Triathlon season 2019 is over! My last Ironman 70.3 race was in Vichy, France and it’s time to make up the balance! How did I do in 2019? What was my performance this year, age group and overall results and what is my Ironman ranking?
First, in which triathlon races did I compete in 2019?
My season started with the Brouwersdam 90 race. An uncommon distance tri, consisting out of 1 km swimming, 79 km cycling and 10 km running. Early in the season, the temperature had been good but on race day the weather was crap! Cold, raining and miserable.
Swim: 19 minutes 12 seconds, AG 88, Overall 259
Bike: 2 hours 18 minutes 5 seconds, AG 70, Overall 214
Run: 48 minutes 11 seconds, AG 69, Overall 192.
Total time: 3 hours 29 seconds 28 seconds
Total age group result: 63 / 171, overall result: 182 / 520.
Ironman 70.3 Elsinore
A month later was the Ironman 70.3 Elsinore race in Helsingor, Denmark. I was getting quite good in shape, and the bike route was great for me. The route was going up and down quite a lot, next to some climbing and fast downhill sections. The swim route was chaotic and could probably have done better. The running went quite ok but still have to make some improvements!
Swim: 35 minutes 47 seconds, AG 115, Overall 870
Bike: 2 hours 22 minutes 16 seconds, AG 53, Overall 335
Run: 1 hour 38 minutes 7 seconds, AG 54, Overall 353
Total time: 4 hours 43 minutes 4 seconds
Total age group result: 54 / 306, overall result: 353 /2519
Resulting in a top 20% finish in my age group and top 15% finish overall.
Terriers 1/8 Tri
This was a local organised triathlon race of approximately 1/8 distance. I was assisting the organisation a little bit and since this was the first Terriers 1/8 triathlon race everything was kept unofficial and only a small group of athletes were invited.
The distances were 550 m swimming, 20.8 km cycling and 5.6 km running. Just coming back from the Ironman 70.3 in Denmark, this was not my highest priority race of 2019 but since it was my local race, I wanted to give my best shot! The swim start in the local swimming pool with 4 athletes per lane was a bit hectic but could have been a lot worse as well 😉 Getting out of the water, running a short distance to the bikes that were parked outside the gates. The bike route was mostly on public bike roads and quiet general roads with only a few crossings with other roads. Other traffic wasn’t stopped since the race was unofficial but we had some volunteers that were helping the athletes but normal road rules applied. The running was a 2-loop around the local hockey club, where the finish ceremony was conducted as well.
Swim: 10 minutes 28 seconds
Bike: 33 minutes 47 seconds
Run: 22 minutes 48 seconds
Total time: 1 hours 9 minutes 36 seconds
Resulting in my first WIN!
Ironman 5150 West-Friesland
A week after winning the Terriers 1/8 Tri was the Ironman 5150 Hoorn, West-Friesland. My first Ironman race in The Netherlands and pretty close to my home town. The 5150 is the Olympic Distance name for Ironman and therefore the swimming was 1.5 km, cycling 40 km and 10 km running. This was the first 5150 race organised by Ironman Netherlands, and also the first one in Hoorn and therefore had certainly some improvements for next year.
The swimming was not a traditional Ironman rolling start based on swim times, but a first come, first serve type. Still rolling but nothing regulated and it was quite chaotic and annoying to swim like this. The first (few) hundred meters weren’t deep enough to swim, so most were walking through the water or making dolphin jumps… The bike route was pretty good in my idea. I had cycled the route before and, although some section was changed last minute, it was quite easy and well guided. The running was unfortunately not well-guided, especially in the city park were the signs were not visible and many athletes ran an incorrect route.
Swim: 27 minutes 18 seconds, AG 22, Overall 120
Bike: 1 hour 1 minute 41 seconds, AG 6, Overall 31
Run: 41 minutes 54 seconds, AG 7, Overall 26
Total time: 2 hours 14 minutes 44 seconds
Total age group result: 7 / 89, overall result: 26 / 655
Resulting in a top 10% finish in my age group and top 5% finish overall. I was quite happy with the result, my general speed and condition. There are still improvements to make, especially for the swimming and running.
London Westminster Olympic Distance
My second olympic distance race of 2019. Having finished pretty well at the Ironman 5150 in Hoorn NL, I was hoping for a good result in the London Westminster race as well. Of course, all the conditions and situations are different for every race. The swimming in London was in a large dock compared to the open lake at Hoorn. The cycling went along the river Thames towards Westminster and the Big Ben, compared to cycling over a long dike and through the polders at Hoorn. And the running was along the dock up and down, compared to going through the city center and through the city park at Hoorn. Completely different races but still the same distance.
