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Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017: Age Group Results

There were no full distance Ironman brand events over the weekend, but there was a 70.3 here in the UK. Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 was held for the third time in what were unusually hot conditions for the UK (temperatures hitting 30C). As you would expect, when temperatures are higher than normal a race slows down. This was the slowest year by far for Staffordshire 70.3

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017 Compared with 2015-2016

Heat always has the biggest impact on run splits and that’s obvious in the above distributions. It’s the run that sees the biggest shift to slower time, the bike is also slower and they combine to give a roughly 10-15 minute shift to median finish times.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3
Listed Athletes Swim Finish Swim DNS/DNF Bike Finish Bike DNF Run Finish Run DNF Overall DNS/DNF
2015 2374 2012 15.2% 1977 1.7% 1952 1.3% 17.8%
2016 2331 1878 19.4% 1853 1.3% 1828 1.3% 21.5%
2017 1721 1717 0.2% 1699 1% 1653 2.7% 4%

As changes in listing methods on the athletes tracker heavily affect whether I can identify DNS numbers I’ll stick to the bike and run DNF numbers in my commentary. The DNF on the bike is lower than before, but the DNF on the run is more than double. It’s a small number of years to look at, but does suggest heat really hit the run.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2015-2016

Naturally when we compare medians for individual age divisions we see a very similar pattern with slower bikes and more significantly slower run times.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3

The scale on the above charts makes the change quite subtle, but the general trend was to slower times across all age groups and positions. There are a limited number of exceptions and the slowing is more pronounced further back in the age groups.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017

Still, for many age groups the top twenties were slower than average and the slowest for the three years of racing. Again, not all and not consistently over the twenty placings. Generally those at the very front of their age group were closest to the average for the course. A few age groups, like the M30-34, performed better in the heat, but most didn’t.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 2017 on my Google Drive.

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