Ironman Italy was the first Ironman race of the weekend and took place on Saturday. While it’s only in its third year it’s grown to over 2,500 athletes competing for the standard 40 Kona slot allocation. This year’s race looks to have been the fastest yet for Italy.
Comparing the splits from this year with those of the previous two years shows a faster overall race. Italy started with a slower swim distribution, but the impact is less than 5 minutes at the median. This is more than compensated for by faster distributions for both bike and run. On balance this shifts the median time by around 15 minutes. Not a drastic change, but certainly a noticeable movement.
Along with faster times we also see DNF rates drop to their lowest for the course. At 6.9% overall levels are typical for Ironman in general. They contrast with the high levels of the previous year’s race.
Age group medians reflect the trends shown by the distributions. The broad trends remain slower swim, faster bike and faster run. At the age group level we see some variation, particularly in smaller divisions. Not all run splits were faster than the previous two years medians.
About a third of competitors come from Italy, the rest coming from a broad range of other countries. Kona slots tend to distribute equally widely based on automatic qualifying times.
Tracking the times for specific positions in each age group gives some indication of longer term trends. Being relatively new there are no long term patterns, but we can see how for the majority of age groups this year was quicker. Some of this will be caused by growth in the race – with more athletes the median position is further back in each age group.
Based on the start list I’ve calculated the Kona slot allocation and from that the automatic qualifying times in each age group. Final numbers may vary. Roll down isn’t factored in and there will at least be the M75-79 slot moved to another age group due to no finishers. You can compare these times with other races on my Kona qualification page.
For the vast majority of age groups the top twenty times are much faster than the previous average. In many cars this year is the fastest so far with times well in advance of the average. It’s not universal, but the cases where times are close to average are limited. This is true for some of larger women’s age groups where their times trend only slightly faster than average.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna 2019 on my Google Drive.