While Coeur d’Alene offered the last of the Kona slots for 2017, Ironman Vichy offered the first of the Kona slots for 2018. The standard 40 slots for the 2018 Ironman World Championship were on offer to the 1,300 competitors at the event. Vichy is a relatively new addition to Ironman, but results so far have followed similar patterns to other European races.
This year trended a little slower than the previous two with both swim and run times shifted slightly to the right. There’s not much change to bike splits, but the overall times came out slower this year. It’s a relatively small change of 10-15 minutes at the median.
Although the DNS/DNF numbers for the swim are a little unclear, what’s apparent is DNF rates were lower on both bike and run at this year’s event.
As the shift in times appears to be quite small we also see a small and inconsistent shift in times across age groups medians. The bike numbers are pretty similar and for a good number of age groups run and swim splits are slower this year.
As with most European races there’s a wide spread of nationalities competing and claiming Kona slots.
Tracking times for specific placements over the three years of races puts this one somewhere in the middle. 2015 appears to have been the slowest and 2016, for the most part, the fastest. It’s not universal, but this year tended to be slower than last, but not as slow as in 2015.
Based on the results list I’ve estimated the number of slots for each age group and from that the times that would automatically qualify. The exact numbers may vary and roll down would affect the final times. You can see more detail on Kona qualifying times on my Kona qualification page.
The first qualifier can be a draw for those chasing Kona. Most athletes qualified for this year won’t be racing a full Ironman so close. Of course there’s still plenty of competition from others with the same idea. This year’s race looks to be average to faster than average for those in the qualifying spots, but further back in the top twenty more times come in behind the average.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Vichy 2017 on my Google Drive.