Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kona 2013 Run Data - Pro Women

After looking at the pro men's data, let's look at the women's race in Kona. Of course, we saw the best run female run performance we've ever seen, with Carfrae's 2:50:38, good enough for 3rd best run split overall in the entire race, male or female!

It's interesting how the race broke down, as the leader for the women off the bike, Rachel Joyce, actually ran a faster first mile than the leader for the men, Starykowicz, 6:37 to 7:17, and had a smaller differential from 1st mile split to actual pace than him. Not sure anyone would have predicted that. 

Here's how the run splits broke down: (Click on image to enlarge)

A few highlights of the top 10 women...
Average 1st mile split: 6:37
Average 1st mile to actual pace differential: 29 secs
Range of 1st mile to actual pace differential: 5 secs to 1:08

There are 3 big stand outs in this data to me...

1. Mrinida Carfrae - Just how dominant was she? She ran the second fastest first mile off the bike of all the women, and still only had a 20 sec differential between that 6:11 mile and the 6:31 pace overall that she ran for the race. She was aggressive, but not stupid. Only 4 girls in the top 20 had a smaller differential, but of course Mirinda ran the 3rd fastest split overall, men included. 

As impressive as her first mile was, it was still slower than what she ran in 2011, by 13 seconds! (She ran 2:52:09 that year, so perhaps the slower first mile made a difference). 

2. Caitlin Snow - I'm not sure there's a better pacer in the race than Snow. This is not the first time she has had one of the top female run splits, and I don't believe her lowest differential in the field and 2nd best run split overall are coincidence. I believe her early run pacing was so good, it allowed her to be the only other female under 3 hours for the women. 

She also had 11 women come off the bike in front of her, and moved up to 6th, out-sprinting Meredith Kessler on Alii Drive. Kessler's pacing differential of 1:08 was tied for the highest in the women's race, leaving her no answer for a sprinting Snow down into the chute. 

Snow was one the highest move-ups in place from off the bike, to the finish. Yes, her split helped her, but her early conservative pacing helped her to execute it. 

3. Joyce, Blatchford and Van Vlerken all ran 3:03:XX. Blatchford paced herself quite well, just couldn't close the gap Joyce had off the bike. Van Vlerken ran aggressively off the bike, and paid for it, unable to beat Blatchford, despite leaving T2 less than 1 minute behind her. Her first mile was 16 secs faster than Blatchford's, and by 5K, VV was 23 seconds in front of her. Blatchford ran smart early, beat VV.

Other highlights of places 11-20th...
Average 1st mile split: 6:44
Average 1st mile to actual pace differential: 47 secs
Range of 1st mile to actual pace differential: 14 secs to 1:08

Looking at the places 11-20th, it appears the girls ran relatively the same average pace for the first mile, only 8 secs slower. but their average differential was much higher than the top girls. This tells me these girls were even worse in their pacing than the top 10 girls, with the lone exception of Donovan, who had the 14 second differential. The next lowest differential is Lyles, at 36 secs. 

Overall, I think we're seeing that pacing is getting better among the top women. The margin for error is getting smaller. 

My next post will compare and contrast the men and women, and look at how different they are from 2011. 

Coach Vance

1 comment:

Timothy said...

Fantastic article.

Intriguing, analytic, valuable.

Timothy Carlson