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How to qualify for Ironman World Championships as a professional triathlete

Qualifying for Kona as a professional triathlete is the focus for most long-distance pros, but it is not easy says Nikki Bartlett as it is all down to a point-based ranking system. Here she explains the process and why it needs a careful strategy.

If your aim is to compete at the Ironman World Champs/70.3 Champs, get to know the points system. It requires being extremely smart in race choices and how you plan out your year. For instance as a newbie Pro, aiming for Kona 2017  you really do need a plan of action starting from the year before. As a female pro, you have previously needed around 4,500-5,000 points to qualify ‘safely’, with men needing around 3500. However I suspect this might change a little with the new rule change in how many races you can collect points from.

How to become a professional triathlete

Kona: qualifying & inequality

In previous years, your Kona points need to come from your best points combination from 5 races. This has now changed to 4. Two of these can be from 70.3 races, with a maximum of 3 IM races.

70.3 races are typically 750/500 point races, IM races generally are 2000 point races, with Championship (5 x Championship races through the year – winner automatically qualifies), being a 4000 point race.

"Races are allocated different points, but the majority of full Ironman races have 2000 points for the winner," explains fellow pro Caroline livesey. "The exception to this is the regional championships, of which there are five, which are 4000 points for the winner. Kona is an 8000 point race and points gathered there count towards the following year. 70.3 races carry much lower points, typically 500 or 750 for the winner."

Previous Kona winners from the past five years can qualify automatically by completing one full distance race, and those who win a regional championship also get an automatic slot.

Below is an example of a qualification points table, courtesy of Ironman

P-8000

P-4000

P-2000

P-3000

P-1500

P-750

P-500

1

8000

4000

2000

3000

1500

750

500

2

7200

3400

1600

2700

1275

640

400

3

6480

2890

1280

2430

1085

540

320

4

5835

2455

960

2185

920

435

240

5

5250

2090

720

1970

785

345

180

6

4725

1670

540

1770

625

280

135

7

4250

1335

405

1595

500

220

100

8

3825

1070

305

1435

400

180

75

9

3445

855

230

1290

320

140

55

10

3100

685

170

1165

255

115

45

11

2635

515

120

990

195

85

30

12

2240

385

85

840

145

65

20

13

1900

290

60

715

110

50

15

14

1620

215

40

605

80

35

10

15

1375

160

30

515

60

30

8

16

1100

120

20

415

45

20

6

17

880

90

15

330

35

15

4

18

705

70

10

265

25

10

3

19

565

50

8

210

20

9

2

20

450

40

5

170

15

7

2

You can see why it’s important to make a plan of action – ensuring you don’t over-race/burnout. A full procedure on how to qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona as a professional triathlete can be found here

How to qualify for Kona as an age-grouper


 
 

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