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Ironman Florida 2015: Results and Analysis

It was a warm year for Ironman Florida with water temperatures making yesterday’s swim non-wetsuit (at least for those looking to Kona qualify). Conditions look to have taken their toll throughout the race too. Unsurprisingly the swim was particularly slow without wetsuits, but bike and run times also appear to have suffered.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Florida 2015 Compared With 2002-2014

The split distribution chart above clearly demonstrates that shift in this year’s race. The non-wetsuit swim had a huge impact, shifting swim times back by 15 minutes across the pack. Bike splits are very slightly slower, most notably at the front of the field, but we should note that some of the fastest splits will be missing with the absence of a pro race. While bike times are only slightly slower run times see a change of similar magnitude to the swim. Grouped together there’s a shift in excess of 30 minutes to the overall finishing splits.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Florida
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2003 2283 1986 13% 1960 1.3% 1912 2.4% 16.3%
2004 2424 2088 13.9% 2097 ??.?% 2033 3.1% 16.1%
2005 2388 2029 15% 2024 0.2% 1935 4.4% 19%
2006 2538 2176 14.3% 2154 1% 2108 2.1% 16.9%
2007 2609 2251 13.7% 2260 ??.?% 2184 3.4% 16.3%
2008 2606 2259 13.3% 2250 0.4% 2184 2.9% 16.2%
2009 2880 2397 16.8% 2383 0.6% 2312 3% 19.7%
2010 2854 2379 16.6% 2366 0.5% 2300 2.8% 19.4%
2011 2921 2439 16.5% 2401 1.6% 2354 2% 19.4%
2012 3061 2565 16.2% 2520 1.8% 2426 3.7% 20.7%
2013 2891 2816 2.6% 2772 1.6% 2700 2.6% 6.6%
2014 2680 N/A N/A 2496 0% 2371 5% 11.7%
2015 2980 2408 19.2% 2331 3.2% 2193 5.9% 26.4%

The DNF rate also appears to be up. When interpreting this table it’s important to remember that precise DNS and DNF data is not available in the athlete tracker, it has to be deduced from the timing data making it impossible to fully separate the two in the numbers above (final results will provide further detail when available). Even with this complication bike and run DNF numbers are raised and the jump in the swim DNF/DNS number would suggest there was an increase there too. All of this, along with the slower distributions, points to tougher racing conditions than usual.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Florida 2015
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Florida 2002-2014

For more detail we can examine individual age group medians. The pattern here matches what we’ve previously seen: swim and run show noticeable shifts towards slower times while the bike is more comparable with past results.

Changes in Male Age Group Finishing Times by Place at Ironman Florida
Changes in Female Age Group Finishing Times by Place at Ironman Florida

Another way to place this race is to see how finishing times have varied over the last decade. By looking at times for specific finishing places within each age group we can see some of the trends and place this race in a broader context. The swim was cancelled in 2014, hence its unusually fast times. This year’s results are at the slower end of the scale, but aren’t that extreme when viewed in this way.

Ironman Florida 2015 Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:19:56 9:19:56 9:19:56
M25-29 2 9:18:21 9:36:26 9:54:31
M30-34 3 8:54:51 9:18:14 9:31:32
M35-39 4 8:36:06 9:15:40 9:41:10
M40-44 5 9:15:36 9:37:22 9:50:55
M45-49 5 9:30:13 9:47:56 10:09:23
M50-54 4 10:01:20 10:07:04 10:11:39
M55-59 3 10:21:58 10:40:11 10:51:43
M60-64 2 11:18:46 11:20:06 11:21:27
M65-69 1 11:07:00 11:07:00 11:07:00
M70-74 1 13:12:11 13:12:11 13:12:11
M75-79 1 16:21:55 16:21:55 16:21:55
F18-24 1 11:08:37 11:08:37 11:08:37
F25-29 1 10:54:52 10:54:52 10:54:52
F30-34 2 9:54:44 10:04:43 10:14:42
F35-39 2 10:34:17 10:34:18 10:34:20
F40-44 3 10:16:56 10:22:47 10:26:24
F45-49 2 10:28:03 10:29:47 10:31:32
F50-54 2 12:12:32 12:13:41 12:14:51
F55-59 2 11:47:18 11:48:12 11:49:06
F60-64 1 12:33:11 12:33:11 12:33:11
F65-69 1 14:46:09 14:46:09 14:46:09

The table above uses my estimates for the slot allocation in Florida (final numbers may vary depending on exact age group starting numbers) and provides data on the automatic qualification times corresponding to this allocation. You can check against times on my Qualification Stats page to see how this compares to previous years or with other races.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Florida 2015
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Florida 2015

Qualification numbers are perhaps a little clearer in the charts above. The top twenty times for each age group this year, last year and the 10 years prior to that too. Again this year’s results come out on the slow side, in quite a few cases these are the slowest results seen. The very front of each age group tends to fall much closer to the averages, but that drops off further back. In a few instances age group results are about average for Florida and in a couple of female age groups, faster. Overall though most divisions follow the slower trend.

It looks like a pretty tough day at Ironman Florida. Conditions less favourable for racing that had an impact from the front through to the back the field. The banning of wetsuits always has a major affect on swim times, conditions appear to have also hit the run hard. Not a fast qualifying year, but still a competitive one.

You can view a spreadsheet of all the results and splits from Ironman Florida 2015 on my Google Drive.

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

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