While the Ironman World championship draws most of the focus, Ironman Louisville was also held over the weekend. It’s a large US race with the standard allocation of 40 Kona slots and a guarantee that none of the current Kona qualifiers will be racing.
Last year saw the swim course significantly shortened and this year the swim was cancelled due to algae. Swim and overall results from 2018 are excluded from comparisons. This year’s race times will obviously be significantly faster than usual.
Without a swim this year’s race was always going to be over an hour faster than usual. That shift in the overall distribution is clear. We also see a smaller shift in both bike and run distributions too. While their shape remains the same, they trend a little faster. The bike is slightly faster at the median, but the difference grows at the front of the race. The run see a more consistent shift from middle to front of pack. How much of this is due to the removal of the swim is hard to say.
Last year’s DNF rates were at the high end for Ironman racing. This year’s return to normal levels and sit among the lowest for the course. As conditions appear to have been normal and the course had been shortened we’d expect to see these low levels for DNF rates.
Comparing age group medians shows a similar pattern of faster bike and run this year. This is consistent for the majority of age groups.
The majority of athletes are from North America with a small spread from other countries. Kona slots appear to have mainly remained in the US.
There’s been quite a bit of variance in age group times over the history of this race. Recent years have been quicker, but largely because of shortening of the course in the last two years. As we’d expect every position saw times improve this year.
Based on the start list I’ve calculated the Kona slot allocation and from that the automatic qualifying times in each age group. Roll down is not accounted for in these statistics and at least the F70-74 slot will roll down. The focus of these stats is on the times required to be certain of qualification though. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.
Finally, the age group top twenty times. There’s little comparison to make – this year’s race is much faster thanks to the removal of the swim. This is consistent with only a couple of age groups where 2018 times comes close to the 2019 results.
You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman Louisville 2019 on my Google Drive.