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On Sunday, World Triathlon Corporation announced which lucky athletes won slots to the 2012 Ironman World Championship through the Ironman Lottery and Ironman Legacy programs. The race will take place on Oct. 13, 2012, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
The Ironman Lottery selected 100 general age-group athletes and five physically challenged athletes from all over the world. Through the newly implemented Ironman Legacy Program, 100 athletes from around the world were chosen.
The Legacy Program grants loyal Ironman athletes an opportunity to compete in Kona at least once in their lifetime. To have been selected the athletes had to meet certain criteria: Athletes must have completed at least 12 full-distance Ironman-branded races, have never started the Ironman World Championship, have completed a full-distance Ironman in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons and be registered for a full-distance Ironman in 2012.
The Lottery and Legacy are two of just a few ways to gain entry to Kona. Other ways include earning slots with top age-group finishes at more than 30 qualifying events around the world, purchase a slot through Ironman’s charitable eBay auction, or win a slot through the recently announced “Kona Inspired” program. Recognized as one of the most in-demand athletic events in the world, the Ironman World Championship sees more than 80,000 athletes attempting to earn a qualifying slot on its starting line every year. The Ironman Lottery began in 1983 as a way to provide athletes ranging in ability the opportunity to qualify for the iconic Ironman World Championship.