The final Ironman race of 2019 was Ironman Argentina, the South American Ironman Championship. It’s a relatively new race that draws a small field of age group competitors, but as a regional championship it comes with 75 Kona slots. That works out as Ironman World Championship qualification for roughly 12% of the field. Times from the course are relatively fast, at least at the qualifying end of the race.
The 2018 swim was short so those splits and overall times from 2018 are removed from the amalgamated results
Comparing the distributions we see a much faster swim at this year’s race in comparison with 2017 (2018 swim times excluded). The bike trends slower at the median, but is comparable for the top 5%, and the run trends faster overall. The cumulative result is a much faster race than in 2017 (2018 overall results excluded due to the swim). It’s worth noting the double peak of the overall distribution – partly a result of a small field of athletes, but also indicating a separation between front-of-pack and those further back in the field.
The DNF rate rose on both bike and run at this year’s race pushing overall DNF over the 10% mark. That’s high, but by no means exceptional for Ironman. With a small field we tend to see slightly higher DNF numbers from a race though.
Age group median data follows the trends set out in the distribution: faster swim and run, slower bike. There is variation in this pattern across age groups, again a consequence of the low athlete numbers and greater variance within these age groups.
I’ve previously identified Argentina as a good qualifier and speculated about this drawing in a more international field. It certainly seems to pull in a higher than usual level of athletes from outside Argentina and South America. Kona slots get spread quite widely too.
Tracking the age group times for specific positions gives limited feedback as there’s a limited history to consider. 2018 times are all fast due to the shorter swim and with small age groups we see a lot of variance in how times have shifted compared with 2017. It doesn’t appear that much faster (if at all) in many instances.
Based on the start list I’ve calculated the Kona slot allocation and from that automatic qualification times for Ironman Argentina. This doesn’t factor in roll down and at least one slot will have rolled due to no finishers in an age group. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.
This year’s top twenty times in each age group aren’t too dissimilar to 2017. They probably trend a little faster than that year, but trail the average which includes 2018’s results. Overall I would say qualification times were consistent with previous events, allowing for an adjusted course.
Ironman Argentina remains a good qualification option with the highest ratio of slots you will find at Ironman. It’s worth bearing in mind that qualification times are tight – 13 slots in M40-44 spanning just 17 minutes for example. Athletes are there to compete for these slots and still need to be in Kona qualifying fitness to have a chance.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Argentina 2019 on my Google Drive.