Ironman New Zealand 2020: Age Group Results and Kona Qualification

Ironman New Zealand opened the 2020 Ironman season over the weekend. New Zealand is a medium sized race with a long history in Ironman. It offers the standard 40 age group Kona slots for the 2020 Ironman World Championship. there were some alterations to the course for this year’s race, but they don’t appear to have had any significant impact on the results.

Note that I’ve excluded the 2012 race from this analysis as it was shortened due to race day conditions.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman New Zealand 2020 Compared with 2010-2019

Comparing this year’s results distribution with previous years shows a race that doesn’t vary too much from the averages. The swim is the stage with the most obvious differences – here the race trended slower than course averages. Bike and run distributions do trend slower at the middle-of-the-pack, but front-of-pack times are inline with course averages. The top 5% of age groupers appear to have performed inline with course expectations, but further back things slowed and the distribution broadened.

DNF Rates at Ironman New Zealand
Year
Starters
Finishers
Swim DNF
Bike DNF
Run DNF
Overall DNF
DQs
2010
1253
1119
9.3%
9.5%
10.7%
10.7%
2011
1312
1251
2.6%
3.2%
4.7%
4.6%
2013
1308
1224
0.2%
2.9%
6.4%
6.4%
2014
1584
1497
1.6%
3%
5.5%
5.5%
1
2015
1122
1050
0.3%
4.4%
6.5%
6.4%
2016
1250
1164
0.6%
3.4%
6.9%
6.9%
2017
1133
1009
1.8%
8.1%
10.9%
10.9%
1
2018
1144
1074
6.1%
6.1%
6.1%
6.1%
1
2019
1433
1331
0.5%
3.3%
7.1%
7.1%
2020
1233
1164
1.1%
3.6%
5.7%
5.6%

The DNF rates from this years race are also inline with previous years and if anything lean towards the low end of DNF rates at this race. So conditions appear to have been fine for racing, with no significant impact on finishing rates.

Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman New Zealand 2020
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman New Zealand 2010-2019

At the median age group splits are slower. As we’ve seen in the distributions it’s at the front of the age group race where times matched the previous course results. Pro splits were better than course average this year.

Top 10 Nationalities at Ironman New Zealand 2020
Country
Count
Percentage
New Zealand
615
49.9
Australia
202
16.4
United States
89
7.2
United Kingdom
67
5.4
Japan
58
4.7
India
23
1.9
Canada
21
1.7
Indonesia
17
1.4
France
14
1.1
Hong Kong
11
0.9
Ironman New Zealand 2020 Predicted Kona Qualifiers by Country
Country
Percentage of Slots
Percentage of Field
New Zealand
62.5
49.9
Australia
15.0
16.4
Japan
5.0
4.7
United States
5.0
7.2
Netherlands
2.5
0.0
Brazil
2.5
0.0
Luxembourg
2.5
0.0
France
2.5
1.1

Ironman New Zealand draws quite a broad field with about half the athletes coming from New Zealand itself. Slots mostly stayed in New Zealand, although proportions aren’t too far off athlete numbers.

Changes in Male Finishing Times by Position at Ironman New Zealand
Changes in Female Finishing Times by Position at Ironman New Zealand

There’s been a lot of variability in age group results at Ironman New Zealand over the years. The 2020 times across positions vary a lot, some are faster than the previous year, some slower. Many of the first place times do push towards the faster end fo results though. 2017 stands out as the slowest year for the course.

Ironman New Zealand 2020 Predicted Kona Qualification Times
Age Group
Slots
Winner
Final Qualifier
10th Place
M18-24
1
09:07:14
09:07:14
11:33:34
M25-29
2
08:40:40
08:54:32
10:08:42
M30-34
2
08:50:28
09:00:41
09:31:58
M35-39
3
09:14:10
09:25:15
09:59:10
M40-44
3
09:08:48
09:24:34
09:57:46
M45-49
4
08:41:41
09:39:40
10:33:04
M50-54
4
09:49:08
09:55:04
10:17:43
M55-59
3
10:26:46
10:55:59
11:25:34
M60-64
1
10:45:00
10:45:00
12:05:03
M65-69
1
11:02:32
11:02:32
14:55:18
M70-74
1
13:26:37
13:26:37
 
M75-79
1
14:28:54
14:28:54
 
M80-84
1
No Finishers
 
 
F18-24
1
10:14:57
10:14:57
 
F25-29
1
10:13:23
10:13:23
12:19:10
F30-34
1
10:08:20
10:08:20
11:54:34
F35-39
1
09:43:40
09:43:40
11:50:59
F40-44
2
09:54:08
10:26:16
11:41:00
F45-49
2
10:51:38
10:57:36
12:03:13
F50-54
1
11:13:17
11:13:17
13:12:00
F55-59
1
11:40:03
11:40:03
14:39:18
F60-64
1
12:14:21
12:14:21
 
F65-69
1
12:07:09
12:07:09
 
F70-74
1
15:47:47
15:47:47
 

Based on athlete start numbers I’ve calculated the Kona slot allocation according to the current Ironman method. From this I’ve identified the automatic qualifying time for each age group – this would be the time of the final athlete who is eligible for a Kona slot without roll down. Exact numbers may vary a little and roll down is not accounted for. You can compare this with other races on my Kona qualification page.

Top Twenty Male Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman New Zealand 2020
Top Twenty Female Performances and Kona Qualification by Age Group at Ironman New Zealand 2020

Tracking the times for the top twenty in each age group, this year’s race varies around the course average. Some age groups are faster, but some are slower. Generally when we look to the top ten the times are course average or better. IT was clearly a fast year for those chasing Kona qualification slots, but these times fall back as we move further back in the age groups.

You can access a spreadsheet of the full results from Ironman New Zealand 2020 on my Google Drive.

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