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Ironman Switzerland 2014: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

Ironman Switzerland is next in this week’s production line of pre-race analyses. Like most of its mainland European counterparts Zurich is a fast race; it’s not quite on a par with Frankfurt or Austria, but it doesn’t lag that far behind either. With 50 slots available for the Ironman World Championships it’s also a competitive race for those looking to qualify.

Details splits and statistic by age group can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Switzerland 2005-2013
Median Splits by Category at 2013 European Ironman Races
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Frankfurt 2003-2013

The median splits from Ironman Switzerland actually don’t lie that far from the aggregated European averages last year. A little faster in some areas and age groups, but not universally or consistently so. The pro averages from Switzerland actually come up slower than last year’s European averages. Comparing to Frankfurt’s medians it’s clear that Switzerland is not quite as fast. It’s a quick course, but not exceptional for Europe.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Switzerland 2005-2013
Distribution of Finishers' Splits at 2013 European Ironman Races
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Frankfurt 2003-2013

Neither does the distribution of splits from 9 years of racing in Switzerland differ much from those for the last year in Europe. A comparison with Frankfurt gives a more interesting perspective – here we can see that swim and bike are faster in Germany, but the run times are much more comparable. Frankfurt is clearly the faster course, but their runs at least are similar.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman Switzerland 2014
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 7 1
F25-29 37 1
F30-34 57 2
F35-39 63 2
F40-44 49 2
F45-49 32 1
F50-54 28 1
F55-59 8 1
F60-64 1 1
F65-69 1 1
F70-74 1 1
M18-24 42 1
M25-29 203 3
M30-34 392 5
M35-39 412 5
M40-44 507 7
M45-49 386 5
M50-54 248 4
M55-59 80 2
M60-64 27 1
M65-69 16 1
M70-74 5 1
M75-79 1 1
Total 2603 50

This year Switzerland has dropped 10 slots leaving it with only 50 for Kona. My estimates of their allocation based on the start list are in the table above; actual numbers will vary. It’s the usual pattern with a heavily male field and specifically a heavily male 40-44 year old field.

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

While the trends – the differences between first, tenth and twentieth – in the top twenty age group charts are generally quite consistent the spread of times in the male field is quite wide. Times have varied around 30 minutes either side of the average and that should be held in mind when looking at any of these graphs. As a general rule men below the age of 40 will need to be at least sub-9:30, quite possibly sub-9:15 to qualify. Women will need to podium in their age group, ideally winning, for a shot at qualification; times have tended to vary between 9:30 and 10:30 for those below the age of 40.

There are more detailed age group breakdowns of all these statistics and full splits for past Kona qualifiers in the PDFs below.

Detailed Age Group Statistics

Age group specific Ironman Switzerland 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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As usual I will be analysing the results from Ironman Switzerland 2014 after race, but results may be delayed due to travelling.

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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