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Ironman announces new start times and format for 70.3 world championship

Credit: Arne Heggestad

From press release

Ironman has announced that the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 9 to 10 September, will move to a rolling wave start within each age group. The decision to change the swim-start aims to ‘create a more fair world championship experience for athletes by spreading athletes out and minimizing bike course density.’

Ironman adds that ‘significant analytics research of past participant data went into the formatting decision for the swim start and was an important factor in deciding when each age group would start.’

“The execution of the swim start is critical in the management of bike course drafting,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman. “The adjusted swim starts will help to ensure as fair of a race as possible for age-group athletes. We know how important world championship events are for our athletes and this decision is a direct response to the feedback we have received.

“By spacing out the start times in the sequence that has been determined, the athlete field will be more evenly spread throughout the course and subsequently reduce the opportunity for drafting.”

The championship race will be a two-day event with the professional and age-group women racing on Saturday 9 September and the professional and age-group men racing on Sunday 10 September. On Saturday, the professional women’s field will begin with a mass start at 07:30 local time, with the first age group women wave beginning at 07:38. Likewise, on Sunday, the men’s pro race will begin with a mass start at 07:30, and the first men’s age-group wave will begin at 07:38.

While the new format will have the men and women’s fields competing on separate days, the new start times will not change the existing cut-off standards for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. All athletes will be required to finish the swim in one hour, the bike in five hours and 10 minutes after start, and complete the entire course in eight hours.

“We are proud to continue to find ways of enhancing the athlete experience at our world championship events. As the top triathletes in the world, these competitors deserve the highest quality race possible,” said Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championship Events for Ironman.

The 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship swim waves will have altered time gaps between the age-group waves in order to support fairness and a more open course.

Below are the new start times for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship:


FEMALE PRO 7:30 am
1 FEMALE PC/HC 7:33 am
2 FEMALE 40-44 7:38 am
3 FEMALE 70+ 7:45 am
4 FEMALE 35-39 7:54 am
5 FEMALE 65-69 8:02 am
6 FEMALE 30-34 8:11 am
7 FEMALE 60-64 8:18 am
8 FEMALE 55-59 8:26 am
9 FEMALE 50-54 8:35 am
10 FEMALE 25-29 8:43 am
11 FEMALE 18-24 8:49 am
12 FEMALE 45-49 8:58 am


MALE PRO 7:30 am
1 MALE PC/HC 7:33 am
2 MALE 40-44 7:38 am
3 MALE 70+ 7:50 am
4 MALE 35-39 8:00 am
5 MALE 65-69 8:12 am
6 MALE 30-34 8:22 am
7 MALE 60-64 8:33 am
8 MALE 55-59 8:42 am
9 MALE 50-54 8:52 am
10 MALE 25-29 9:04 am
11 MALE 18-24 9:13 am
12 MALE 45-49 9:23 am