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Ironman Western Australia 2016: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

The 2016 Ironman calendar wrapped up in Western Australia over the weekend. Ironman Western Australia, in Busselton, is a mid-sized race with the standard 40 Kona slots on offer. It’s a flat course, but conditions can be windy and hot and at times you can wish for a hill to break up the pace. Finishing times there trend towards the faster end of the Ironman scale.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Western Australia 2016 Compared with 2004-2015

The distributions for this year’s race fit very closely with those for the aggregation of previous results. There have been course changes mixed into the last decade of racing in Busselton, but the broad pattern of results hasn’t changed that much. 2016 doesn’t appear to be an exception.

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%
2016 1382 1374 0.6% 1347 2% 1318 2.2% 4.6%

The swim DNF numbers at this year’s race were particularly low, but bike DNF was slightly higher. In the end, with a lower run DNF rate too, this race appears to have had a particularly low overall number of DNFs.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2016
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2015

A lot of the male age group medians appear improved in this years race compared with the aggregated data. Although this is not the case for the youngest age groupers. The women’s results are more varied in comparison, with some faster age group medians and some slower. It’s worth also noting both male and female pro medians were faster at this year’s event.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Western Australia
Count Percentage
Australia 951 68.8
Japan 81 5.9
United Kingdom 65 4.7
Singapore 51 3.7
New Zealand 37 2.7
United States 24 1.7
Ireland 21 1.5
Germany 16 1.2
France 14 1
Malaysia 12 0.9

Western Australia is a long way away for many of us, but it does a good job of pulling in athletes from around the globe. 30% of the field come from outside Australia.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Western Australia
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Western Australia

How this year’s results compare with previous years depends a lot on the age group and finishing position you consider. There’s an uptick for some age groups and down turns for others. Variations tend to be small though and would suggest that this years race is not dissimilar to any of the last four or five.

Ironman Western Australia 2016 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:44:37 9:44:37 9:44:37
M25-29 2 8:54:49 8:56:00 8:57:11
M30-34 3 8:42:40 8:45:05 8:48:54
M35-39 3 8:48:33 8:56:47 9:05:39
M40-44 4 8:45:02 8:55:39 9:06:52
M45-49 3 9:12:57 9:18:11 9:25:59
M50-54 3 9:29:46 9:33:43 9:38:05
M55-59 2 9:27:38 9:43:18 9:58:59
M60-64 1 9:59:50 9:59:50 9:59:50
M65-69 1 11:46:44 11:46:44 11:46:44
M70-74 1 12:03:54 12:03:54 12:03:54
M75-79 1 16:49:46 16:49:46 16:49:46
F18-24 1 10:42:46 10:42:46 10:42:46
F25-29 1 9:42:17 9:42:17 9:42:17
F30-34 2 10:06:34 10:09:30 10:12:27
F35-39 2 9:56:10 10:03:03 10:09:57
F40-44 2 10:16:14 10:18:20 10:20:27
F45-49 2 9:50:14 10:14:09 10:38:05
F50-54 2 11:11:42 11:32:14 11:52:46
F55-59 1 10:58:06 10:58:06 10:58:06
F60-64 1 13:06:04 13:06:04 13:06:04
F65-69 1 16:26:45 16:26:45 16:26:45

The above table uses my calculation for slot allocation based on the athlete tracker numbers, from there it calculates qualifying times assuming no roll down. Final start numbers may have varied and the qualifying time with that. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.

Ironman Western Australia 2016 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country Percentage of Slots Percentage of Field
Australia 77.5 68.8
Switzerland 7.5 0.4
United States 5.0 1.7
Germany 2.5 1.2
Belgium 2.5 0.2
Denmark 2.5 0.3
France 2.5 1.0

Taking those automatic qualifying times I’ve then determine the nationalities of qualifiers to see where the Koan slots went. As is normally the case the majority went to the home nation, the remainder were picked up by US and European athletes.

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

One thing that’s clear is while the medians look the same as usual, the top twenty in most male age groups were well ahead of the averages. Times are up there with the fastest races in Western Australia. This is also the case for a few of the female age groups, those between 35 and 50. Outside of that results are closer to the averages or slower.

Overall it looks like conditions were quite fair and enabled some fast times at the front of the race. This was balanced out across the field though which kept the medians in line with previous results. I’d put 2016 as a faster than average race in Busselton.

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