This year, the Ho’ala swim is held six days before the Kona race on the swim course. There are slight changes towards the end, the finish is on the small beach at the King Kam hotel instead of back on “Dig Me Beach”, usually resulting in slightly quicker times compared to the Kona swim. It is used by a lot of athletes as an excellent open-water training session, the table below shows just the Kona Pros that I have been able to identify in the results, comparing their times in this year’s swim, their expected swim times for this year’s Ironman race (plus the difference, usually faster) and the same results (as long as they are available) for the 2019 Ironman Hawaii swim.
Obviously, there are not too many conclusions you can draw for the full races on Thursday and Saturday – but as these are the final data points before the race, here are some quick observations:
- On average, the Pros were about a minute and a half quicker than their seed times for the race. This is a bit less than in earlier years (roughly three minutes in 2018 and 2019), and as some times were slower than their 2019 swim times, maybe the swim conditions were slower than normal this year?
- Josh Amberger was again close to the front of the race, he was beaten by Jesper Svensson and a few other quick swimmers we can expect at the front of the race.
- On the female side, Fenella Langridge was 0.6 seconds ahead of Rebecca Clarke. Fenella was a whopping three and a half minutes quicker than her seed time. A good omen for her race!
- A number of female Pros were significantly quicker than seeded, especially those that have slower seed times. They may have benefitted from a few more swimmers around them than in the separate Pro start. It would be great to see some of the stronger bike riders such as Ruth Astle mix it up sooner than expected.
- There were a few Pros with slower times than expected. It remains to be seen what that will mean on race day – I find it hard to believe that Daniel Baekkegard will be more than four minutes slower than his seed time (and more than six minutes than his 2019 swim).
|Athlete||Ho’ala Swim||Seed Time||Diff||Kona 2019 Swim|
|Mathias Lyngsoe Petersen||00:48:28||00:50:54||02:26|
|Magnus Elbaek Ditlev||00:50:31||00:51:47||01:16|