The start was in groups of about 50 athletes every time. I was in start group 2, so luckily not too many athletes that could be in my way to overtake. My swimming wasn’t great but compared to others in my group I wasn’t too bad either 😉 The cycling went very well. I was hard hammering and had a great time overtaking others and going along the London Eye and to Westminster / Big Ben. The run was ok, but could be improved.
Swim: 29 minutes 11 seconds, Overall 465
Bike: 1 hour 6 seconds, Overall 32 🙂
Run: 41 minutes 59 seconds, Overall 113
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes 54 seconds
Total AG result: 11 / 179, overall result: 62 / 1841
Resulting in a top 10% finish in my age group and top 5% finish overall.
Ironman 70.3 Vichy
Last race of the season. This should be the highlight and that’s where I’ve been working for… After registration, the bike route was changed by the organisation to a route with a lot more height meters. My idea for 2019 was to try out more flatter bike routes since all the previous Ironman races were in the Alps. Due to the change, IM 70.3 Vichy had suddenly also a lot more height meters! The water of the river Allier, that is made into some kind of ‘lake’ at the city of Vichy, was not good enough to swim in before the race. Normally the lake can be used for swimming as well but not this summer. Luckily I found a lake in an ancient volcano crater and that was perfect for my last few swim trainings in France. August 2019 was a warm month, and extra precautions were made by the organisation for overheating or dehydrated runners. I like the warm climate and didn’t had many issues with it.
The swim was in the lake Alliers and was a typical Ironman rolling start. This was good organised and I didn’t experience any issues with slow swimmers in front of me. The cycling was challenging but I like it a lot. It was warm, some steep climbs and fast downhill sections. Having ridden the route a few times, I knew where to go fast and where to take it easy. Great advantage! The running was a 2-loop around the lake and through the city center. The run was warm and exhausting and in general the run is something I would like to improve further.
Swim: 36 minutes 9 seconds, AG 56, Overall 516
Bike: 2 hours 44 minutes 29 seconds, AG 12 🙂 Overall 131
Run: 1 hour 41 minutes 35 seconds, AG 20, Overall 200
Overall time: 5 hours 8 minutes 51 seconds
Total AG result: 20 / 182, overall result: 200 / 1868
Resulting in just outside top 10% in my age group and overall finish. My result of place 20 in my age group in an Ironman 70.3 race has been my best result ever! I’m very happy with this and knowing I can improve a lot in my swimming technique and with my run pace, this is looking promising for the next years! I hope I can keep the high training schedule together with my irregular work schedule.
Adding everything in a nice overview table, it’s possible to compare some numbers. There are different race distances in this overview, so not 1-to-1 comparable, but it gives some kind of an idea.
AG: 88 / 171
AG: 70 / 171
AG: 69 / 171
AG: 115 / 306
AG: 53 / 306
AG: 54 / 306
AG: 22 / 89
AG: 6 / 89
AG: 7 / 89
OR: 465 / 1841
OR: 32 / 1841
OR: 113 / 1841
AG: 56 / 182
AG: 12 / 182
AG: 20 / 182
And only the results and corresponding rankings:
Ironman All World Athletes – Ranking 2020
Ironman has a competition system for all the athletes competing in an Ironman race. This is called the Ironman Age Group ranking and if your performances are good enough, you can become an Ironman All World Athlete.
After the last Ironman race of the year, the Ironman Age Group rankings are being finalized. For each Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and Ironman 5150 race, an athlete will get a certain amount of points. The points are calculated based on the athlete’s race finish time behind the first finisher in his age group.
There are 3 levels in Ironman rankings:
- Gold = top 1 percent
- Silver = top 5 percent
- Bronze = top 10 percent
During season 2019, I had the Bronze status of the All World Athlete program, meaning that I ranked in the top 10% of the 2018 races combined. Being part of the AWA program, brings some benefits for the athlete. In my idea the most significant benefit is the better place for the bike in the transition zone. Besides that, there is the separate register desk so you don’t have to queue up, you get the AWA logo on your start number and you get a special AWA swim cap. I wouldn’t pay any extra money for it, but getting this because you’ve been performing well, and the better bike rack place is nice.
My Ironman races in 2019 were the Ironman 70.3 Elsinore, Ironman 5150 West-Friesland and Ironman 70.3 Vichy. I’ve collected the following points:
With the performances of season 2019, I made it to become an All World Athlete with Silver status in 2020! This means that I was in the top 5% of all the worldwide athletes in my age group 🙂
With the update about the Ironman AWA status for 2020, I’ll finish this post. More to come in season 2020!
I’ll do my best to be stronger, faster and finishing higher in 2020!