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Ironman Barcelona 2016: Results and Kona Qualification Analysis

We’re back in Europe for the third and final Ironman of the weekend: Ironman Barcelona. In it’s third year under the Ironman brand, it’s a popular race offering the standard 40 slots for the 2017 World Champs. As a general rule it’s a fast course, but conditions can be hot which always make for a challenging race. This year looks to have been at the slower end of the scale for Barcelona.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Barcelona 2016 Compared with 2014-2015

A quick comparison of the split distributions shows that 2016 was a slower year than results from the previous two. Not hugely slower, 10-20 minutes at most, but both bike and run trended behind the 2014 and 2015 data. With relatively small changes like these it’s hard to say what might be a factor – course, conditions and competitors all play a role.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Barcelona
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2014 2536 2135 15.8% 2067 3.2% 1946 5.9% 23.3%
2015 2556 2150 15.9% 2129 1% 2056 3.4% 19.6%
2016 2836 2463 13.2% 2421 1.7% 2346 3.1% 17.3%

Despite the slower race times the DNF rate appear to have fallen at this year’s race. It rode very slightly on the bike, but otherwise is down. That would point away from conditions being too extreme, we’d typically see both a slowing and an increase in DNF rates.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Barcelona 2016
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Barcelona 2014-2015

The rough trend across age group medians is also for slightly slower bike and run splits in 2016. The change in run times is true in the pro field too. As these aren’t huge changes there are also age groups that buck the trend like M50-54.

Ironman Barcelona 2016 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country Percentage of Slots Percentage of Field
Germany 20.0 4.5
United Kingdom 17.5 20.8
Denmark 12.5 2.3
Spain 10.0 12.7
Switzerland 7.5 1.3
Sweden 5.0 3.0
France 5.0 4.4
Russia 5.0 7.5
Netherlands 2.5 0.9
Italy 2.5 3.1
Finland 2.5 4.2
Ireland 2.5 7.7
Poland 2.5 2.2
Belgium 2.5 1.9
Norway 2.5 2.8

A broad spread of nationalities took the slot positions at this year’s race. Germany taking the most, followed by a very large UK contingent.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Barcelona
Count Percentage
United Kingdom 591 20.8
Spain 360 12.7
Ireland 219 7.7
Russia 212 7.5
Germany 128 4.5
France 124 4.4
Finland 118 4.2
Italy 87 3.1
Sweden 86 3
Norway 79 2.8

Surprisingly the British outnumber the Spanish at this race. There’s a strong spread of athletes from around Europe racing in Barcelona though.

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

The variation in finishing times at this year’s race is too small to really pull out any kind of trend over the 3 years of Ironman race results. Although it’s a slower year, it’s not a significantly slower year and falls within the bounds we might expect of Barcelona.

Ironman Barcelona 2016 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:46:33 9:46:33 9:46:33
M25-29 2 8:46:44 8:47:13 8:47:43
M30-34 3 8:46:32 8:53:24 8:58:57
M35-39 4 8:42:41 8:55:24 9:07:27
M40-44 5 8:52:46 8:59:23 9:06:37
M45-49 4 9:11:05 9:14:37 9:16:23
M50-54 3 9:27:33 9:35:04 9:40:33
M55-59 2 9:31:15 9:33:16 9:35:18
M60-64 1 10:50:07 10:50:07 10:50:07
M65-69 1 10:40:49 10:40:49 10:40:49
M70-74 1 14:39:01 14:39:01 14:39:01
F18-24 1 11:02:01 11:02:01 11:02:01
F25-29 1 9:22:14 9:22:14 9:22:14
F30-34 1 9:51:33 9:51:33 9:51:33
F35-39 2 9:31:26 9:38:36 9:45:47
F40-44 2 9:26:56 9:48:32 10:10:08
F45-49 2 9:47:29 9:52:18 9:57:07
F50-54 1 10:33:06 10:33:06 10:33:06
F55-59 1 10:32:03 10:32:03 10:32:03
F60-64 1 12:08:05 12:08:05 12:08:05
F65-69 1 15:03:56 15:03:56 15:03:56

I’ve estimated the Kona slots for this year’s race based on the athlete list, the actual allocation will depend on how many athletes started. Assuming no roll downs the times above are the automatic qualifying times at this year’s race. You can compare them with other races on my Kona qualification page.

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

For female age groups the top twenty times trend close to average. However, for the major male age groups, 30 through to 50, mostly times trend slower. Age group winners tend to fall very close to the course averages though and don’t differ much from previous results, as you go further back we see slower times. Clearly it wasn’t the easiest conditions on the day and that had some impact on race times.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Barcelona 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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