Ironman Western Australia 2019: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

The final weekend of racing of the 2019 Ironman season started with Ironman Western Australia. This mid-sized race came with 65 age group Kona slots for the 2020 Ironman World Championship season. That lifts qualification prospects for a number of big age groups. The Busselton course is flat and generally quite fast.

The 2017 results have been excluded from this analysis due to cancellation of the swim.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Western Australia 2019 Compared with 2009-2018

Comparing the split distributions of this year’s race with the amalgamated results of the previous decade shows a race that was slower at its median. At every stage the 2019 event was slower at the mid-point and the overall result is a more than 30 minutes slower distribution. While this shift happened at the middle-of-the-pack, at the front times were consistent for the course. We’re seeing a broadening of the distribution rather than an overall reduction in performance.

DNF Rates at Ironman Western Australia
Year
Starters
Finishers
Swim DNF
Bike DNF
Run DNF
Overall DNF
DQs
2010
1205
995
17.3%
17.4%
6
2011
1243
1180
0.2%
2.3%
2.7%
5.1%
2012
1334
1240
0.3%
2.1%
4.9%
7%
2013
1381
1330
1.2%
0.4%
2.2%
3.7%
2014
1421
1329
0.4%
3%
3.7%
6.5%
2
2015
1143
1092
0.3%
1.6%
2.7%
4.5%
2016
1376
1318
0.2%
2%
2%
4.2%
2
2017
1434
1194
16.7%
1
2018
1019
965
0.9%
2%
2.5%
5.3%
5
2019
1268
1157
0.6%
3.9%
4.5%
8.8%

DNF levels at this year’s race are on the high side for an event that typically has low levels. They are by no means exceptional – average by broader Ironman standards – but for Western Australia they are 3-4% higher than usual. This appears to be spread quite consistently over both bike and run.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2019
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Western Australia 2009-2018

Age group medians tend to follow the patterns set in the distributions. Here we see most age groups showing slower median split times. This isn’t necessarily reflective of performance at the front-of-pack for larger age groups though and as noted the signs there are of consistent times with the past.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman Western Australia
Country
Count
Percentage
Australia
723
57
Japan
118
9.3
Singapore
51
4
United Kingdom
46
3.6
New Zealand
38
3
United States
27
2.1
India
27
2.1
Thailand
26
2.1
Philippines
23
1.8
France
16
1.3
Ironman Western Australia 2019 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country
Percentage of Slots
Percentage of Field
Australia
70.8
59.0
New Zealand
4.6
3.1
United States
3.1
2.2
Croatia
3.1
0.2
United Kingdom
3.1
3.8
Japan
3.1
9.6
Germany
3.1
1.1
Hong Kong
1.5
1.1
Thailand
1.5
2.1
Estonia
1.5
0.2
Ireland
1.5
1.1
South Africa
1.5
0.7

A broad range of nationalities race Ironman Western Australia, but a high proportion of slots remain in the country.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Western Australia
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman Western Australia

Comparing the times for specific age group places over the last 10 years shows a reasonable amount of consistency in results towards the front. As we look at placings further back in the field (100th) we do seem a drop in times over the last couple of years.

Ironman Western Australia 2019 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Final Qualifier
10th Place
M18-24
1
09:26:52
09:26:52
12:13:05
M25-29
4
09:00:34
09:14:36
09:55:48
M30-34
5
08:42:36
09:11:34
09:41:33
M35-39
8
08:59:37
09:24:52
09:31:27
M40-44
7
08:46:35
09:29:44
09:45:44
M45-49
9
09:00:11
09:41:10
09:41:45
M50-54
6
09:38:55
10:08:55
10:17:11
M55-59
4
09:37:02
10:25:18
10:43:07
M60-64
2
09:49:18
10:41:39
13:08:37
M65-69
1
11:47:22
11:47:22
 
M70-74
1
14:25:20
14:25:20
 
M80-84
1
No Finishers
 
 
F18-24
1
11:22:05
11:22:05
 
F25-29
1
10:14:11
10:14:11
13:06:12
F30-34
1
10:20:50
10:20:50
13:05:50
F35-39
2
09:37:34
09:55:37
12:00:12
F40-44
3
09:52:57
10:13:25
11:26:35
F45-49
2
10:47:05
11:10:44
12:47:14
F50-54
2
10:44:07
10:50:34
13:03:18
F55-59
1
10:59:44
10:59:44
 
F60-64
1
15:39:30
15:39:30
 
F65-69
1
14:40:46
14:40:46
 
F70-74
1
15:43:11
15:43:11
 

Based on the start list I’ve calculated the slot allocation at Western Australias and from that the automatic qualification times for the race. These don’t factor roll down and with one age group having no finishers there will have been some. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.

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

For the most part this was an average qualification year at the front-of-pack. Times in the top twenty of each age group don’t deviate to far from the average with one or two exceptions. In the women’s field the very front is close to average, but times tend to fall off 5-10 place back and some in slower. Male age groups are a little more consistent here, perhaps reflecting the larger number of competitors involved.

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

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