Have you always dreamed of toeing the start line at the IM World Championship in Kona? You may not realize that there are a range of ways to get there beyond being super fast. Here are eight ways to get to Kona:
1. Age Group Qualification
Every full-distance IRONMAN event offers a minimum of one qualifying spot per age group for the world championship. The number of qualifying slots in each age category is dependent on the number of competitors in each group. Finish at or near the top of the podium, or get lucky with a roll-down spot, and punch your ticket to Kona. Be sure to bring a credit card to the Roll-Down, as you’ve got to pay your entry fee on the spot.
2. Military Qualification
There are two Ironman 70.3 military qualification races that have allocated spots to the IRONMAN World Championships. Military members participating in a qualification event will be eligible for an Kona slot, allocated on a basis similar to age group qualification.
Full info found here.
3. IRONMAN Legacy Program
The IRONMAN Legacy Program was introduced in 2012 as a way to recognize and reward the most dedicated repeat athletes. Through the IRONMAN Legacy Program, athletes who have completed a 12 full-distance IRONMAN-branded races and have never competed at the IRONMAN World Championship have an opportunity to be selected for a special slot to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship.
Legacy requirements include:
– Athlete must have completed a minimum of 12 full-distance IRONMAN-branded* races (includes existing and past events) by December 31st of the current year.
- Athlete has never participated in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.
– Athlete must have completed at least one full-distance IRONMAN event in two consecutive years prior to World Championship.
– Athlete must be registered for a full-distance IRONMAN event in current year.
*2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
There are currently 100 legacy spots per year.
4. Physically Challenged/Open Exhibition Drawing
The IRONMAN World Championship Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division is available to athletes with a medically verified physical, visual, or neurological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Athletes who are drawn will need to validate their entry by completing at any time between October 14, 2017 and August 19, 2018, a triathlon consisting of, at a minimum, and on a single day, a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run. The validating race must have been completed as an individual participant and not as part of a relay team.
5. IRONMAN Foundation Fundraising
The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. The IRONMAN Foundation awards a Kona bib to their top fundraiser each year, as well as other select slots including one for Women for Tri.
6. IRONMAN Foundation Lottery
10 Kona slots are lotteried through the annual IRONMAN Foundation Kona Drawing. Lottery entries have a suggested donation of $50. Donations benefit the IRONMAN Foundation’s charitable giveback in our race communities around the world and are 100% tax deductible.
Full info found here.
7. IRONMAN Foundation Auction
5 Kona slots are auctioned on eBay. The auctions run for 7 days and the proceeds of the auction benefit the Ironman Foundation. In 2018 one of the spot’s proceeds went to Women for Tri.
The IRONMAN World Championship Annual Kona Auction Winner(s) receive:
– Race bib to compete at The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua, Kona
– Private athlete registration in Kona
– Four VIP packages
– Invitations to exclusive race-week functions
The auctions have raised over $2M dollars for the Ironman Foundation. Minimum bid is $10,000
Full info found here.
7. IRONMAN Executive Challenge, a.k.a IRONMAN XC
This is a member’s only program and provides guaranteed entry to IRONMAN events, the opportunity to compete for IRONMAN World Championship slots, VIP passes, first-class accommodations and much more. Participants are required to have qualified for their spot at the IRONMAN World Championships at an Ironman Executive Challenge event.
8. Outside Charity Spots
In a sport that lends itself to a laser-like focus on individual performance, the IRONMAN Charity Partner program helps athletes widen the spotlight by illuminating worthy causes. Giving athletes a purpose beyond their own accomplishment, the program aims to inspire IRONMAN athletes to fundraise for selected charity partners as a way to add meaning to their training and racing.