Ironman 70.3 Steelhead Results Analysis

The Ironman 70.3 Steelhead triathlon, held in Benton Harbor Michigan, has been one of the faster half ironman triathlons in the world. In 2010, the average finish time was 5:48.

In 2012, the average time slipped to 6:01, about average for all Ironman 70.3 races we rank, perhaps due to unseasonably hot conditions. The swim, bike and run splits in 2012 were each slower than in 2010 by 3-4 minutes.  (in 2011, the race was converted to a duathlon after the swim was cancelled) See our analysis of both the 2010 and 2012 races. below. Also see our full set of race photos: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead 2012 Images.

Ironman 70.3 Steelhead Results 2012 Analysis

Ironman 70.3 Steelhead 2010 Results Analysis

It's interesting to note how close most age group average times are to the 5:48 average. In most long-distance triathlons, we usually see a wider dispersion of times between younger and older age groups.

The swim, bike and run splits held to the RunTri 50% Rule -- that 50% of Ironman and half ironman race times tends to be spent on the bike.

Rough weather conditions cancelled the swim portion of Ironman 70.3 Steelhead in 2011, converting the event into a bike/run duathlon. We found it interesting to compare the different in bike and run times on the same course in events preceeded by a swim (2010) and events without (2011).

Bad weather conditions led organizers to cancel the Steelhead triathlon's swim leg, reducing the event to a bike/run duathlon, giving us the opportunity to compare duathlon vs. triathlon bike and run splits. Resulting duathlon splits in most age groups were at least 3% or more faster, as shown in the chart below. Notable exceptions were M18-29 bike and run splits, and run splits for W18-24, W40-44, W55-59 and WPro categories.

Behind the percentage differences, here are average bike splits for the 2011 duathlon compared with the 2010 triathlon, by age group.

Here are average run splits for the 2011 duathlon compared with the 2010 triathlon, by age group.

It's expected the 2012 race will return to a full swim, bike, run triathlon, and we'll have the results analysis posted as soon as the data becomes available.