This week’s race analysis is for Ironman Switzerland. Switzerland is another long running European race that draws a mid-sized field for the standard 40 age group Kona slots. The course is not the fastest in Europe, but like most of its counterparts sits towards the faster end of the calendar. This years race trends a little slower than usual.
Comparing this year’s results with those from the previous decade we do have a slightly slower race. Overall 2019 trends around 10 minutes slower, with this coming from slower bike and run distributions while the swim distribution trends faster this year. All these variations are in the order of minutes, so not hugely different from the amalgamated distributions.
Following some significant upgrades to my DNF and DNS data I’ve also updated the DNF table. Rows in blue clearly separate DNS and DNF statistics while those in red do not (so numbers aren’t as reliable). We have 8 years of data to look at here and that indicates that the DNF rate at this years race was in the middle ground.
Median patterns tend to follow the trends outlined in the distributions. This is largely the case here with slightly slower bike and run splits. As is often the case when differences are small the pattern is not universal over all divisions. Women’s age groups show a lot of variation, the F40-44 bike being significantly slower while the F45-49 bike is faster for example.
Switzerland is a race that draw a wide range of nationalities and spread its Kona slots as widely.
There are two key observations from tracking age group times for specific positions. Firstly as the race has shrunk in size this impacts the pace of athletes at positions further back in the field (50th moves from mid towards back of pack). Secondly smaller age groups tend to be more variable in performance and we see greater variation in their charts. For the larger age groups times tend to be more consistent with bumps better reflecting conditions on a given year. Here times look to improve on last year’s race, but are around the average for the course.
Based on the start list I’ve calculated the slot allocation at Ironman Switzerland and from that the automatic Kona qualification times. Final numbers may vary and I have not factored potential roll downs into this data. You can compare these times with other races on my Kona qualification page.
Broadly the top twenty times in each age group trend around the average or slightly better. So while the picture from distributions points towards a slightly slower race there was clearly less impact towards the front of the pack. It’s really only the youngest athletes who deviate and had slower races for Kona positions.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Switzerland 2019 on my Google Drive.