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Ironman Lake Placid 2016: Results and Kona Qualification Analysis

Second race of the weekend – Ironman Lake Placid. The biggest of the events with over 3,000 entries (fewer starters mind), but still the standard 40 Kona slots on offer to the fastest age groupers. It looks to have been a slow year based on the results with times in all three disciplines trailing behind the course averages.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Lake Placid 2016 Compared with 2002-2015

A quick glance at the distributions above is enough to show how this year’s race trended slower than the aggregated course results. It’s worth noting how in both bike and run peak split times are consistent with past results, but there’s much more weight in the rear half of each histogram. So although times appear slower across the field there’s a particularly heavy middle to back of pack really pulling the medians down.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Lake Placid
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2002 2062 1834 11.1% 1773 3.3% 1624 8.4% 20.6%
2003 2066 1829 11.5% 1763 3.6% 1671 5.2% 19%
2004 2277 1939 14.8% 1921 0.9% 1882 2% 17.3%
2006 2446 2141 12.5% 2108 1.5% 2036 3.4% 16.7%
2007 2528 2177 13.9% 2138 1.8% 2051 4.1% 18.9%
2008 2587 2305 10.9% 2259 2% 2193 2.9% 15.2%
2009 2566 2239 12.7% 2159 3.6% 2051 5% 20.1%
2010 3013 2536 15.8% 2551 % 2471 3.1% 18%
2011 2902 2459 15.3% 2430 1.2% 2356 3% 18.8%
2012 2896 2555 11.8% 2435 4.7% 2280 6.4% 21.3%
2013 2536 2477 2.3% 2426 2.1% 2342 3.5% 7.6%
2014 2762 1738 2362 % 2293 2.9% 17%
2015 2798 2300 17.8% 2235 2.8% 2093 6.4% 25.2%
2016 3055 2484 18.7% 2387 3.9% 2268 5% 25.8%

Entry numbers are the highest at this year’s event and so too are the combined DNS/DNF statistics. In all three disciplines the DNF/DNS rate runs at the high end for this event. I can’t say what pushed the DNF/DNS rate up, the numbers are comparable with last year though. It may be conditions were tough at Lake Placid yesterday, but potentially we may also see greater numbers of DNF from the extra weight towards the back of pack.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Lake Placid 2016
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Lake Placid 2002-2015

As we’d expect after the distributions, median splits for age groups largely trend slower than before. It’s true across all 3 disciplines and most age groups.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Lake Placid
Count Percentage
United States 2667 87.3
Canada 196 6.4
United Kingdom 37 1.2
Philippines 15 0.5
Ireland 13 0.4
Spain 10 0.3
Australia 10 0.3
Japan 9 0.3
India 6 0.2
Mexico 6 0.2

The majority of athletes at Lake Placid are, unsurprisingly, from North America. It’s not often we see India among the 10 most numerous nationalities at an Ironman.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Lake Placid
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Lake Placid

Tracking the finishing times for top 100 finishers at Lake Placid actually places this year’s race on a par with previous events. This may reflect the size of the field – some age groups will number over 400 athletes putting 100th place in top to middle of pack. These particular charts may miss the influence of that bulk of middle to back of pack athletes seen in the distribution charts.

Ironman Lake Placid 2016 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:38:58 9:38:58 9:38:58
M25-29 2 9:17:12 9:24:23 9:31:34
M30-34 2 9:07:15 9:13:21 9:19:27
M35-39 3 9:27:52 9:44:30 9:53:50
M40-44 4 9:44:57 9:52:06 10:00:07
M45-49 3 9:31:14 9:47:17 9:56:09
M50-54 3 9:41:30 10:09:24 10:32:08
M55-59 2 10:13:09 10:34:47 10:56:26
M60-64 1 11:31:46 11:31:46 11:31:46
M65-69 1 14:07:58 14:07:58 14:07:58
M70-74 1 14:29:13 14:29:13 14:29:13
M75-79 1 16:20:48 16:20:48 16:20:48
F18-24 1 11:15:09 11:15:09 11:15:09
F25-29 1 10:10:48 10:10:48 10:10:48
F30-34 2 10:20:49 10:22:44 10:24:39
F35-39 2 10:53:56 10:56:40 10:59:24
F40-44 2 10:21:33 10:24:15 10:26:58
F45-49 2 11:24:16 11:30:22 11:36:28
F50-54 2 11:19:54 11:39:14 11:58:34
F55-59 1 12:07:12 12:07:12 12:07:12
F60-64 1 13:19:06 13:19:06 13:19:06
F65-69 1 13:54:24 13:54:24 13:54:24
F70-74 1 15:35:26 15:35:26 15:35:26

Based on the athlete list I’ve calculated the slot allocation for Lake Placid and the automatic qualifying times from the results. Exact start numbers and roll downs will likely affect some of these times. For comparison with previous years and other races check my Kona Qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Lake Placid 2016
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Lake Placid 2016

There’s no consistent pattern to the top twenty results in each age group – some came out slower this year, others faster. This was certainly not the slowest year for qualifying on the course, nor was it the fastest. The results fall within the range we’ve seen at Lake Placid, although not consistently enough to imply a trend. My feel is that the front of pack athletes were largely on par with previous years, but as we’ve seen in other races the growing number of competitors is expanding the middle to back of pack and pulling down averages.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Lake Placid 2016 on my Google Drive.

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Comments

  • David

    Coach Cox in 2014 Ironman Lake Placid changed the normal bike course. I think making the bike course harder. Your legs could recover a little before climbing back up to Placid. Now you don’t have as long to recover. So increased time on the bike = increased fatigue. Just seeing a trend in median bike times in the last 2 years.

  • George

    I think Global Warming in general is having/going to have a bigger impact in future endurance races in the US. 2015 IMLP was hot & 2016 IMLP LUCKED out as the rest of the country was on fire in a heat wave. It’s a shame when heat ruins any Tri but in the afternoon hours on 7/24 those runners will tell you it was hot this year. So I believe that heat contributed to the rise in DNFs as well…….along with the challenging bike course and the largest field. Great they’re doing a 70.3 in LP in September this year. Awesome.

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