Ironman Western Australia: Past Performances and Kona Qualification

A more recent article about this race is available

This year marks the tenth anniversary for Ironman Western Australia and I’ll admit, despite being my favourite Ironman race (see previous race reports – 2008 and 2009), I almost forgot it. It’s the last Ironman of the calendar year, but first of the Australian season and offers 40 slots for the 2014 Ironman World Championship. Qualify here and you have almost a year to focus on your performance in Kona. Western Australia is pan flat, but that’s not to say easy, there’s no respite on the bike and conditions – wind and heat – can be challenging.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2012
Split Distributions at 2012 Australian/New Zealand Ironmans

There is a definite left skew towards faster times in the split distributions (top) of Ironman Western Australia. It is a relatively fast race, although compared with the distributions from all the 2012 Australian/New Zealand races it is not atypical for the region. Bikes times in Busselton are perhaps a little faster and run times a little slower than elsewhere Down Under.

Age Group Male Finisher Distributions at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2012
Age Group Female Finisher Distributions at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2012

I’ve also broken the overall distribution down by age group in the above charts to give some feel for how performances trend with each category.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2004-2012
Median Splits by Age Group at 2012 Australian/New Zealand Ironmans

The median splits are reflective of what we’ve seen already in the distributions at the top of this page. Differences between 2012 race results and Western Australia’s historical results are small. Course and conditions vary between the races, but the quality of the field is quite consistent across the series.

Predicted Kona Slot Allocation for Ironman Western Australia 2013
  Number of Athletes Number of Slots
F18-24 9 1
F25-29 29 1
F30-34 63 2
F35-39 58 2
F40-44 55 2
F45-49 30 1
F50-54 34 1
F55-59 14 1
F60-64 9 1
F65-69 2 1
M18-24 30 1
M25-29 94 2
M30-34 196 3
M35-39 221 4
M40-44 277 5
M45-49 206 4
M50-54 120 3
M55-59 24 1
M60-64 19 1
M65-69 13 1
M70-74 3 1
M75-79 4 1
Total 1510 40

I’ve estimated the Kona slot allocation above using the participant list available on the Ironman Western Australia website. As usual final numbers will vary depending on actual starters.

Top 20 Male Age Group Performances and Kona Qualification at Ironman western Australia 2004-2012
Top 20 Female Age Group Performances and Kona Qualification at Ironman western Australia 2004-2012

Western Australia is a competitive race with few slots meaning the front-of-pack times are fast. Male qualifiers in their thirties will likely need around a 9:15, in their forties and it shifts towards a 9:30. Depending on conditions there have been some particularly fast years and a number of sub-9s in all these age groups. Women under 40 will likely need a time close to 10 hours in order to be in with a shot of a slot (and an age group win).

As usual I’ll put an analysis of this weekend’s race results up at the beginning of next week. Along with – finally – posting the Arizona results that will bring 2013 to a close. As I did last year I’ll round out the year with a look at some of the top level stats for the season.

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