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Ironman Cozumel 2015: Results and Analysis

Ironman Cozumel is the penultimate Ironman event for 2015. A mid size race of around 1,500 athletes carrying with it 40 Kona slots for the 2016 World Champs. Cozumel has never been a particularly fast Ironman, but this year’s event looks to have been a bit slower than usual.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Cozumel 2015 Compared with 2009-2014

The comparison of split distributions is quite straight forward in this case: slower all round. Times for the 2015 event trend slower in all three disciplines, but most strongly on the bike. This puts a big impact on the overall finisher splits, pushing the median back roughly 30 minutes and the top 5% back to 10:30. That’s a sizeable shift for any race, this year was clearly slower.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Cozumel
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2009 1927 1444 25.1% 1407 2.6% 1318 6.3% 31.6%
2010 2314 1761 23.9% 1682 4.5% 1628 3.2% 29.3%
2011 2300 1855 19.3% 1820 1.9% 1751 3.8% 23.8%
2012 2664 1930 27.6% 1794 7% 1787 0.4% 32.9%
2013 2485 1728 30.5% 1947 % 1849 5% 25.5%
2014 2292 1909 16.7% 1839 3.7% 1700 7.6% 25.8%
2015 1586 1561 1.6% 1495 4.2% 1390 7% 12.4%

The athlete tracker doesn’t give a clear indication of DNF numbers so when an entry doesn’t have a swim time it could be either a swim DNF or a DNS. This year the huge drop in Swim DNF/DNS numbers likely indicates that the athlete tracker is only listing athletes who made the start line rather than all who entered the event. This doesn’t make it easy to compare numbers over the years. We can look at individual bike and run DNF to see how they compare and both numbers tend towards the higher end of drop out rates for Cozumel. The swim figures are, I suspect, average for the DNF rates for this race, but without further data that’s speculation on my part.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Cozumel 2015
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Cozumel 2009-2014

Age group medians tend to offer a mixed picture of the event with some age groups improving on previous times. The overall pattern here is of a slower race though, again this is most clearly seen in the swim and bike times for each age group. The run is also often slower, but the change is less distinctive. If we consider the pro times then we see a faster result from the female field while the men were a touch slower, largely as a result of a slower bike.

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

Having noted that this was a slow year in Cozumel when we compared times in age groups by their finishing places we can see it’s not the slowest year. That goes to it’s debut in 2009, since then times have improved and been a little more consistent. This year doesn’t really lie too far from the norms, it is at the slower end of results, but not exceptional. As you move further back in the field the slow down becomes more distinct, the impact of tough conditions can often be stronger on mid to back of pack athletes.

Ironman Cozumel 2015 Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:58:19 9:58:19 9:58:19
M25-29 2 9:26:02 9:26:31 9:27:00
M30-34 3 9:01:51 9:16:42 9:36:36
M35-39 4 9:02:36 9:15:32 9:31:38
M40-44 4 9:13:02 9:23:53 9:32:24
M45-49 3 9:49:41 9:50:38 9:52:16
M50-54 2 9:43:53 9:57:32 10:11:11
M55-59 2 10:24:00 10:40:36 10:57:12
M60-64 1 11:07:48 11:07:48 11:07:48
M65-69 1 12:37:16 12:37:16 12:37:16
M70-74 1 13:42:18 13:42:18 13:42:18
M75-79 1 16:04:15 16:04:15 16:04:15
F18-24 1 10:51:57 10:51:57 10:51:57
F25-29 1 10:18:31 10:18:31 10:18:31
F30-34 2 10:20:43 10:32:46 10:44:49
F35-39 2 10:31:23 10:42:23 10:53:24
F40-44 2 10:09:00 10:18:27 10:27:55
F45-49 2 10:51:05 11:16:22 11:41:40
F50-54 1 11:23:52 11:23:52 11:23:52
F55-59 1 12:03:10 12:03:10 12:03:10
F60-64 1 12:51:39 12:51:39 12:51:39
F65-69 1 15:04:45 15:04:45 15:04:45
F70-74 1 16:47:50 16:47:50 16:47:50

The table above estimates the Kona slots that will be available in Cozumel based on start numbers. Actual figures may vary a little, but the times given offer a rough guide to the qualifying lines at this year’s race. For comparison with previous years and other Ironman races check out my Kona qualification page.

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

Looking at the tip twenty in each age group we once again see some variation between the different divisions. Overall, at the front of the race, I think 2015 looks to have been a touch slower than average, but not by that much. It’s not too dissimilar to 2014’s results either. Certainly not a fast qualifying year by finishing time, but competition appears to have been up to its usual standard.

This year’s race was slower than average, mostly that comes from the mid to back of pack. At the very front of the age group race, those looking to qualify, there wasn’t that much difference from usual, but take a step back outside the top 5-10 and finishing times start to drop off.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits for Ironman Cozumel 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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