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Ironman Cairns: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

Ironman Cairns brings the Ironman season to a close Down Under. It’s the last chance to qualify for the 2014 Ironman World Championship in Australia with 40 slots on offer to around 1,500 competitors. For this analysis I’ll only be looking at results from Ironman Cairns, not it’s previous Challenge incarnation which means I’ve 2 years of data to work with. As usual you can find more specific age group statistics at the end of this post.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Cairns 2012-2013
Median Splits by Age Group at 2012 Australian/New Zealand Ironmans

Comparing the averages by age group at Ironman Cairns against the results from all 2012 Australian Ironmans suggest that Cairns is a slightly slower race. The margins are small; if we compare professional times then the differences in the two charts are negligible. Although hot and humid conditions are potentially challenging the race doesn’t appear to fall far outside the standards of most Australian races.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Cairns 2012-2013
Split Distributions at 2012 Australian/New Zealand Ironmans

Looking in a little more detail at the distribution of finishers’ splits simply confirms this observation. The general pattern of each histogram is much the same between the Cairns results and the wider Australian results. There is ever so slightly more weighting in the tail of the Cairns charts which causes the slightly slower average splits.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman Cairns 2014
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 8 1
F25-29 18 1
F30-34 41 2
F35-39 55 2
F40-44 52 2
F45-49 41 2
F50-54 20 1
F55-59 13 1
F60-64 3 1
F65-69 1 1
M18-24 13 1
M25-29 84 2
M30-34 156 3
M35-39 205 4
M40-44 273 4
M45-49 198 3
M50-54 113 2
M55-59 66 2
M60-64 45 2
M65-69 17 1
M70-74 5 1
M80+ 1 1
Total 1428 40

Slot allocations in the table above are estimated from the start list available on the Ironman.com website. Final numbers may vary depending on actual starters, but general we should expect the biggest share of slots to go to M40-44 and M35-39 as usual.

Top 20 Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Cairns
Top 20 Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Cairns

Two years of race results don’t give much to work with when it comes to estimating Kona times. For example, in the F18-24 age category we’ve only had 1 competitor in the last 2 years; there are 8 on the start line this time, that division is automatically more competitive. Men between the ages of 30 and 44 will, as usual, have to set fast times if they hope to qualify – 9:30 seems like a reasonable guide. Most age groups show a relatively rapid fall off in finish times, it doesn’t appear tight up front, but there are clearly a few fast athletes pushing for the slots.

For more detailed information on individual age groups you can download any of the PDFs below.

Detailed Age Group Statistics

Age group specific Ironman Cairns results analysis. More charts and more detailed timings and splits for top age grouper and Kona qualifiers.

Select an age group to view or download PDF

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Ironman Cairns is a growing race and increasing competitor numbers naturally brings increasing competition. It’ll be interesting to see how this will impact qualification times in future events. I’ll be analysing the results of this year’s race at the start of next week to see.

All Ironman Results and Statistics

A growing collection of results and statistics for the whole Ironman race calendar.

Find out what it takes to place in your age group or to qualify for the Ironman Worlds Championships in Kona.

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