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Ironman Australia 2017: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

Ironman Australia took place a couple of days ago, but Ironman.com’s lack of complete results (presently cutting out at the 14 hour mark) has delayed my analysis. It’s fortunate that they also linked to the timing website’s results as that’s enabled me to put together my usual analysis. The quick summary: Ironman Australia carried 40 Kona slots and this year’s event looks to have been par for the course.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Australia 2017 Compared with 2007-2016

We can see that the distributions for the 2017 race trend slightly slower than the aggregate of the previous 10 years. These aren’t huge changes and one factor in this shift seems to be a jump in the number of athletes at 14 hours and later (and similarly 7 hours and later on the bike). This double peak in the overall splits fits with the idea of a growing division between those competing and those completing.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Australia
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2005 1619 1539 4.9% 1092 29% 1366 % 15.6%
2006 1580 1510 4.4% 1475 2.3% 1448 1.8% 8.4%
2007 1620 1521 6.1% 1493 1.8% 1458 2.3% 10%
2008 1543 1460 5.4% 1432 1.9% 1410 1.5% 8.6%
2009 1400 1323 5.5% 1300 1.7% 1282 1.4% 8.4%
2010 1482 1458 1.6% 1422 2.5% 1384 2.7% 6.6%
2011 1070 1048 2.1% 1038 1% 1016 2.1% 5%
2012 1348 1342 0.4% 1323 1.4% 1298 1.9% 3.7%
2013 1603 1423 11.2% 1389 2.4% 1352 2.7% 15.7%
2014 1699 1505 11.4% 1480 1.7% 1451 2% 14.6%
2015 1530 1365 10.8% 1325 2.9% 1282 3.2% 16.2%
2016 1355 1345 0.7% 1325 1.5% 1294 2.3% 4.5%
2017 1132 1131 0.1% 1099 2.8% 1072 2.5% 5.3%

DNF rates for the race fall within race norms. Perhaps moving towards the high end for both bike and run, but the figures are hardly exceptional. There’s nothing here to suggest the race was in any way unusual for the course.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Australia 2017
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Australia 2007-2016

Median comparison across age groups shows small variations and small signs of a slower race, but again nothing is significant. On the other hand pro medians are faster than the aggregate – the race certainly wasn’t slower at the front.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Australia
Count Percentage
Australia 926 81.8
New Zealand 30 2.7
Philippines 26 2.3
United Kingdom 24 2.1
Japan 20 1.8
United States 15 1.3
Singapore 14 1.2
Thailand 10 0.9
China 8 0.7
Hong Kong 7 0.6
Ironman Australia 2017 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country Percentage of Slots Percentage of Field
Australia 85.0 81.8
South Africa 5.0 0.4
New Zealand 5.0 2.7
Japan 2.5 1.8
United Kingdom 2.5 2.1

The majority of athletes are Australian of course and they take slots in proportion to their size. The remainder of the field is spread across a mix of mostly pacific or southern hemisphere countries.

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

Tracking finishing place and times over the last 10 years of results shows that this year’s race doesn’t deviate too much from previous years. One point of note is that as we move back through the field we do see times dropping off more noticeably. While the front of the race is consistent with past results, the back appears to have slowed.

Ironman Australia 2017 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
  Slots Winner Average Kona Qualifier Final Qualifier
M18-24 1 9:59:28 9:59:28 9:59:28
M25-29 2 9:27:21 9:31:50 9:36:19
M30-34 3 9:11:24 9:17:02 9:20:10
M35-39 4 9:10:46 9:17:05 9:23:28
M40-44 4 9:08:20 9:34:27 9:47:42
M45-49 4 9:31:12 9:39:12 9:49:16
M50-54 3 9:52:49 10:02:57 10:10:57
M55-59 2 10:10:43 10:17:36 10:24:30
M60-64 1 10:36:16 10:36:16 10:36:16
M65-69 1 11:37:36 11:37:36 11:37:36
M70-74 1 14:28:31 14:28:31 14:28:31
F18-24 1 11:29:42 11:29:42 11:29:42
F25-29 1 10:19:57 10:19:57 10:19:57
F30-34 2 10:19:13 10:41:03 11:02:53
F35-39 2 10:49:09 10:50:28 10:51:48
F40-44 2 10:57:43 11:01:22 11:05:02
F45-49 2 10:34:36 10:53:38 11:12:41
F50-54 1 11:22:27 11:22:27 11:22:27
F55-59 1 12:31:05 12:31:05 12:31:05
F60-64 1 11:56:28 11:56:28 11:56:28
F65-69 1 14:51:38 14:51:38 14:51:38

I’ve estimated the slot allocation based on the number of athletes in the start list and used this to calculate likely qualifying times in each age group. The actual numbers will vary based on final start numbers and also roll downs that don’t factor into my calculations. You can check and compare these numbers against other races on my Kona qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Australia 2017
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Australia 2017

Finally, a looks at performances for the top twenty athletes in each age group. The trend here is average – sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower – it varies with age group. There’s no clear cut shift towards faster or slower times for the front of pack athletes. So, it looks to have been a typical year of racing for Kona slots in Port Macquarie, but with apparent growth at the back of the field.

You can access a spreadsheet of the results from Ironman Australia 2017 on my Google Drive.

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