Another big weekend of Ironman racing has finished. First up for analysis is Ironman Wales – one of the toughest courses on the Ironman calendar. Wales has grown in reputation and numbers over the year and is now a large race with over 2,000 athletes competing for the standard 40 Kona slots on offer. Conditions in Tenby have varied a lot over past races, this year looks to have been a good year for racing on the course.
The distribution of splits from this year’s race trends slower than the historical results. The difference is small and insignificant for swim and bike, but more distinct on the run and this carries through to the overall splits. So a slightly slower year thanks in the main part to a slower run distribution.
Although times distributed slower, the DNF rate for this year’s run are at the low end for the course. Swim and bike are similarly favourable suggesting a high completion rate on the course. So not a particularly fast year in Tenby, but one with good racing conditions.
As with the distributions it’s only the run medians where we see a clear picture of a slower race. The smaller differences in swim and bike distributions show up as a more variable pattern of median split times across age groups.
Wales draws a big home field with a smaller range of other nationalities also present. Most slots stay in the UK with Germany taking the next largest portion.
Tracking times for specific positions over the last 8 years of racing puts 2018 somewhere in the middle ground. Faster than last year’s race, but not the fastest times for this course.
Based on the start numbers for this race I’ve estimated the Kona slot allocations for each age group. It’s recently become apparent that Ironman has updated their allocation methodology. I’m not yet able to precisely replicate the approach so it’s important to note that my figures are a close, but not exact match for Ironman’s allocation. Additionally roll downs will affect the final qualifying times in some age groups. You can compare these figures with other races on my Kona qualification page.
Times were average for the top twenty in most age groups. There are some exceptions though: M18-24, M55-59, M60-64 and F55-59 all outperformed there past results. For most age groups though it was a typical year of racing on the Tenby course.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Wales 2018 on my Google Drive.