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Ironman Arizona 2017: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

Ironman Arizona is this week’s race. As a long standing US Ironman, Arizona draws a large field with over 2,500 athletes making the start line. It receives the standard 40 Kona slot allocation to divide among the age groups. Qualifying times tend to be highly competitive. This year’s race looks to have trended slower than usual.

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

Every split trends slower than the 10 year aggregated data for this year’s race, the shift is enough to impact from front to back. While there are times as fast as previous years, they are fewer in number. The run is most significantly affected with this year’s race being around 25 minutes slower at the median. Naturally, the impact is over 40 minutes on overall times at the mid point.

DNS and DNF Rates at Ironman Arizona
Year
Listed Athletes
Swim Finish
Swim DNS/DNF
Bike Finish
Bike DNF
Run Finish
Run DNF
Overall DNS/DNF
2005
2147
1794
16.4%
1762
1.8%
1682
4.5%
21.7%
2006
2254
1929
14.4%
1882
2.4%
1723
8.4%
23.6%
2007
2462
2046
16.9%
1977
3.4%
1861
5.9%
24.4%
2008
2414
2022
16.2%
1866
7.7%
1689
9.5%
30%
2008
2656
2191
17.5%
2156
1.6%
2077
3.7%
21.8%
2009
2656
2171
18.3%
2156
0.7%
2077
3.7%
21.8%
2010
2894
2471
14.6%
2482
%
2397
3.4%
17.2%
2011
2768
2360
14.7%
2308
2.2%
2217
3.9%
19.9%
2012
2940
2504
14.8%
2445
2.4%
2379
2.7%
19.1%
2013
2702
2637
2.4%
2594
1.6%
2520
2.9%
6.7%
2014
3203
2639
17.6%
2518
4.6%
2390
5.1%
25.4%
2015
2683
2426
9.6%
2328
4%
2211
5%
17.6%
2016
2445
2325
4.9%
2272
2.3%
2200
3.2%
10%
2017
2551
2540
0.4%
2409
5.2%
2232
7.3%
12.5%

DNF stats for this year correctly account for DNS so we see the low percentage of drop outs at the swim (no DNS figures included). Both bike and run display higher rates of DNF than usual, pushing towards the highest levels for the course. Combined with the slower distribution this does suggest a tough year on the course.

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

As always age group medians stats follow the trends of the distributions and we see slower median times across every age division. The same is not true of the pro stats for this years race which are comparable or faster than the aggregate data.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Arizona
Country
Count
Percentage
United States
2686
82.2
Canada
143
4.4
Mexico
82
2.5
Puerto Rico
66
2
United Kingdom
25
0.8
Philippines
20
0.6
Costa Rica
20
0.6
Germany
19
0.6
Australia
15
0.5
Ireland
13
0.4
Ironman Arizona 2017 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country
Percentage of Slots
Percentage of Field
United States
75.0
82.2
Switzerland
5.0
0.2
Germany
2.5
0.6
Canada
2.5
4.4
Ecuador
2.5
0.1
South Africa
2.5
0.2
Brazil
2.5
0.3
United Kingdom
2.5
0.8
Sweden
2.5
0.3

There’s the usual majority North American field for a US race, but Arizona draws a wider field and distributes Kona slots quite broadly.

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

Tracking the times for specific positions within the age groups shows a definite up tick to this year’s times. As is often the case this is more pronounced further back in the field and minimal for the top position. Considering first places only, this year’s race doesn’t diverge that much from previous results, but further back times move towards the slower end of the set.

Ironman Arizona 2017 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Average Kona Qualifier
Final Qualifier
M18-24
1
09:08:50
09:08:50
09:08:50
M25-29
1
09:06:53
09:06:53
09:06:53
M30-34
2
08:43:55
08:48:08
08:52:22
M35-39
3
08:57:58
09:15:04
09:28:36
M40-44
3
09:11:38
09:33:15
09:45:10
M45-49
4
09:21:29
09:33:16
09:40:06
M50-54
3
09:49:20
09:58:48
10:04:11
M55-59
2
09:55:37
10:05:04
10:14:32
M60-64
2
10:26:36
10:47:45
11:08:54
M65-69
1
12:39:49
12:39:49
12:39:49
M70-74
1
13:42:35
13:42:35
13:42:35
F18-24
1
11:38:40
11:38:40
11:38:40
F25-29
1
10:21:32
10:21:32
10:21:32
F30-34
2
09:42:56
09:44:22
09:45:48
F35-39
2
09:45:20
10:02:09
10:18:59
F40-44
2
10:05:34
10:11:37
10:17:41
F45-49
2
10:18:34
10:19:30
10:20:26
F50-54
2
10:54:09
11:00:45
11:07:21
F55-59
1
11:50:06
11:50:06
11:50:06
F60-64
1
12:22:47
12:22:47
12:22:47
F65-69
1
13:28:43
13:28:43
13:28:43
F70-74
1
15:02:30
15:02:30
15:02:30

I’ve estimated the slot allocation based on the start numbers and from that calculated a final qualifier time that would automatically grant a Kona slot. Actually numbers may have varied slightly and roll down would impact final times. For more detailed information and comparison with other races, check out my Kona qualification page.

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

There’s a mix of performances in the top twenty of each age group. As a broad pattern the younger age groups trended slower than the course averages while the older ones were at least as fast. While the bulk of the race appears much slower this year and that is also true for some of the front of pack, it’s less clear cut. At the very front, the age group podiums, there’s not that much difference to previous years.

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

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