Last, but by no means least of the weekend’s Ironman races is France. It’s a big event with 2,700 athletes entered so a busy mass swim start is guaranteed. After that Ironman Nice is known for it’s climbs on the bike and it’s heat on the run. It’s not an easy day. There’s the usual 50 slots for the Ironman World Champs available for the fastest age groupers.
More detailed breakdowns of statistics for each age group can be downloaded at the bottom of this article.
It doesn’t take long to notice that after the swim the median splits in France are consistently slower than for other European races. Pro and age grouper alike take longer on the challenging course with the difference coming mostly on the bike.
The distributions essentially confirm this. Swim times are perhaps a little faster than the typical European distribution. Bike times are clearly slower across the entire field. Run times are similar at the front of the race, but as you move back through the field the drop off in performance is a little quicker. The overall result is a slower distribution of finisher splits. Don’t go to France if you’re looking for an Ironman PB (Austria was your better choice this weekend)
|Number of Athletes||Number of Slots|
These are my estimates of the Kona slot allocation for Ironman France based on the start list available at Ironman.com. Actual numbers may vary of course. This is probably one of the most heavily male skewed races I’ve seen, the M40-44 year old age group alone weighs in at 600 athletes; naturally they get the bulk of the Kona slots. Fro the women only the 45 strong 40-44 year old age group gets more than one slot.
Slower races have slower qualifying times, what’s more important to note in these top twenties is how relatively close the first 5-10 athletes are. Clearly it’s competitive at the front of the age groups. Men are looking at a 9:30 finish for the under 40s and 9:45 for the under 50s for a shot at qualification. The main female age groups are normally around the 10:30-11:00 mark with an age group win needed to secure a slot. There have been slower qualifiers, but this very much comes down to conditions rather than an easier field (there have been faster qualifiers too).
There’s a lot more detail in the documents available below.
Detailed Age Group Statistics
Age group specific Ironman France results analysis. More charts and more detailed timings and splits for top age grouper and Kona qualifiers.
Select an age group to view or download PDF
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As with the other races this weekend I’ll be analysing all the results at the start of next week.