Ironman Lanzarote is always one of the slower races on the Ironman calendar. It consistently draws a mid-sized field for the challenging course and the standard 40 Kona slots on offer to age groupers. This year’s race doesn’t deviate from this trend, times remain typical for Lanzarote.
The bike course was significantly changed in 2018. To make this analysis clearer I’ve split 2018 into its own charts so comparisons can be made with both old and new bike courses.
Firstly, comparing this years bike with the old course (2009-2017) we see that the new course is notably slower. The difference is around 30 minutes at the median in 2019. Comparing the distributions on the new course (2019 versus 2018) there is less change – 2019 appears to trend slightly slower, around 10 minutes at the median. Other elements of the race are more consistent with swim and run splits distributing similarly over the last decade. The shift in bike times means that overall distributions are slower with the new bike course.
Remembering that data for many of the previous year (in red) combines DNS and DNF numbers we can still compare how DNF looks on the bike and run. In both cases 2019 is at the higher end of the range. There have been higher years but only by fractions of a percentage.
Comparing median splits in age groups shows the same pattern as the distributions. The bike is where there are clear differences and times are slower. This is most clearly the case when compared with 2009-2017, but also true for many divisions when compared with 2018.
Lanzarote always draws a field from across Europe with the majority from Spain and the UK. Where those slots go varies a little, but this years automatic qualifiers were mainly from the UK.
Tracking positions within age groups over time there has been some variation, but for the major age groups times are relatively consistent. This years race gives a clear uptick and slowing of times in those age groups, pushing it towards the slower end of the range for Lanzarote.
Based on the start numbers I’ve calculated the slot allocation for Ironman Lanzarote. Official numbers may vary slightly although I believe I am using the correct allocation method at present. Based on this slot allocation I can calculate the automatic qualification time, before roll down, in each age group. For comparison with other races go to my Kona qualification page.
Although the overall distribution appears slower, for the top twenty in each age group times tend to trend not too far from the average. We lean more towards slower times as we head further back and some age groups are very clearly slower. Both M30-34 and M40-44 are notably this year, but this isn’t consistently the case for other age groups.
This year’s race does appear to confirm that the new bike course is much slower than the old. It also looks like the day was a little bit slower than usual for the course as it stands.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Lanzarote 2019 on my Google Drive.