Below are the details around today’s announced changes to the IM Kona Lottery. It really doesn’t matter if you think lottery winners shouldn’t be at Kona, as the WTC is continuing this tradition. I for one hope to one day race there! The one really surprising thing to me was the number of legacy spots being offered up. I understand the idea that you want to thank your long-term athletes, but are there that many “active” peeps with 12+ IM races completed?! I have to assume it’s a huge number, as they’re taking away 100 general lottery spots!
I don’t fall into that category of the legacy peeps. From my perspective, it will be harder than ever to win a lottery spot for me. Yes, you can buy an extra lottery ball in the passport club and I also have four more lottery balls from past lottery attempts. Those should help my odds, but I’m still looking at significantly less odds to ever win a spot due to the reduction in slots. According to Everymantri, 7,339 peeps entered the lottery in 2010…Those same peeps are now fighting for only 100 spots vs. 200…AND many have additional lottery balls in play due to past lottery attempts!
As some of you may have heard me say before, I’ll keep hammering away at the Half/70.3 distance until I win the opportunity to toe the line in Kona for my first full Ironman!
btw – for those who still question lottery spots, check this out:
It goes almost without saying that, in general, the qualifiers will race Kona faster than the lottery winners. But here’s something you might not have expected: if a lottery winner gets to the starting line in Kona, they are more than twice as likely to finish the race.
As shown by the black bars in the chart, DNF rate for qualifiers was 4.5% in 2010; DNF for lottery winners was less than 2%. However, part of the explanation is the dramatically higher rate of lottery winners who don’t get to the starting line — more than 9%. Naturally: only those lottery winners who are really ready to race take the long flight to Kona. (via http://www.runtri.com)
The newly launched Ironman Legacy Program will grant loyal Ironman athletes an opportunity to compete in Kona at least once in their lifetime. One hundred Legacy winners will be chosen by WTC and selection will be based on several criteria. To be eligible for selection in the Legacy Program, athletes must have completed a minimum of 12 Ironman-branded races, have never started the Ironman World Championship, have completed at least one Ironman event in each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons and be registered for an Ironman event in 2012.
“Ironman athletes are incredibly loyal to our sport and we want to continue to find ways to recognize that loyalty,” said Messick. “Kona is the symbolic and spiritual home of triathlon and people deeply involved in the sport should get the opportunity to experience that. While many serious athletes will qualify for a spot at the starting line, the Ironman Legacy Program is an equally difficult but different way for them to get there.”
Messick continued, “The new aspects of the Lottery are meant to revitalize a program that’s part of our company’s rich history – onethat ensures athletes committed to living the triathlon lifestyle get their chance to follow their dream to Kona. People who are serious about the sport deserve that chance.”
A mainstay in the history of Ironman, the Ironman Lottery began in 1983 thanks to the vision of one of Ironman’s founders, John Collins, as a way to provide athletes ranging in ability the opportunity to qualify for the world’s most challenging one-day endurance event. More than 7,000 athletes apply for the Ironman Lottery each year.