Ironman Chattanooga 2019: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

The second race to analyse this weekend was Ironman Chattanooga 2019. A mid-sized US race with the standard 40 age group Kona slots on offer for the 2020 Ironman World Championship. Chattanooga isn’t the fastest course and has seen some variations over the years. Most notably the swim was cancelled in 2018 so I’ve excluded those results from this analysis.

Hot and humid conditions made this year a particularly tough day of racing. Tough enough to place it third in the table of highest Ironman DNF rates I’ve recorded (see below).

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Chattanooga 2019 Compared with 2014-2017

Every one of this year’s split distributions trends slower than the amalgamated results from past races. I would note that the historic swim distribution is actually quite fast for Ironman so while this year’s chart is slower, it doesn’t look unusual for an Ironman race. It’s really on the bike and run where times become significantly skewed and we see the impact of conditions. Similar conditions impacted the 2016 race, but this is masked by the results from other years, position data further down shows this better.

DNF Rates at Ironman Chattanooga
Year
Starters
Finishers
Swim DNF
Bike DNF
Run DNF
Overall DNF
DQs
2014
2328
2233
0.7%
1.4%
2.1%
4.1%
11
2015
2254
2079
0.6%
2.8%
4.5%
7.8%
7
2016
2214
1651
0.2%
12.3%
14.9%
25.4%
1
2017
2168
1956
0.4%
3.4%
6.3%
9.8%
3
2018
2135
1891
No swim
11.4%
6
2019
1747
1328
0.7%
12.9%
12.1%
24%
3

We can see the raised rates of DNF in both bike and run caused by heat and humidity. The only year we can compare this with is 2016 which was also hot and humid and saw slightly higher drop out rates on the run.

The Ten Highest Ironman DNF rates since 2012
DNS
DNF
DQ
14.9%
26.3%
0.80%
18.5%
25.4%
0.05%
Chattanooga 2019
16.7%
24%
0.17%
11.2%
23.4%
0.16%
14.0%
21.7%
1.40%
4.0%
21.0%
0.41%
12.4%
20.9%
2.68%
9.6%
20.8%
0.61%
9.2%
20.3%
9.9%
19.0%
1.02%

If I rank the ten highest Ironman DNF rates I’ve recorded in my database Chattanooga 2019 comes third in the table. With 2016 experiencing very similar conditions, Chattanooga holds two of the three highest DNF rates and unlike Frankfurt doesn’t have a 15 hour cut off. You can read more about Ironman DNF rates here.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Chattanooga 2019
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Chattanooga 2014-2017

Age group medians repeat the trends shown in the split distributions across all age groups. The impact of conditions is such that swim, bike and run are consistently slower.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Chattanooga
Country
Count
Percentage
United States
1573
90
Canada
37
2.1
United Kingdom
16
0.9
Mexico
13
0.7
Germany
9
0.5
Puerto Rico
8
0.5
Costa Rica
8
0.5
Colombia
5
0.3
Brazil
5
0.3
Argentinia
4
0.2
Ironman Chattanooga 2019 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country
Percentage of Slots
Percentage of Field
United States
70.0
91.7
Canada
7.5
2.2
Germany
5.0
0.5
Ireland
2.5
0.2
Spain
2.5
0.2
Estonia
2.5
0.1
Mexico
2.5
0.8
Venezuela
2.5
0.2

Only a handful of athletes come from outside North America to race Chattanooga. While not fully proportionate, the majority of slots do remain with US athletes.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Chattanooga
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Chattanooga

Tracking the times for specific age group positions shows how variable this race has been. From a comparatively fast debut in 2014 through to the significantly slowed years of 2016 and 2019. As ever the impact of conditions is biggest further back in the race, amplified by a smaller starting field at this year’s race. Such variance makes it harder to anticipate potential qualification performances.

Ironman Chattanooga 2019 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Final Qualifier
10th Place
M18-24
1
11:08:25
11:08:25
13:51:29
M25-29
2
10:13:46
10:18:31
11:40:56
M30-34
2
09:52:34
10:01:19
11:15:47
M35-39
3
09:33:19
09:39:35
10:38:02
M40-44
3
09:16:45
09:48:30
10:41:42
M45-49
4
09:57:54
10:22:21
11:29:29
M50-54
4
10:09:55
10:39:56
11:14:00
M55-59
2
10:46:48
10:53:43
11:47:27
M60-64
1
11:17:13
11:17:13
14:46:21
M65-69
1
12:36:31
12:36:31
15:36:22
M70-74
1
No Finishers
 
 
M75-79
1
No Finishers
 
 
F18-24
1
11:43:32
11:43:32
 
F25-29
1
11:04:36
11:04:36
13:57:13
F30-34
2
11:11:44
11:24:24
12:17:05
F35-39
2
10:48:41
11:07:21
12:56:26
F40-44
2
10:34:58
11:38:05
12:58:13
F45-49
2
11:49:50
11:55:13
12:54:13
F50-54
2
12:07:28
12:09:30
13:42:13
F55-59
1
11:46:38
11:46:38
14:18:55
F60-64
1
12:23:17
12:23:17
15:49:38
F65-69
1
16:15:05
16:15:05
 

Based on the start list I’ve calculated the slot allocation and automatic qualification times for each age group. As two age groups had no finishers their slots will roll into others, but roll down is not factored into these calculations. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and 70.3 Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Chattanooga 2019
Top Twenty Female Performances and 70.3 Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Chattanooga 2019

Unsurprisingly, the age group top twenties mainly trend slower than the course averages. That said when we look at the very front and Kona qualification we see times close in on the average. As often noted for Kona qualifying positions, performances tend to be less impacted by the heat and humidity.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Chattanooga 2019 on my Google Drive.

All Ironman Results and Statistics

A growing collection of results and statistics for the whole Ironman race calendar.

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

Comments