Ironman announced today additional ways of getting a coveted starting spot on the start line of the 2016 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The race is set for Saturday, Oct. 8. The news follows the Department of Justice’s 2015 decision to rule the former Kona lottery system—which offered 100 spots—as not compliant with government lottery and gambling laws. The most significant change outlined below is an additional 25 slots for Legacy Program athletes.
Opportunities to earn a Kona slot now include:
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. Each of the 39 full-distance Ironman races in the 2016 qualifying series offers a different number of Kona qualification slots which are then divided up according to the size of their respective age-group.
2016 Bonus Kona Slots
This year, Ironman has allocated additional Ironman World Championship slots to a few races. As the last qualifying race of the 2016 season, Ironman Coeur d’Alene taking place on Aug. 21 now offers a total of 65 slots. To celebrate Ironman Switzerland’s 10th anniversary, a total of 65 slots are up for grabs at the July 24 race.
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 today (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) and finish on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET. Selected athletes will be announced on April 18. Additional information on the drawing can be found at Crowdrise.com/racekona.
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Ironman Foundation Annual Kona Auction
Beginning on April 18, 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 $10,000). New for this year, a fifth slot, also 100 percent tax deductible, will be offered with 100 percent of the funds going to support the Women For Tri initiative (minimum opening bid of $25,000). This slot will be auctioned off once the auctions for the other four slots have concluded on May 16. Additional information can be found at Ironmanfoundation.org/programs/special-events/.
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 will be forthcoming.
Ironman Legacy Program
The Ironman Legacy Program, now in its fifth year, rewards Ironman’s most loyal athletes with a chance to compete in Kona. These athletes became eligible for selection based on having: 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 2014 and 2015 seasons; and d) be registered for an Ironman event in 2016. This year, Ironman has added 25 additional Legacy athletes to the annual 100 athletes selected for a total of 125. The full list of winners which have been announced, can be found at Ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/03/2016-ironman-legacy-winners.aspx.