Ironman Vichy is a new edition to the Ironman calendar, but not a new race. Formerly under the Challenge banner the rebranding brings with it 50 slots for the 2016 Ironman World Championship in Kona and makes it the first 2016 qualifier. Unfortunately historic results from Challenge Vichy are listed in PDFs meaning I’ve not been able to extract them for this analysis. For context I’ve included charts showing typical results across European Ironman races.
Vichy’s split distributions are not too dissimilar to the European aggregates. A touch slower on the run and so the overall, but nothing too significant. Neither a fast nor slow Ironman. Vichy is a relatively small event which lends itself to the slightly broader distributions we see. It’s worth noting there was a 16 hour cut off removing the slowest finishers from this event, but the impact on distributions would likely be small.
Comparing age group medians we can see the difference coming mostly on the run. The swim also trends slower than the cross-Europe numbers. Surprisingly male pro medians come out a little faster than the European averages – there are some fast races in Europe, but clearly this is balanced by the slower events (Lanzarote and Wales for example) allowing the small and consistent field in Vichy to average faster.
Looking at the top twenty performances across the age groups – while we don’t have historic context – it’s worth noting how steeply times drop off from first to twentieth. As a smaller Ironman late in the season the field may not have been as deep as the bigger Ironman events. That said Kona qualifying times look comparable to other mid-speed European races.
You can access a full spreadsheet of the results and splits from Ironman Vichy 2015 on my Google Drive.