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Ironman Japan 2014: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

Ironman Japan is the third Ironman race this weekend and unlike the other two (Louisville and Copenhagen) its Kona slots are for next year’s, not this year’s World Championship. That makes Japan the first of the 2015 qualification races. Although there has previously been an Ironman in Japan this is only the second year for the race at its current venue. Results from one year of racing suggest that Ironman Japan leans towards the slower end of the spectrum.

More detailed statistics for individual age groups are available to download at the bottom of this article.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Japan 2013
Median Splits by Category at 2013 North American Ironman Races

Comparing with a more familiar set of medians – those from the 2013 US Ironman series – we can clearly see that Ironman Japan is quite consistently slower on the bike. The swim is roughly on par and the run is perhaps a touch faster, but inconsistently and not by a huge margin.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Japan 2013
Distribution of Finisher Splits at All 2013 North American Ironman Races

Comparing the distributions gives a much clearer indication of how much slower the bike is than the US average. There’s more than a 30 minute shift in times on the Japanese course. Other aspects of performance are a little more comparable although there appears to be a fairly heavy weighting of run splits just outside the top 50%. It’s the bike that is the major cause of the slower distribution of finishing times though.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman Japan 2014
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 2 1
F25-29 3 1
F30-34 9 1
F35-39 25 1
F40-44 27 1
F45-49 20 1
F50-54 15 1
F55-59 11 1
F60-64 4 1
F65-69 1 1
M18-24 11 1
M25-29 54 1
M30-34 113 3
M35-39 168 3
M40-44 246 5
M45-49 246 5
M50-54 197 4
M55-59 107 3
M60-64 62 2
M65-69 19 1
M70-74 5 1
M75-79 1 1
Total 1346 40

The above allocation of slots for the 2015 Ironman World Championship is estimated based on the bib list available on the Ironman website. Actual numbers will likely vary. What I will note is Ironman Japan has the lowest ratio of female athletes I’ve seen and possibly the highest for men over 60 years of age.

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

When there’s only one year of results the top twenty charts don’t tell us much. Given the slower race times in general, it’s unsurprising that the age group winning times aren’t particularly fast either. Whether this is typical of the Japanese course or not is impossible to predict. We’ll need a few more years of racing to form an opinion on that.

A more detailed look at statistics for each age group is available in the PDFs below.

Detailed Age Group Statistics

Age group specific Ironman Japan 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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An analysis of Ironman Japan will follow next week.

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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