CoachCox

Ironman Wales 2014: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

This weekend the Ironman series returns to UK shores with Ironman Wales in Tenby. Now entering it’s fourth year of racing, Wales has established a reputation as a tough event. Conditions (and sometimes course) have varied considerably year-on-year and whatever the weather there’s always the hills. It’s not PB territory, but has proved popular as an early opportunity to book a Kona slot.

This article will cover general statistic for the race, you can find more detailed age group specific data at the bottom of the post.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Wales 2011-2013
Median Splits by Category at 2013 European Ironman Races
Median Splits by Category at Ironman Lanzarote 2008-2013

Placing the medians from Ironman Wales besides those from other European races and it’s clear that Wales is slower on average. It does manage a faster swim and it’s only slightly slower in the run (bearing in mind the run was short one year), but on the bike it falls far behind it’s counterparts. Of course Europe has some very fast Ironman races (Frankfurt, Austria, Sweden, Copenhagen) so this isn’t much of a surprise. We can add the medians from Lanzarote to the mix for a fairer comparison – even then Ironman Wales comes out slower.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Wales 2011-2013
Distribution of Finishers' Splits at 2013 European Ironman Races
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Lanzarote 2008-2013

Where the medians point, the split distributions tend to follow. Sure enough, Wales and the rest of Europe share similar distributions for swim and run, but on the bike and subsequently overall Wales is significantly slower. So again we can take Lanzarote, another race with a tough reputation, and see how it compares. The swims are similar, Wales is perhaps a touch faster on the run, but its bike is much slower.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman Wales 2014
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 10 1
F25-29 24 1
F30-34 29 1
F35-39 50 2
F40-44 34 2
F45-49 30 1
F50-54 13 1
F55-59 7 1
F60-64 2 1
M18-24 65 2
M25-29 198 4
M30-34 306 6
M35-39 333 6
M40-44 419 7
M45-49 335 6
M50-54 139 3
M55-59 47 2
M60-64 12 1
M65-69 5 1
M70-74 1 1
Total 2059 50

I’ve used the start list available on Ironman.com to estimate slot allocation in the table above. Remember actual numbers will vary and are dependent on start numbers on race day.

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

There are two things the top twenty times can tell us. Firstly that the three years of racing have varied quite a lot making it hard to know what to expect. This year conditions are looking favourable. Secondly, with the exception of a few outstanding age group winners, the competition for Kona slots has been tight. A tough course with tight competition at the front doesn’t make this early qualifier an easy qualifier.

So Wales is one of the slower Ironman races, much of this down to a challenging bike course. It’s also competitive at the front of the age groups meaning it may not be the best choice of qualifier if you’re on the line.

There’s a lot more detail for each age group in the PDFs below.

Detailed Age Group Statistics

Age group specific Ironman Wales 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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It’s a busy weekend for Coach Cox athletes, lots of them will be racing. As it happens the 14th of September is also my Wedding Anniversary so while my athletes suffer – and hopefully succeed – in Tenby I’ll be away, relaxing in Padstow. You can expect the usual post race analysis a little later 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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