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Ironman Western Australia 2015: Results and Analysis

Ironman Western Australia brings the Ironman year to a close (meaning I get a couple of months break from these analyses). Busselton offers the flattest Ironman course available; it’s pretty scenic too. If you can handle heat and potential winds it’s a fast course to qualify on. This year’s racers had to deal with strong winds and this is reflected in slower than usual results.

Distribution of Age Group Finisher Splits at Ironman Western Australia 2015 Compared With 2004-2014

Race day winds had a definite impact on the swim and bike, both see slower times across the age group field. To counter that the run was slightly faster, again this is across the field, although the impact is small of the front of the age group race. Overall times were down though, to the order of 10-15 minutes.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Western Australia
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2004 779 779 0% 779 0% 778 0.1% 0%
2005 700 609 13% 615 % 588 4.4% 16%
2006 850 788 7.3% 788 0% 767 2.7% 9.6%
2007 997 921 7.6% 918 0.3% 900 2% 9.6%
2008 1179 1071 9.2% 1065 0.6% 1029 3.4% 12.7%
2009 1313 1229 6.4% 1203 2.1% 1124 6.6% 14.4%
2010 1294 1201 7.2% 1195 0.5% 997 16.6% 22.9%
2011 1259 1243 1.3% 1222 1.7% 1180 3.4% 6.3%
2012 1507 1332 11.6% 1309 1.7% 1239 5.3% 17.7%
2013 1402 1365 2.6% 1362 0.2% 1330 2.3% 5.1%
2014 1699 1419 16.5% 1397 1.6% 1329 4.9% 21.8%
2015 1189 1142 4% 1125 1.5% 1092 2.9% 8.2%

As usual there’s a degree of confusion over the DNS and DNF numbers – it’s unclear if this year’s results list all entered athletes or only those who started. The DNF figures appear low enough to suggest that the results may consist of only the athletes who turned up to race (whereas 2014 likely contained all athletes who entered the race). If it’s a mix of DNF and DNS then Western Australia has a low rate of DNF, if it’s purely DNF then the rate is around the average. Either way there’s nothing exceptional in these numbers.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2015
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2014

The broad pattern for the age group medians is again a slower swim and bike, and faster run. It varies a little between the divisions, female age groups don’t appear to have been as affected on the bike as the men. For most age groups though we can see the slower times.

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

If we track a range of finishing positions over the last decade of racing 2015 was one of the slower years in Busselton. There have been slower – 2005 and 2011 stand out for some particularly slow results. We can also see how the impact of conditions on finishing times is more significant as you move back through the race. Age group winning times don’t vary that much over the last 10 years of racing.

Ironman Western Australia 2015 Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 10:01:04 10:01:04 10:01:04
M25-29 2 8:53:45 9:13:18 9:32:51
M30-34 3 8:49:39 8:52:31 8:54:16
M35-39 4 8:44:20 9:00:41 9:19:20
M40-44 4 9:08:08 9:16:47 9:24:36
M45-49 3 9:22:38 9:26:06 9:31:55
M50-54 3 10:07:05 10:10:45 10:16:51
M55-59 2 10:18:59 10:19:18 10:19:38
M60-64 1 11:11:17 11:11:17 11:11:17
M65-69 1 12:08:56 12:08:56 12:08:56
M70-74 1 12:36:42 12:36:42 12:36:42
M75-79 1 16:44:24 16:44:24 16:44:24
F18-24 1 10:18:32 10:18:32 10:18:32
F25-29 1 9:53:44 9:53:44 9:53:44
F30-34 2 9:49:46 9:54:39 9:59:33
F35-39 2 9:55:26 10:06:52 10:18:19
F40-44 2 9:56:42 10:04:31 10:12:20
F45-49 2 10:12:07 10:25:07 10:38:07
F50-54 1 11:05:31 11:05:31 11:05:31
F55-59 1 12:07:45 12:07:45 12:07:45
F60-64 1 12:38:37 12:38:37 12:38:37
F65-69 1 15:21:56 15:21:56 15:21:56

The table above lists slot allocation estimates for the race (I’ve not seen the final allocation to confirm numbers, but there’s likely some variance) and based on that allocation the automatic Kona qualifying times. For comparison with previous years and other races you can find all the figures on my Kona qualification page.

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

As mentioned, the impact of tough conditions on the front of the field tends to be much smaller. That was definitely the case this weekend and despite a slower event a good number of top twenty age groupers came in faster than average. It wasn’t the fastest race ever for qualification, but compared with the rest of the field the times at the front were still competitive.

Overall the race was slower, we can see the shift in results when we review the whole field. The major impact was on the mid to back of pack athletes which causes the shift in the median times. At the very front of the race conditions played less of a role and times are at least as fast as average for the course.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Western Australia 2015 on my Google Drive.

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Comments

  • Supergal007

    Was a very tough day mate. The swim was horrendous, we got thrown about quite a bit. The wind was a killer in certain sections of the course. When behind us it was awesome but heading back into the turn around and finish was hideous. Overall I’m glad to have received my 4th IM medal, although was my slowest IM to date. ??