 miles, shortening the bike ride from 56 to 39.5 miles and abbreviating the run slightly from 13.1 to 12.3 miles. Of course, the number of entrants who could manage a competitive 3.4 mile swim is limited, which is why these events are destined to continue to favour the cyclists.

I had intended to add a link to an interactive chart such as the link I provided here for the Tour of Wessex Day 3 – but I’ve timed out and I guess that interested parties can do it for themselves. Maybe if I get time later this week I’ll add it.



  1. […] Monday I posted some summary stats for this year’s Wimbleball 70.3. Since then I’ve processed some analysis for each […]

  2. What a wonderful post. Love it!

    The New Forest Middle Distance on 23 June is a quiet homely affair compared to Wimbleball but I think the run is perhaps even more challenging. A shorter swim and a slightly longer bike ride favours the cyclists even more so hopefully I will not disgrace myself. My dummy run on the bike route gave me a neat average of 15mph. Statistically I should be last, in that women are slower than the men . As the oldest woman in the race by some 8 years, finishing in one piece before sunset is the aim!

    • Many thanks, and good luck with the New Forest tri. It should at least be scenic!

  3. […] formula 1Wimbleball 70.3 2013 Stats The results from yesterday’s Wimbleball 70.3 are in and here’s some analysis… Entrants came […]

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