This weekend’s Ironman race falls closer to home with Ironman UK taking place in Bolton. Now in its eighth year there have been a few changes to the course in that time, but Bolton has remained a challenging event. Times in Bolton tend to be slower than the average Ironman, but qualifying for one of the 40 Kona slots available remains tough.
In last year’s analysis I deliberately separated out results from 2014 onwards due to the changed bike course. There didn’t appear to be a hugely significant difference in distributions between the old and new routes though. So, for simplicity, this year I’ve grouped all Bolton results together, covering 2009 through to 2016.
The distributions for this year’s race mostly fall inline with the previous results. The overall times do trend slower, but not by too large a margin. The swim was clearly slower this year and it looks like both bike and run distribute very slightly slower too. These differences are mostly by the median, the front percentiles are more closely matched with older results.
|Listed Athletes||Swim Finish||Swim DNS/DNF||Bike Finish||Bike DNF||Run Finish||Run DNF||Overall DNS/DNF|
DNS and DNF data is accurate for this year’s race, the numbers for the swim are purely DNFs (those years with double digit swim numbers mix DNF and DNS). Rates on the bike appear quite normal, but for the run the DNF rate appears to be at the high end. Overall it would suggest DNF was up very slightly at this year’s event, but not by an exceptional margin.
At the age group level the swim is the only median that’s clearly slower in this year’s results. For the rest of the race there’s more variability across age groups indicating how minor differences are.
|Country||Percentage of Slots||Percentage of Field|
Ironman UK is definitely a local race with the vast majority of competitors coming from the UK. We don’t quite claim our portion of the slots though and the distribution here is a little more wide spread.
Tracking times for different positions in each age group gives some context for this year’s results in relation to the previous 7 years. There’s a lot of variance here though by both placing and division. Generally front placings are more likely to show faster times, but it’s not true in all categories. The mix probably reflects how similar this year’s race was to previous results.
|Slots||Winner||Average Kona Qualifier||Final Qualifier|
Based on start numbers I’ve calculated the likely distribution of Kona slots at Ironman UK and from that the automatic qualifying times in this year’s results. This makes no account for roll down and the final allocation may vary from my calculations. For more information on Kona qualifying times at Ironman UK and other races, check out my Kona qualification page.
The final step of this analysis is the top twenty in each age group. Here we can see how Kona qualification compared with previous results. For the most part times among the top twenty trended faster than the Bolton average. For some age groups this is more pronounced than others, but nearly every one trended a little faster.
So overall the race looks to have been typical for the Bolton course. I’d note that front runner times came in slightly faster than the norm, but further back the trend was closer to average, perhaps a little slower even.