For long-course triathletes, the IRONMAN World Championship is the pot of gold at the end of a rewarding season of training. Here’s your roadmap.
Every year, more than 2,200 hard-working athletes have the chance to compete at the iconic IRONMAN World Championship on the Island of Hawai’i. It was there that Dave Scott and Mark Allen battled head to head in 1989’s “Iron War.”
It was there that IRONMAN legend Paula Newby-Fraser earned her historic eight victories. It continues to be where thousands of athletes have overcome illness and injury, fighting through their own—or sometimes others’—mental, emotional, and physical hardships.
The historic finish line on Ali’i Drive has become synonymous with big dreams, and even bigger accomplishments. It is the place where the IRONMAN mantra, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE”, pulses to the beat of the Hawaiian drum.
And we want to help you get there.
- Standard qualification: Every year, age-group athletes compete in full-distance races globally for one of only a handful of highly coveted slots to the IRONMAN World Championship. This route demands a lot of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears, as athletes compete against their fellow age-groupers for slots. Each of the 40 full-distance IRONMAN races in the 2017 qualifying series offers a different number of Kona qualification slots, which are then divided up according to the size of their respective age-group
- Qualify in China: Once again, this year our IRONMAN 70.3 races in China will be the only half-distance events where athletes can qualify for Kona. Pick a race, and get planning, you’re in for a treat:IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou: April 1, 2017—30 qualifying slots.
IRONMAN 70.3 Qujing: August 27, 2017—30 qualifying slots.
- IRONMAN Legacy Program: The IRONMAN Legacy Program, now in its sixth year, rewards our most loyal athletes with a chance to compete in Kona. These athletes became eligible for selection based on a) completed a minimum of 12 full-distance IRONMAN races; b) never started the iconic IRONMAN World Championship; c) have completed at least one IRONMAN event in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons; and d) be registered for an IRONMAN event in 2017. This year, we have added 100 additional Legacy slots to the annual 100, for a total of 200.
- IRONMAN Kona Drawing benefiting The IRONMAN Foundation: This year, The IRONMAN Foundation is offering a drawing for 10 slots, with a suggested (tax deductible) donation of $50.00 to benefit the Foundation’s charitable giveback in communities around the world. The drawing will begin on Friday, February 24, 2017, and finish on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 12 pm ET . Selected athletes will be announced on Friday, March 31. Click here to enter the drawing.Related Article: 39 Things You Didn’t Know About Kona
- Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division Drawing: To honor the vision of IRONMAN co-founders, John and Judy Collins, IRONMAN remains committed to providing athletes of all abilities a means of entry to the world’s most challenging and prestigious one-day endurance event. Through the Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division Drawing, five physically challenged athletes from around the world will be drawn to receive entry to the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship. Further guidelines and registration information can be found at ironman.com/pcdrawing.
- IRONMAN Foundation annual Kona auction: Beginning on April 1, 2017, one slot will be auctioned off each week for five weeks on eBay. The first four slots will benefit the IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund and will be 100 percent tax deductible less the value of the race registration (minimum opening bid of $25,000). Visit the IRONMAN Foundation website for more information. For the second year, The IRONMAN Foundation will offer a fifth slot (also 100 percent tax deductible) with 100 percent of the funds going to support Women For Tri — a program of the IRONMAN Foundation that works to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon (minimum opening bid of $25,000).
- Women For Tri slots: The Women For Tri initiative will also allocate one additional slot to a female triathlete who both a) embodies the spirit of Women For Tri through a compelling personal story that motivates and inspires other women to “Tri”; and b) raises or contributes at least $25,000 to the Women For Tri charitable, tax-deductible effort. This slot will be distributed via an application process. Additional details are available at the IRONMAN Foundation website.
- IRONMAN Executive Challenge: With 25 slots set aside for the IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN XC creates a true competition among peers at XC qualifying events, with top performers awarded IRONMAN World Championship slots. The program brings together executives at select events around the globe for a unique and ultra-personalized IRONMAN race weekend experience. This turn-key program streamlines all logistics surrounding an IRONMAN event and provide a white glove level of service. Additionally, family and guests experience VIP treatment throughout event weekend with a front row seat to all the action.
- Bonus Kona slots: This year, bonus slots to the IRONMAN World Championship were allocated to a few select races in different regions. Ten lucky athletes won the chance to race at Kona via a drawing relating to IRONMAN Boulder, taking place on June 11. IRONMAN Australia, taking place on May 7, 2017, provided a similar promotion with 10 entries to Kona. In the coming weeks, information will be provided on on a special opportunity for athletes racing at IRONMAN Maastricht – Limburg on August 6, 2017.
- Japan to Whistler to Kona! This year, an additional 20 qualifying slots to the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i, are up for grabs for Japanese nationals racing IRONMAN Canada. These slots will be allocated based on the athlete’s Age-Group Ranking upon conclusion of the race. Click here for more information.
- IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii, Honu to Kona: Thanks to the Island of Hawai’i Visitor’s Bureau, 10 Kona slots are on offer to anyone who registers for IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii by May 1, 2017. Click here for more information.