Ironman Malaysia 2019: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

Ironman Malaysia took place on Saturday and as ever it looks to have been a tough race. It’s a relatively small event with under 1,200 athletes, but it comes with 50 Kona slots for the 2020 Ironman World championship. Race conditions are challenging though with heat and humidity to contend with so times are always slower in Malaysia. This year looks to have been a typical year for the course.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Malaysia 2019 Compared with 2014-2018

We can see that the split distributions for this year’s race are similar to those from the previous five years of racing in Malaysia. The broad pattern is the same, although both bike and run have a slightly slower peak that pulls back their medians a little. This means the overall distribution for 2019 is slightly slower at its median, but only by 5-10 minutes.

DNF Rates at Ironman Malaysia
Year
Starters
Finishers
Swim DNF
Bike DNF
Run DNF
Overall DNF
DQs
2014
1075
915
0.7%
6.6%
8.2%
14.9%
2
2015
745
617
0.4%
8.8%
9%
17.2%
2016
940
825
0.2%
6%
6.5%
12.2%
2017
1021
885
1.6%
5%
7.3%
13.3%
9
2018
1115
964
0.9%
5.7%
7.5%
13.5%
4
2019
1174
962
0.3%
9.6%
9.1%
18.1%

While the distributions don’t deviate that much in time, the DNF rates were definitely elevated this year. Overall DNF is over 18% comfortably pushing this race into the twenty highest DNF rates at Ironman. These DNFs are very evenly spread over both bike and run.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Malaysia 2019
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Malaysia 2014-2018

As the differences between distributions are relatively small it’s also hard to discern any patterns when we compare individual age group median splits. Generally times are similar. In the smaller age groups we see a lot more variance as here competitor performance can vary widely and average shift significantly.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Malaysia
Country
Count
Percentage
Malaysia
286
24.4
Japan
210
17.9
Philippines
80
6.8
Singapore
75
6.4
Indonesia
56
4.8
Thailand
50
4.3
Australia
40
3.4
Korea
34
2.9
United Kingdom
30
2.6
India
26
2.2
Ironman Malaysia 2019 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country
Percentage of Slots
Percentage of Field
Japan
32.0
18.3
France
8.0
1.9
Australia
8.0
3.5
Korea
6.0
3.0
Austria
6.0
0.9
Germany
4.0
2.1
Russian Federation
4.0
1.0
United Kingdom
4.0
2.6
United States
4.0
2.1
Czech Republic
4.0
0.9
Belgium
2.0
0.4
Faroe Islands
2.0
0.1
Portugal
2.0
0.3
Slovakia
2.0
0.3
Greece
2.0
0.4
Hungary
2.0
0.3
Switzerland
2.0
0.7
Romania
2.0
0.5
Sweden
2.0
0.7
Turkey
2.0
0.2

Malaysia draws in athletes from a wide range of nationalities, with the majority in the Asia-Pacific region. Qualifying slots appear to have been spread far more widely though. Conditions in Malaysia can be challenging for those from other climates, but if you can deal with them it could be a good choice for a qualifier.

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

Generally specific age group times for this year’s race fall inline with the past few years. However we see the impact of small age group numbers as high variance in those smaller age groups. Here we may not have as deep a field and performances can shift more significantly from year-to-year depending on who races.

Ironman Malaysia 2019 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Final Qualifier
10th Place
M18-24
1
09:49:20
09:49:20
15:52:38
M25-29
3
08:57:42
09:38:28
10:39:57
M30-34
4
09:30:14
09:49:48
10:24:52
M35-39
6
09:32:47
09:54:38
10:11:09
M40-44
9
09:04:43
10:28:29
10:30:53
M45-49
7
09:58:38
10:54:46
10:58:21
M50-54
4
10:32:43
10:47:30
11:25:48
M55-59
2
10:54:21
11:21:52
13:05:57
M60-64
1
13:01:24
13:01:24
15:00:45
M65-69
1
14:03:37
14:03:37
 
M70-74
1
16:03:42
16:03:42
 
F18-24
1
14:18:50
14:18:50
 
F25-29
1
09:37:46
09:37:46
 
F30-34
1
10:46:27
10:46:27
15:16:52
F35-39
1
10:35:40
10:35:40
12:05:32
F40-44
2
11:21:48
11:27:39
14:02:45
F45-49
1
11:05:40
11:05:40
14:09:30
F50-54
1
11:33:25
11:33:25
 
F55-59
1
12:59:14
12:59:14
 
F60-64
1
14:24:11
14:24:11
 
F65-69
1
15:46:07
15:46:07
 

Based on the start numbers I’ve calculated the slot allocation for this year’s race and from that the automatic qualifying times. This doesn’t account for any roll down that takes place during the awards ceremony. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Malaysia 2019
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman Malaysia 2019

While median times at this year’s race appear a little slower the top twenty age group times are average or in some instances a little better. The front of the race doesn’t appear to have lost any of it’s speed on this course.

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

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