For the first time, the Hawaiian IRONMAN World Championships will move to wave starts.
The event will feature 11 waves; 11 leave times; each separated by 5 minutes. As is customary, the professional men’s field will start at 6:25 a.m., followed by the professional women’s field at 6:30am. The PC/Open Exhibition and Handcycle divisions will leave at 6:35 a.m. Then, a 20 minute break, and the first age group wave will start at 6:55 a.m. and continue every 5 minutes until all athletes are in the water.
There will be 7 age group waves, 4 mens and 3 womens. Finally, at 7:30am, the Legacy wave leaves.
“The swim start change is a reflection of, and reaction to, the extraordinary ability of our IRONMAN World Championship athletes,” said Andrew Messick, President & CEO of The IRONMAN Group. “While we appreciate the simplicity and iconic visual of the mass start, our primary responsibility is to create a fair race for all athletes. A single start each for age-group men and age-group women creates too much density on the bike course.”
While a wave start will make the swim less congested, the larger purpose is to spread the cyclists out and delay, decrease, abate the formation of packs.
The new start times will not change the existing cut off standards for the IRONMAN World Championship: 2:20 for the swim and 10:30 for the bike. Athletes will also still have to reach the finish line within 17 hours to be official finishers of the race. Here are the swim leave times:
6:35am: PC OPEN / HC