Ironman Vichy opens up the 2017 Kona qualification season with 40 slots on offer for next year’s World Championship race. It’s a relatively new addition to the Ironman calendar, entering it’s second year under the brand. Prior to that it was a challenge event, but results from those races are kept in PDF format making them harder to extract. For this analysis I’ll compare this year’s results with those from 2015.
The Vichy course is designed to be fast (the bike is described as easy on the Ironman website) and this year that proved to be the case. Much faster than the 2015 event, which was average compared with other European races. The swim is the only component to slow in 2016 – the result of a wetsuit ban in warm conditions. After that the race speeds up and both bike and run trend ahead of 2015. I’m not aware of any significant course changes that might lead to this jump.
|Listed Athletes||Swim Finish||Swim DNS/DNF||Bike Finish||Bike DNF||Run Finish||Run DNF||Overall DNS/DNF|
The DNF/DNS rates for this race also dropped significantly this year thanks largely to much lower DNF rates on the run. Clearly last year’s run must have been tough (hot, I assume) and this year’s race offered improved conditions.
The age group medians follow the pattern we’d expect – slower swim, faster bike and faster run. Changes in bike and run are large and contribute to a much faster race.
A broad spread of nations represented in Vichy. Less than half from France with the UK, again, taking the second spot.
There is an almost perfect pattern of improvements across age groups and placings comparing the two years of results. This year’s event was faster across the board, from front to back of pack.
|Slots||Winner||Average Kona Qualifier||Final Qualifier|
Based on athlete tracker numbers I’ve calculated the likely slot allocation and the automatic qualification times in each age group. As with a number of races I’ve analysed recently we see some very fast times, with qualification under 9 hours for a number of male age groups. You can compare these times with other races on my Kona qualification page.
Not surprisingly we see times in the top twenties significantly improved on 2015 results. This was a much faster race for qualification (with fewer slots on offer too).
When results change this much, there isn’t much need for commentary. If the course hasn’t changed then conditions must have been much better this year and potentially we saw a more competitive field too. Clearly Ironman Vichy is a faster race then I gave it credit for in 2015.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results and splits from Ironman Vichy 2016 on my Google Drive.