This week’s Ironman to analyse and review age group results from is Ironman France. It’s a long standing race, held in Nice and known for it’s climbs and descents on the bike and the fact, but exposed run course. It’s a large race with around 2,500 competitors, but only offers the standard 40 age group Kona slots for the fastest of them.
This year’s race isn’t too dissimilar from the data from the previous decade of racing in Nice. The bike is the only section that shows a clear difference in performances over the day, with 2018 being slower than the amalgamated results. Overall median times look to be similar to the pact, but it’s of note that the front of the race comes out slower. Regardless of the medians, the fifth percentile times were slower this year than usual. Where we often see a slowing in the middle to back of pack, it appears to be towards the front here.
I’ll throw out the usual caveats that DNF and DNS numbers are sometimes mixed in previous years and so confuse the picture a little. That said if we check only bike and run DNF numbers we can see this year looks to be towards the low end of the scale.
Individual age group medians vary, but don’t tend to stray too far form the trends seen in the distributions at a race of this size. That’s the case here with medians quite close between the two charts and only the bike showing any differences of note.
As with most European Ironman events there’s a good spread of athletes in attendance and in this case the slots tended to fall inline with the number of competitors.
Tracking timings for specific places over the last decade we can see a lot of up and down in performances at Ironman France. Conditions have varied a lot, some years hot, some years windy, some years both. As it stands, after last year’s particularly slow event, this year represents a return to the more middle ground of the event.
Base on the number of starters I’ve estimated the Kona slot allocation at Ironman France and then the automatic qualification times in each age group. Exact numbers may vary and roll down will impact on the final qualifying times too. You can read more on qualification times and compare with other races on my Kona qualification page.
Finally the top twenty times for each age group. Here we see results that are often close to the average and occasionally a little bit ahead. Certainly the top twenties are not standing out at exceptional for the most part – neither fast or slow by Ironman France standards. Here, for the most part, the front of pack performed comparably with previous races. The apparent drop off in time of the top 5% may reflect the size of the race and that the top twenty if often a much smaller portion of an age group.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman France 2018 on my Google Drive.