The best of the best multisport athletes in the world just finished up the hardest single day endurance event in the world, the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Each athlete needed to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles under 17 hours. Almost 95 percent of the athletes who started the race, finished the race!
This was also the first year that professional triathletes needed to earn points to qualify to race in the world championship. The system is called the Kona Points Ranking (KPR).
COMPLETE VIDEO ARCHIVE (70 Clips)
This new system limited the number of professional men to 50 and the professional women’s field to 30. There were some exceptions for previous Ironman World Champions (see below) but it’s a system that many professionals still see as needing tweeking. The top professionals weighed in following the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship.
4-time Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington and 3-time Ironman World Champion, Craig Alexander and the 2010 Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae all weighed in on the new system following the race on Saturday, October 8. You can watch Chrissie’s interview in the left hand column. You can find Craig and Mirinda’s video interview HERE.
IM QUALIFYING: Beginning with Ironman 70.3 Ireland on September 4, 2011, professional athletes will earn points for Kona Qualifying correlating to their finish position. The top 50 male and top 30 female pros in the KPR at the end of each Qualifying Year will qualify to race in Kona.
- Athlete’s five highest scoring Races will count toward their KPR.
- Athletes may accumulate points from any combination of Races PROVIDED that each athlete completes at least one full-distance Ironman race during the Qualifying Year.
- Includes no more than three Ironman 70.3 races during the Qualifying Year.
- Scoring points in Kona DOES NOT fulfill the requirement that each ranked athlete must score in a full-distance Ironman during the Qualifying Year.
- Athletes are not required to do more than one full-distance Ironman race in the Qualifying Year to be ranked. Athletes may score with five full-distance Ironman races, if they choose.
- Athletes finishing Kona will be awarded points that are retained during that Qualifying Year and can be included as one of the athlete’s five highest scoring races.
- Points do not carry forward from one Qualifying Year to the next.
- The top 40 male and top 25 female pros in the KPR as of July 29, 2012 (July Qualifiers) will be qualified to race in Kona 2012.
- The July Qualifiers are assured of a slot in Kona provided they enter the event according to registration procedures. Any slots not claimed will roll down to next highest qualifier.
- Once a slot has been declined there is no recourse to reclaim it back.
- Ties resulting in more than 40 male or 25 female July Qualifiers will be broken by the Tiebreakers
- The highest scoring 10 male and 5 female pros in the KPR, not including the July Qualifiers, as of August 27, 2012 will qualify to race in Kona.
- No more than 10 male and 5 female pros may be August Qualifiers.
- Ties resulting in more than 10 male or 5 female August Qualifiers will be broken by the Tiebreakers.
Ties will be broken as follows:
- 1st Tiebreaker — The total of each athlete’s (up to) five highest scoring full-distance Ironman events
- 2nd Tiebreaker – The athlete’s highest scoring race
- 3rd Tiebreaker – The athlete’s second highest scoring race
- 4th Tiebreaker – The athlete’s third highest scoring race
- In the event that two or more athletes remain tied after the 4th tiebreaker, all tied athletes will qualify.
Final Entry & Roll-Down
- The final KPR will be published as soon as possible after the last Race on August 26, 2012.
- Qualified athletes will have until September 3, 2012 to complete on-line registration for Kona. A roll-down will be held for any unclaimed slots with entries rolling down to the next highest ranked athlete.
- Once a slot has been declined there is no recourse to then reclaim it back.
- Past Kona champions will receive an invitation/exemption to enter the pro division in Kona for a period of five years after their last championship.
- Past champions will not be required to qualify in the KPR during this five-year period.
- Past champions entering as pros will be required to validate their entry by completing one full-distance Ironman race, excluding Kona, during the Qualifying Year.
- Automatic Qualifiers will be accepted into Kona in addition to the 80 pro slots. If, for example, a returning champion is ranked in the top 30 women, the 31st ranked woman will qualify for Kona.