This weekend saw Ironman Ireland join the Ironman calendar. Around 1,800 athletes started the race in competition for a standard allocation of 40 age group Kona slots. Unfortunately it debuted with a cancelled swim due to conditions so the race was held as a full bike and run. An altered course and the lack of historical results limits the scope of this analysis. I’ve made some comparisons with Ironman Wales to give context where I can.
To help assess Ironman Ireland I’ve used results from last year’s race in Wales with finish times adjusted for the swim. Without a swim results distributions from Ironman Ireland and Wales are quite similar. Wales is one of the slowest Ironman courses and Cork appears to be comparable with a faster run helping to put it very slightly ahead. Conditions on Sunday were cold and wet so it’s likely this has helped to keep slow bike times.
I’ve adjusted my usual DNF table so we can better compare Wales and Ireland without the swim. DNS rates in Ireland were slightly higher than Wales and perhaps pushing towards the high end for most races. Potentially more athletes dropped out once the adjustment was announced or based on expected conditions. What’s most significant though is how much higher the bike DNF rate is in Ireland. This definitely reflects a difficult race day and also suggests that the bike distribution would be slower had more been able to finish the course. Run DNFs are also much higher than Wales and the overall DNF rate at almost a quarter of all starters is at the extreme for Ironman.
Median splits for each age group show the usual patterns of slowing times with age. Without comparison it’s hard to add more commentary to this.
The race drew a diverse field from around the world with US athletes being the most numerous after the Irish. Slots were also distributed quite broadly with the UK taking the largest share.
As a first year race there’s not much that can be said about the top twenty times for each age group. They are slow for a race without a swim. They also drop off steeply from first back to twentieth with a wide range of times. This may reflect a smaller field size by the time the race was over.
Based on the start numbers I’ve calculated the slot allocation for Ironman Ireland using the current method. From there I’ve determined the automatic qualifying times within each age group. These slots and times may vary and roll down isn’t considered. Allowing for the lack os a swim, you can compare this with other races at my Kona qualification page.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Ireland 2019 on my Google Drive.