|As Featured by Triathlete Magazine Online Edition|
The inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe 2013 crushed triathletes beyond their wildest expectations, with a record-breaking high average finish time of 14 hours and 6 minutes, easily making it the toughest of the RunTri's Ranking of the Top 30 Toughest Ironman Races.
The venue featured breathtaking scenery, but at the end of the day, the views were not much consolation to the 20% who did not finish the race. Fast Facts:
- Registered Entrants: 2700+
- Did Not Start: 565 (21%)
- Finishers: 1,719
- DNF of Race Starters: 20+%; DNF on Bike: 267 (12%); DNF on Run: 182 (8%)
The stunning results at Ironman Lake Tahoe seemed to have the triathlon community buzzing (thousands of visitors from 800 cities visited our site's analysis, see map above, and interactive map at end of article): Did you hear what happened at Lake Tahoe? Did you hear about the weather? Did you hear about the DNFs?
Ultimately the biggest question seemed to be: How Ironman Lake Tahoe DNF Rates Compare With DNFs at Other Ironman Events?
The answers may surprise you.
- Yes, Ironman Lake Tahoe Was a Punishing Race, and Some Age Groups Suffered More than Others
- Ironman Lake Tahoe's DNF Rate falls far short of the 29% recorded at Ironman St. George in 2012, BUT . . .
- There's No Guarantee that Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014 Will see 20% DNF, Too; Conditions and DNFs Vary by Year.
1. Yes, Ironman Lake Tahoe Was a Punishing Race, and Some Age Groups Suffered More than Others
Let's start with our analysis of Ironman Lake Tahoe's DNFs: overall, by age group, and within age groups, DNF rates on the bike or run.
But when Ironman St. George is eliminated from the comparison, Lake Tahoe's DNF rate is highest. Among other high DNF events, Louisville and Texas don't come close to LT's 20%.
3. There's No Guarantee that Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014 Will see 20% DNF, Too; Conditions and DNFs Vary by Year.
Our Multi-Year Analysis of DNFs Overall (at Ironman Wisconsin) and by Age Groups (at Ironman Lake Placid) clearly illustrate that DNF rates can vary significantly from year to year.
Which leaves a couple of thousand athletes wondering: should I sign up for Ironman Lake Tahoe next year? If you like the area, the course, and are well-prepared, I'd suggest you sign up for this great race.
Worried that next year may see 20% DNF again? Sure, it might happen. But I'd not be surprised to see a different DNF rate, more likely to be lower than higher, based on our Ironman Wisconsin and Iron Lake Placid analysis.
Still on the fence? Final thought -- whether DNF rate is 10%, 15% or 20% -- if it were easy, they wouldn't call it an Ironman. Don't be scared by DNF rates, I'd tell you. Prepare vigorously with expectations to be among the 80% of Finishers.
Go Ahead. Sign up for 2014. Crush the course next time.