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Ironman 70.3 in China: Race Analyses and Kona Qualification

Ironman has removed Kona slots from all but a handful of its Ironman 70.3 races. There are exceptions, most notably every Ironman 70.3 race held in China comes with a number of qualifying slots. To complete my analysis of qualifying half distance races I’m going to review 2018 results from Ironman 70.3 Xiamen, Ironman 70.3 Qujing and Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou.

All the Chinese races are relatively new, between 1 and 3 years old. A fourth 2018 race, Ironman 70.3 Chongqing was also cancelled, but may return in 2019 although a date has yet to be set. Next year will also see a new addition in the form of Ironman 70.3 Shanghai so there are a number of qualifying options in China.

This post will be heavy on tables and charts and light on review.

Age Group Results Distributions

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman 70.3 Qujing 2018
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou 2018

I’m not going to go into detailed comparison between the racers given the relatively shortage of results data and history to work with. There’s nothing immediately notable about the 2018 distributions. These races are clearly not the fastest courses, but equally they aren’t particularly slow.

DNF Rates

DNS and DNF Rates at 2018 Chinese Ironman 70.3 Races
Year
Listed Athletes
Swim Finish
Swim DNS/DNF
Bike Finish
Bike DNF
Run Finish
Run DNF
Overall DNS/DNF
Liuzhou
543
484
10.9%
484
484
10.9%
Qujing
267
257
3.7%
257
257
3.7%
Xiamen
962
949
1.4%
949
949
1.4%

The DNF data from the Chinese races are a little unclear as splits only appear to be provided for those that finished. This means that the figures above may well simply represent the base DNS level for the race.

Age Group Median Splits

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Qujing 2018
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou 2018

Xiamen appears to be the fastest of the three events, particularly in terms of its bike course. It’s harder to read anything more from the median data with this mix of races all at relatively low competitor numbers.

Ironman 70.3 Xiamen Qualification (30 Slots)

Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Average Kona Qualifier
Final Qualifier
M18-24
1
04:12:23
04:12:23
04:12:23
M25-29
2
04:01:35
04:01:51
04:02:08
M30-34
3
04:06:53
04:07:17
04:07:41
M35-39
3
04:04:07
04:10:42
04:18:03
M40-44
3
04:20:20
04:22:13
04:23:55
M45-49
2
04:24:44
04:26:08
04:27:32
M50-54
1
04:18:55
04:18:55
04:18:55
M55-59
1
04:41:02
04:41:02
04:41:02
M60-64
1
04:58:41
04:58:41
04:58:41
M65-69
1
05:00:15
05:00:15
05:00:15
M70-74
1
05:56:48
05:56:48
05:56:48
M75-79
1
07:25:06
07:25:06
07:25:06
F18-24
1
04:56:41
04:56:41
04:56:41
F25-29
1
04:35:21
04:35:21
04:35:21
F30-34
1
04:48:24
04:48:24
04:48:24
F35-39
1
04:55:14
04:55:14
04:55:14
F40-44
1
04:35:46
04:35:46
04:35:46
F45-49
1
04:56:34
04:56:34
04:56:34
F50-54
1
05:22:35
05:22:35
05:22:35
F55-59
1
05:51:40
05:51:40
05:51:40
F60-64
1
05:49:09
05:49:09
05:49:09
F65-69
1
05:55:26
05:55:26
05:55:26

A limited pool of slots means only a few male age groups get more than 1 slot. That makes qualification odds relatively short. Athletes must choose between a Kona slot or a 70.3 Championship slot, but I imagine the former is the more popular of the two. As such and with roll down the final qualifying times may vary.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018

Ironman 70.3 Qujing Qualification (30 Slots)

Ironman 70.3 Qujing 2018 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Average Kona Qualifier
Final Qualifier
M18-24
1
04:37:31
04:37:31
04:37:31
M25-29
2
04:44:02
04:50:07
04:56:13
M30-34
3
04:16:30
04:25:38
04:35:09
M35-39
3
04:32:10
04:36:34
04:42:38
M40-44
3
04:41:11
04:44:07
04:47:52
M45-49
2
04:44:34
04:46:29
04:48:25
M50-54
1
04:46:01
04:46:01
04:46:01
M55-59
1
04:46:41
04:46:41
04:46:41
M60-64
1
05:39:18
05:39:18
05:39:18
M65-69
1
05:39:47
05:39:47
05:39:47
M70-74
1
06:53:11
06:53:11
06:53:11
F18-24
1
05:35:09
05:35:09
05:35:09
F25-29
1
05:11:33
05:11:33
05:11:33
F30-34
1
05:33:40
05:33:40
05:33:40
F35-39
1
05:14:57
05:14:57
05:14:57
F40-44
1
05:11:03
05:11:03
05:11:03
F45-49
1
05:18:18
05:18:18
05:18:18
F50-54
1
06:02:37
06:02:37
06:02:37
F55-59
1
06:26:11
06:26:11
06:26:11
F60-64
1
07:39:22
07:39:22
07:39:22
F65-69
1
07:50:19
07:50:19
07:50:19
F70-74
1
07:13:34
07:13:34
07:13:34

Like Xiamen there were 30 slots on offer at Qujing. The distribution of those slots among the age groups was the same. Lower competitor numbers possibly improve the odds of achieving qualification here.

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

Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou Qualification (25 Slots)

Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou 2018 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Average Kona Qualifier
Final Qualifier
M18-24
1
04:33:38
04:33:38
04:33:38
M25-29
1
04:17:24
04:17:24
04:17:24
M30-34
2
04:10:54
04:12:48
04:14:42
M35-39
2
04:21:28
04:24:37
04:27:46
M40-44
2
04:18:34
04:25:47
04:33:01
M45-49
2
04:26:54
04:29:48
04:32:43
M50-54
1
04:41:58
04:41:58
04:41:58
M55-59
1
04:56:00
04:56:00
04:56:00
M60-64
1
05:17:39
05:17:39
05:17:39
M65-69
1
07:50:25
07:50:25
07:50:25
M70-74
1
06:59:16
06:59:16
06:59:16
M75-79
1
07:22:15
07:22:15
07:22:15
F18-24
1
05:16:28
05:16:28
05:16:28
F25-29
1
05:00:19
05:00:19
05:00:19
F30-34
1
04:50:13
04:50:13
04:50:13
F35-39
1
04:59:41
04:59:41
04:59:41
F40-44
1
04:58:44
04:58:44
04:58:44
F45-49
1
04:48:30
04:48:30
04:48:30
F50-54
1
05:50:23
05:50:23
05:50:23
F55-59
1
06:00:22
06:00:22
06:00:22
F60-64
1
08:03:12
08:03:12
08:03:12

There were only 25 slots available at Liuzhou which means no more than two slots for any age group. Again this tightens the odds on qualifying, winning you age group being almost a necessity to qualify.

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

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