Ironman Arizona 2015: Results and Analysis

The second Ironman race of the weekend, Arizona, was a much larger and faster affair than Malaysia. Around 2,500 athletes competed on Sunday and while results were faster than in Malaysia they weren’t particularly quick for the Arizona course. Overall age group times appear to have been on par to slightly slower than the race averages.

Distribution of Age Group Finisher Splits at Ironman Arizona 2015 Compared With 2005-2014

This year’s distributions are broadly the same as previous results, but have a little more weight towards the back of the field that brings down the median times. The swim is an exception which proved slower across the entire field, but otherwise the front of the age group pack was consistent with previous years.

To improve this comparison I’ve removed pro results in the above chart to eliminate the influence of exceptional pro performances. It’s not a huge issue for a race like Arizona, but as some races lose their pro field and the faster times they bring, it makes sense to remove them from this comparison. If you’re interested in what the charts look like with pro data included you can see it here. Including the pros makes a small difference to the top 5% of each chart.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Arizona
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2005 2147 1794 16.4% 1762 1.8% 1682 4.5% 21.7%
2006 2254 1929 14.4% 1882 2.4% 1723 8.4% 23.6%
2007 2462 2046 16.9% 1977 3.4% 1861 5.9% 24.4%
2008 5070 4213 16.9% 4022 4.5% 3766 6.4% 25.7%
2009 2656 2171 18.3% 2156 0.7% 2077 3.7% 21.8%
2010 2894 2471 14.6% 2482 % 2397 3.4% 17.2%
2011 2768 2360 14.7% 2308 2.2% 2217 3.9% 19.9%
2012 2940 2504 14.8% 2445 2.4% 2379 2.7% 19.1%
2013 2703 2637 2.4% 2594 1.6% 2520 2.9% 6.7%
2014 3203 2639 17.6% 2518 4.6% 2390 5.1% 25.4%
2015 2683 2426 9.6% 2328 4% 2211 5% 17.6%

There is nothing exceptional about this year’s DNF/DNS rate. If anything it is at the lower end of expected results, but this may reflect a reduction in the DNS rate rather than DNFs. Either way, alongside the distributions, this suggests typical conditions for the Arizona course in 2015.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Arizona 2015
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Arizona 2005-2014

Age group median splits at this year’s race closely match those from previous years, just coming out slightly slower overall. The pro data here suggests that this year’s race was much faster for the elites. As with last year there’s a separation between the pro performances and those of the age groupers, the former group pushing ahead of the averages while the latter remains inline.

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

Looking at changes in times across the age groups for the last 10 years of racing in Arizona gives a mixed pattern. This year’s results don’t differ too significantly from those for the previous few years, but whether they are faster or slower varies. It’s the sort of result we should expect when a race looks to be comparable with previous averages.

Ironman Arizona 2015 Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:30:46 9:30:46 9:30:46
M25-29 2 8:54:31 9:14:39 9:34:48
M30-34 3 8:56:43 9:11:47 9:22:29
M35-39 4 8:49:04 9:14:06 9:25:57
M40-44 6 9:12:04 9:17:49 9:22:27
M45-49 5 9:22:59 9:41:56 9:49:00
M50-54 4 9:40:43 9:49:32 9:58:24
M55-59 3 9:42:55 10:18:07 10:46:15
M60-64 2 10:39:14 10:46:16 10:53:18
M65-69 1 11:25:40 11:25:40 11:25:40
M70-74 1 13:06:40 13:06:40 13:06:40
F18-24 1 10:57:14 10:57:14 10:57:14
F25-29 1 10:01:32 10:01:32 10:01:32
F30-34 2 10:30:34 10:49:49 11:09:04
F35-39 2 9:50:18 10:00:03 10:09:48
F40-44 3 10:08:27 10:17:55 10:26:28
F45-49 3 10:20:53 10:34:54 10:50:12
F50-54 2 10:46:10 10:50:52 10:55:35
F55-59 1 11:20:02 11:20:02 11:20:02
F60-64 1 12:27:57 12:27:57 12:27:57
F65-69 1 15:25:21 15:25:21 15:25:21

Estimating the Kona slot allocation – I’m sure the numbers announced today will differ a little – allows me to estimate likely Kona times for each age group. Much faster than the figures we saw for Malaysia yesterday, but typical of North American races. More details on these figure can be found on my Kona Qualification page.

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

Looking at the top twenty within each age groups shows times that generally trend faster than the averages. For female age groups results appear to closely match those of 2014. For the men it’s more varied, but leans towards a faster race. None of this is by a huge margin though. Competition for slots at the 2015 race appears to be as high as usual.

A largely unexceptional year in Arizona for age groupers. There does appear to be a little more weight at the back of the pack which pulled down the median splits slightly. It’s not a huge change though and at the front of the field times were largely comparable.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits for Ironman Arizona 2015 on my Google Drive.

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.


  • Art Ironclad

    I think it would be appropriate to comment on this year’s weather conditions. People were freezing their bottoms off during bike leg. (rain, cold cold rain and low temperatures) Changing tent was filled with shivering incoherent bodies. I had to ask volunteers to help me open my bag I couldn’t really use my fingers for some time… Run was a partial mud run. Literally… Thanks for all the numbers though. Always nice to crunch some data!!!

  • TR

    Good info, just need to cut 1 1/2 hours to qualify for Kona!!!!