CoachCox

Ironman UK 2014: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

In just over a week it’ll be the biggest race on the Coach Cox calendar, over 10 of my athletes are racing at Ironman UK. It’s going to be a busy weekend so I thought I’d get ahead on preparations by posting my pre-race analysis a week early. Ironman UK is not one of the faster courses on the circuit and in the past I’ve recommended it as a good shot for Kona slots. I’m limiting this analysis to the Bolton years (2009 to present), but even then the course has varied – changing swim venue, a variety of run course (and distances) and this year a new 2 lap bike. So bear in mind that year-to-year comparison of performance at Ironman UK is not without its issues.

More detailed age group specific statistics can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman UK 2009-2013
Median Splits by Category at 2013 European Ironman Races

As promised Bolton is a slower than average course when placed next to aggregated European splits. While it’s true across all disciplines the difference is most significant on the bike. There’s the small exception of the faster pro run split at Ironman UK, but this is potentially skewed by a couple of years when the run was shorter.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman UK 2009-2013
Distribution of Finishers' Splits at 2013 European Ironman Races
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Lanzarote 2008-2013

Of course the split distributions tell the same story and really emphasise how much slower the bike trends than your typical Euro Ironman. As a more interesting comparison I’ve also added Ironman Lanzarote’s split distribution – the UK bike trends about 10 minutes slower than Lanzarote. Bolton is not a fast bike course, it involves some climbing, UK roads, plenty of turns and junctions, but I also suspect some of this difference is down to a more competitive biking field in Lanzarote.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman UK 2014
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 7 1
F25-29 23 1
F30-34 44 2
F35-39 39 2
F40-44 46 2
F45-49 42 2
F50-54 18 1
F55-59 5 1
F60-64 1 1
F65-69 1 1
M18-24 52 2
M25-29 177 3
M30-34 272 5
M35-39 319 6
M40-44 407 7
M45-49 276 5
M50-54 151 3
M55-59 40 2
M60-64 9 1
M65-69 4 1
M70-74 2 1
Total 1935 50

Fifty slots are on offer in Bolton, my predictions for their allocation are in the table above. as with most races the largest number of slots go to the male 40-44 age group.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman UK
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman UK

While Ironman UK has been a common recommendation for Kona qualification that’s not to say it’s easy. Generally qualification means a sub-10 result for men under 40 and a sub-10:30 under 50. Those times put you way up the front of the field. It’s not unusual for the podium positions in each age group to be a little more competitive too with first through third often being a step ahead of the rest of the competition.

You can view more detailed age group specific details in the PDFs below.

Detailed Age Group Statistics

Age group specific Ironman UK 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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Changes to the course have had a clearly influence on annual performances so it’ll be interesting to see how the updated bike course affects results. With so many of my athletes racing next weekend I’ll be pretty closely glued to the athlete tracker.

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.

Comments

  • Chris A

    Hi Russ, do you know what races are the “start” and “end” of the seasons are for Kona qualifications? i.e. what is the first race date for October 2015 Kona and what is the last? I can’t seem to find the info anywhere and thought if anyone knows it will be Coach Cox!

  • Chris,

    I believe – and you’re right it’s hard to find details on the Ironman site – that the Kona qualifying season ends at the end of August, with the next one starting in September. So that makes Louisville and Japan the last two Ironman races of the season and Wisconsin and Wales the first of the 2015 qualifying season. I’d stress I believe, because I tried to double check on the Ironman site and failed to find anything other than some 404 pages! That’s how it’s worked up till now though.