Ironman announced today that it has made changes to the start times for its 2015 world championship events, including the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
Ironman World Championship (Oct. 10 – Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i)
Over the past few years, the pro men and women have been split into separate start waves, the age group men and women have been split into separate start waves, and the times between each of the waves have grown. Today’s announcement will further separate the various groups, with a full 45 minutes separating the first group (pro men) from the last group (age-group women). The professional men will kick off the action at 6:25 a.m., with the pro women following at 6:30 a.m. Age-group men will start their day at 6:55 a.m., with the age-group women concluding the starts at 7:10 a.m.
Ironman says the decision to adjust the swim start times was made following an analysis of past participant data and with the goal to manage course density and level the playing field throughout each event. The start times at this race have been a hotly-debated topic in the sport. What is the best way to give the professional men and women a fair race (without mixing too much with each other and the age-group fields), while also taking into account the very competitive (and growing) age-group field?
“The adjusted swim starts at the Ironman World Championship will help to ensure a fair start for both professional and age-group athletes,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman in the press release. “By spacing out the start times, especially increasing the gap between the professional women and age group men, the athlete field will be more evenly spread throughout the course and provide a safe and balanced racing atmosphere.”
The new start times will not change the existing cut-off standards (two hours and 20 minutes for the swim and 10 hours and 30 minutes for the bike), but will alter the total finish time of the entire course to 16 hours and 50 minutes. In the past, the cutoff was set at 17 hours.
2015 Ironman World Championship new start times:
6:25 A.M. Pro Men
6:30 A.M. Pro Women
6:55 A.M. Age Group Men
7:10 A.M. Age Group Women
Ironman 70.3 World Championship (Aug. 30 – Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria)
The 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship swim waves will also be adjusted for both professional and age-group athletes. The altered gap times between waves are designed to minimize swim and bike density on the course.
2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship new start times:
10:45 A.M. Pro Men
10:48 A.M. Pro Women
10:50 A.M. Physically Challenged and Hand Cycle Athletes
10:58 A.M. Men 35-39
11:04 A.M. Men 30-34
11:10 A.M. Men 25-29
11:15 A.M. Men 18-24
11:20 A.M. Men 40-44
11:26 A.M. Men 45-49
11:31 A.M. Men 50-54
11:36 A.M. Women 30-34
11:41 A.M. Men 55-59; Women 55+
11:46 A.M. Women 40-44
11:50 A.M. Women 50-54
11:54 A.M. Women 35-39
11:58 A.M. Men 60+
12:02 P.M. Women 45-49
12:05 P.M. Women 18-29