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Ironman Copenhagen 2016: Results and Kona Qualification Analysis

The second of the four Ironman races over the weekend was Ironman Copenhagen. Coming the day after Sweden, it shares similar attributes with that race – high entry numbers, a fast course and 40 Kona slots. This year’s event appears to trend slightly slower than the course averages, but not by very much.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Copenhagen 2016 Compared with 2013-2015

A slower swim, similar bike and slower run appear to be the patterns for the 2016 race. Swim times are down slightly, but run times take more of a knock. It’s enough of a change to see a rightward shift in the overall median, although the impact at the front of the age group race is less severe.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Copenhagen
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2013 2025 1862 8% 1826 1.9% 1776 2.7% 12.3%
2014 2893 2508 13.3% 2438 2.8% 2370 2.8% 18%
2015 2789 2395 14.1% 2363 1.3% 2258 4.4% 19%
2016 2848 2408 15.4% 2381 1.1% 2265 4.9% 20.5%

There’s a small increase in this year’s DNF/DNS rates, with a particular shift in the run percentage. It would appear that run conditions may have been less favourable. Swim percentage also changes, but I can’t say how much of that shift comes from DNS rates versus DNF rates.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Copenhagen 2016
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Copenhagen 2013-2015

As before, the biggest difference when comparing the median splits comes on the run, where this year’s times are clearly slower. The swim also trends slightly slower, but by a less significant margin. On the bike the variation isn’t as clean cut and most age groups are comparable with previous results.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Copenhagen
Count Percentage
Denmark 1516 53.2
United Kingdom 313 11
Sweden 184 6.5
Finland 118 4.1
Norway 101 3.5
Germany 87 3.1
Israel 65 2.3
United States 45 1.6
Spain 42 1.5
Ireland 41 1.4

Unsurprisingly it’s a largely Danish contingent at this race, but like Sweden there’s a good mix of other nationalities. A lot of Brits were racing over the weekend.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Copenhagen
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Copenhagen

There hasn’t been a huge variation in finishing times over the four years Copenhagen has been run as an Ironman event. It’s fair to say that while the averages for this race may have come out slower it’s not by much. Finishing times mostly fall within range of previous year’s results.

Ironman Copenhagen 2016 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 2 9:07:26 9:16:57 9:26:29
M25-29 3 9:05:32 9:08:05 9:09:50
M30-34 3 8:40:34 8:42:59 8:44:53
M35-39 3 8:49:01 8:55:14 8:58:42
M40-44 5 8:42:05 9:01:50 9:14:08
M45-49 4 8:59:08 9:20:26 9:28:37
M50-54 3 9:33:42 9:41:31 9:48:36
M55-59 2 9:45:12 10:04:21 10:23:31
M60-64 1 12:01:58 12:01:58 12:01:58
M65-69 1 12:54:39 12:54:39 12:54:39
M70-74 1 14:35:21 14:35:21 14:35:21
F18-24 1 9:49:27 9:49:27 9:49:27
F25-29 1 9:42:00 9:42:00 9:42:00
F30-34 1 9:37:53 9:37:53 9:37:53
F35-39 2 10:02:21 10:07:34 10:12:47
F40-44 2 9:57:58 10:14:00 10:30:03
F45-49 1 10:18:47 10:18:47 10:18:47
F50-54 1 11:00:57 11:00:57 11:00:57
F55-59 1 11:20:01 11:20:01 11:20:01

As usual I’ve calculated slot allocations based on the athlete list and from that automatic qualifying times (numbers will vary based on start numbers and roll down). Although it doesn’t quite match Sweden this is a fast qualifier. For a number of male age group you need to finish in the low 9 hours or faster and for many female age groups you’ll need to finish comfortably under 10 hours. You can compare these times with other races on my Kona qualification page.

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

For the most part the top twenty finishers in each age group are close to the course averages. There are two notable exceptions: M30-34 and M35-39. In both these age groups the top finishers, those likely to claim Kona slots, were significantly faster than average. In fact, times are close or better than the best on the course. Clearly a strong field in both those divisions at this year’s race.

Overall it was business as usual in Copenhagen. Across the field times were slightly slower, but at the front of the race competition was high. It doesn’t quite match the neighbouring Swedish race, but Copenhagen remains one of the faster European courses.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Copenhagen 2016 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.

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