Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Ironmanalysis

Yesterday, while perusing the Ironman US Championship website, I was thrilled to find a list of participants. Why so much enthusiasm? Well, I was presented with a rare opportunity to combine two of my favorite things: triathlon and Microsoft Excel.

I pivoted the crap out of that table. Let's talk about results!

Women vs. Men:
I was surprised to find that the data I pulled for the Ironman US Championships indicate that the ratio of men to women is nearly 5:1. There are 466 women registered as of 6/25 and 2208 men. I'm trying to obtain official data that says what the women/men percentages are for all Ironman events combined. At some point, I definitely heard from someone that the overall breakdown is close to 50/50. But 17/83 is a far cry from that, so I'm starting to have doubts that it's true.

The oldest woman in this race is 66 years old and the oldest man is 75. There are three 18-year-olds, two women and one man. It should be noted that 18 is the youngest one can be to compete. Also, the two women have the same last name, which leads me to believe they might be twins.

The average age of US Championship participants is 40.3. The averages for men and women differ slightly, with the average age of the 466 women being 39 and the average age of the 2208 men being 40.6.
Speaking of outliers, there actually are two in the data (age listed as 0), but I've left them there since it's probably a data quality thing and the records likely do represent people who are participating. In the graphs below you'll see these categorized as "WHAAA?" which was my chosen indicator in the gigantic nested if-statement I created to sort everyone into age groups, which brings me to:

Age Groups:
Let's see some tables, shall we?

Mmmm...yes...very interesting. Now, pie charts!

Age group percentage breakdowns are similar for men and women. My age group, women 25-29, has 49 people. Here's hoping I finish better than 49th. The largest group for men is 40-44 while the second largest is 35-39. For women, this is switched. Also, well done, gentlemen, for having 5 participants over the age of 70.

Finally, we come to

Home States:

Not surprisingly, New York will be producing the largest number of competitors in this race. Or maybe it is surprising, considering that most of the race takes place in New Jersey. Discuss.

Top Ten Home States (by number of competitors):
New York – 882
New Jersey – 430
Unspecified – 362
California – 124
Connecticut – 124
Florida – 107
Pennsylvania – 60
Texas – 55
Massachusetts – 46
Virginia – 43
Illinois – 38

But wait! There are 11 listed here! True. This is a result of the "Unspecified" category. You'll notice that the number of competitors without a state listed is sizeable. Rather than take out that chunk, I just added Illinois, which could very well be the 10th state if those 362 participants were correctly categorized (or maybe it wouldn't. What if 68 out of those 362 are from Manitoba? I don't really know. That pesky Unspecified category could change that list quite a bit, but we can't know for sure).

Well, that's that. If you have any questions about the data, ask away and I'll try to get you some answers. If you see any errors, let me know!


  1. I'd say the odds are your favor if you're looking to meet guys during the race. Haha.

  2. It definitely occurred to me...lol