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Ironman Xiaman 70.3 2016: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

The other Ironman race over the weekend was the second, new Chinese 70.3 – Xiamen. Ironman Xiamen 70.3 came with 40 standard Kona slots, plus an additional 10 for the fastest athletes over both races (from those who didn’t qualify normally). As a new race I don’t have historical data to compare, so for this analysis we’ll see how Xiamen stands up against Hefei and also how that compares with Weymouth, here in the UK.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Hefei 70.3 2016
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman 70.3 Weymouth 2016

It’s quite clear that Xiamen was a much slower race than either Hefei or, going further afield, Weymouth 70.3. The overall times are skewed towards the right in comparison to either of these races. Swim and run are both much slower, but the bike distribution is more comparable with Weymouth than Hefei. Hot conditions were a big factor in this race and most heavily impacted on the run.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Xiamen 70.3
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
Xiamen 1672 1647 1.5% 1617 1.8% 1548 4.3% 7.4%
Hefei 1272 1226 3.6% 1215 0.9% 1191 2% 6.4%
Staffordshire 2331 1878 19.4% 1853 1.3% 1828 1.3% 21.5%
Weymouth 1765 1404 20.5% 1394 0.7% 1345 3.5% 23.8%

The DNF rate in Xiamen is higher than in Hefei with far more DNFs on bike and run, but a lot less on the swim. Comparing with the UK numbers we need to remember that these include DNS statistics for all registered athletes which boosts the values. Putting DNS aside the DNF rates in the two UK races are likely lower too.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Hefei 70.3 2016
Median Split by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Weymouth 2016

Comparing age group medians emphasises how it’s swim and run that have slowed the results at this race. The bike medians are, again, comparable with those produced in Weymouth, but swim and run are much slower than either of the other events.

Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country Percentage of Slots Percentage of Field
United Kingdom 10.0 1.8
Japan 10.0 1.7
Hong Kong 10.0 6.0
Switzerland 7.5 0.4
Australia 7.5 1.7
United States 7.5 3.2
China 7.5 71.2
Germany 5.0 1.4
Singapore 2.5 1.6
Russia 2.5 0.2
Philippines 2.5 0.3
Canada 2.5 0.7
Belgium 2.5 0.2
Taiwan 2.5 2.3
Denmark 2.5 0.2
Austria 2.5 0.2
Croatia 2.5 0.1
Netherlands 2.5 0.4
Guatemala 2.5 0.1
South Africa 2.5 0.3
Spain 2.5 0.7
2.5 0.4

Although slots have been allocated I’ve not seen the official list, so the above table use my own calculations based on race numbers. Assuming that slot distribution is correct and no roll downs took place (I believe some may have), I’ve estimated the athletes who would have automatically qualified and counted their nationalities. It’s a broad mix who’ve taken home slots, but this time a number of Chinese athletes have placed in qualifying positions.

The UK also did well in this chart, I’m pleased to say one of my athletes make up the numbers of those taking home slots.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Xiamen 70.3
Count Percentage
China 1190 71.2
Hong Kong 100 6
United States 54 3.2
Taiwan 39 2.3
United Kingdom 30 1.8
Australia 29 1.7
Japan 29 1.7
Singapore 26 1.6
Germany 23 1.4
France 19 1.1

There was a bigger Chinese contingent at this race over Hefei. Beyond that a wide range of other nationalities made the journey for those Kona slots.

Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 2 4:59:21 4:59:28 4:59:36
M25-29 3 4:24:57 4:29:56 4:34:00
M30-34 5 4:22:47 4:37:22 4:47:03
M35-39 4 4:28:24 4:34:42 4:41:02
M40-44 5 4:26:47 4:37:46 4:48:03
M45-49 3 4:35:01 4:36:56 4:40:17
M50-54 2 4:42:36 4:44:43 4:46:51
M55-59 1 5:19:42 5:19:42 5:19:42
M60-64 1 5:31:10 5:31:10 5:31:10
M65-69 1 5:28:07 5:28:07 5:28:07
M75-79 1 7:13:25 7:13:25 7:13:25
F18-24 1 5:32:42 5:32:42 5:32:42
F25-29 2 4:51:08 4:52:52 4:54:37
F30-34 2 5:14:59 5:17:14 5:19:29
F35-39 1 4:50:03 4:50:03 4:50:03
F40-44 2 5:04:03 5:06:05 5:08:08
F45-49 1 5:37:50 5:37:50 5:37:50
F50-54 1 5:38:27 5:38:27 5:38:27
F55-59 1 5:41:59 5:41:59 5:41:59
F60-64 1 6:38:10 6:38:10 6:38:10

Again, using my own calculation of slot allocations, I’ve listed the automatic qualifying times for each age group. You can’t compare these with full distance qualifiers, but they’re clearly slower than those from Hefei. You can view more statistics on qualification on my Kona qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016

Looking at times for the age group top twenties at both Xiamen and Hefei really emphasises how much slower Xiamen was. As we often see the difference is smaller at the very front of each age group, in some cases very small, but Xiamen was consistently the slower event. There’s also a bigger drop off in finisher times in the top twenties at Xiamen than at Hefei, challenging conditions appear to have whittled down the field.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Xiamen 70.3 2016 on my Google Drive.

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