2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship: Age Group Results Analysis

Nice hosted this year’s 70.3 World Championships over the weekend. The event was split over two days – the women’s race on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday. So, for much of this analysis I’ll split out men’s and women’s results to reflect the separate races. Analysis is limited given the event moves location each year’s but previous charts are included for comparison.

You can find more information on qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship here.

As we’d expect from a race with a qualifying field times in Nice lean towards faster spits. However, if we do compare with previous World Champs courses Nice leans towards the slower end thanks to a bike course with a lot of climbing. Swim and run don’t differ so much, but the climb and descent on the bike make the major difference.

DNF Rates at Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Year
Starters
Finishers
Swim DNF
Bike DNF
Run DNF
Overall DNF
DQs
2015
2738
2265
13.9%
2.3%
1.6%
17.3%
2016
2721
2576
1.8%
0.9%
2.8%
5.3%
2017
3895
3804
0.7%
1.3%
0.4%
2.3%
10
2018
3751
3663
1%
0.8%
0.6%
2.3%
56
2019
5203
5030
0.9%
2%
0.5%
3.3%
19

With two days of racing the field in Nice is huge, over 5,000 total starters. DNF levels remain at the low numbers seen in other races. Not the lowest thanks to a higher bike DNF rate, but not an usual level of DNF either. Note that rows in red indicate years where DNS and DNF numbers are not clearly distinguished.

Age group medians follow the trend shown in the distributions – the pattern is of a slower bike course in Nice. Swim and run medians trend much more closely without a clear trend.

Breakdown of the most numerous Nationalities at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Country
2019 Percent (France)
2018 Percent (South Africa)
2017 Percent (USA)
2016 Percent (Australia)
2015 Percent (Austria)
United States
18.5
17.2
41.2
19.5
22.8
France
10.0
4.4
2.9
3.3
3.8
Germany
7.8
8.3
4.2
5.5
12.2
United Kingdom
7.2
7.2
4.6
4.9
7.8
Australia
5.5
5.7
5.1
25.0
8.4
Brazil
4.1
4.9
3.5
3.1
3.1
Canada
4.1
3.2
5.8
3.1
4.9
South Africa
2.8
10.6
1.2
2.5
1.9
Spain
2.5
2.1
1.3
1.3
1.4
Switzerland
2.4
2.4
1.5
1.9
3.9

The nationalities of athletes at the World Champs tends to vary according to host nation. Local numbers rise in each year. US athletes are consistently around 20% of the field (more when at home), the number of Europeans rose with the race being in France this year.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship

Tracking the times for specific age group positions over the last 5 years shows that while this year’s race is slower, it’s not hugely slower. Again, a selected field tightens the performances we see even on a challenging course. Also, given the size of the field the 100th place is still well ahead of the median time; it’s often at the slower end of the field where we see the biggest impact from a course.

Top Twenty Male Performances by Age Group at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Top Twenty Female Performances by Age Group at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship

Looking at the top twenty in each age group the broad pattern is that this year’s race is the slowest of the last five. It’s not universal, in some instances 2015 or 2017 has some slower times, but in the majority of cases, particularly in the major age groups, 2019 is much slower.

You can access spreadsheets of the full results from the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship 2019 on my Google Drive. You’ll find men’s results here and women’s results here.

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Find out what it takes to place in your age group or to qualify for the Ironman Worlds Championships in Kona.

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