How to Qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Champs: 6 Tips

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The Ironman 70.3 World Championship is an annual half-Ironman-distance triathlon competition that is held in a different location every year, usually in August, September, or October.

I’m going to give you 6 tips on qualifying, based on experienced. I’ve qualified for four of them myself (2018, 2019, 2022, 2023).

To qualify, athletes must compete in one of the Ironman 70.3 events held around the world, and earn one of the coveted World Champs slots that are awarded to the top finishers in each age group.

The number of slots available at each event varies, and is based on the total number of athletes competing and the size of the field in each age group.

The slots are awarded based on the athletes’ finish times and their age groups. The slots are awarded at each Ironman 70.3 event, usually before the prize ceremony.

6 Tips on Qualifying

Here are some tips on how to increase your odds of qualifying:

  1. Choose a race that is close to the qualifying date, when many of the faster athletes have already secured their own slots. This helps remove some of the toughest competition.
  2. Race in a place that you are acclimatized to. For example, if you live in a cold climate, don’t choose a hot and humid race to try to qualify in.
  3. Look at the past year’s qualifying times from various races and select one that has slower times. Some races are less competitive than others.
  4. Often, brand new races (first-year races) have very small fields – these can be good choices as they limit the competition.
  5. Races that are geographically far or inconvenient from the World Champs may have less competition – fewer people will want to travel that far from them to the World Champs.
  6. Finally, make sure you go to the rolldown after the race, even if you didn’t place well in your age group. This is where the slots are awarded. But if those who qualify in your age group do not turn up or if they do not want the slot, they will “roll down” to the next finishers, until the spots are taken. I’ve seen them roll down to the 40th or 50th placings before!

Fun fact: In the last two World Champs I’ve qualified for, the coins were not given out at the rolldown (Melbourne in 2022 and Desaru in 2022). We had to wait till the actual race to get them!

The location of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship is changed every year, and it’s announced well in advance. Here are some of the locations:

  • 2025: Marbella, Spain – Nov 8 (women) & Nov 9 (men)
  • 2024: Taupo, New Zealand – Dec 14 (women) & Dec 15 (men)
  • 2023: Lathi, Finland
  • 2022: St. George, Utah, US
  • 2019: Nice, France
  • 2018: Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Qualifying for Marbella in 2025

The qualifying period is from July 6, 2024 to June 29, 2025.

Races later in that period may be less competitive based on the rationale that many of the faster athletes vying for slots would have already earned theirs.

There are 58 races to choose from in 2024 to qualify for the 2025 70.3 World Champs.

They are from between July 7th and Dec 15th around the world – North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

July – 10 Races

7 July Jonkoping, Sweden
7 July Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
7 July Ecuador
13 July Muncie, Indiana, USA
14 July Musselman, New York, USA
14 July Swansea, Wales
21 July Ohio, USA
21 July Oregon, USA
28 July Calgary, Canada
28 July Maine, USA

August – 7 Races

4 Aug Gdynia, Poland
4 Aug Rwanda
11 Aug Davao, Philippines
18 Aug Louisville, Kentucky
18 Aug Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
25 Aug Fortaleza, Brazil
25 Aug European Championship, Tallinn

September – 19 Races

1 Sep Vichy, France
1 Sep Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria
1 Sep Duisburg, Germany
1 Sep Poznan, Poland
7 Sep Wisconsin, USA
8 Sep Santa Cruz, California, USA
8 Sep Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
8 Sep Knokke-Heist, Flanders, Belgium
15 Sep Weymouth, Dorset, England
15 Sep Michigan, USA
15 Sep Erkner, Berlin, Germany
15 Sep Belgrade, Serbia
22 Sep Emilia-Romagna, Italy
22 Sep Cozumel, Mexico
22 Sep Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
22 Sep São Paulo, Brazil
22 Sep Washington Tri-Cities, USA
28 Sep New York, USA
29 Sep Augusta, Georgia, USA

October – 11 Races

Oct 6 Waco, Texas, USA
Oct 6 Kenting, Taiwan
Oct 12 Langkawi, Malaysia
Oct 19 Cascais, Portugal
Oct 19 North Carolina, USA
Oct 20 Vouliagmeni, Greece
Oct 20 Porec, Croatia
Oct 26 Salalah, Oman
Oct 27 Goa, India
Oct 27 Marbella, Spain
Oct 27 Tangier, Morocco

November – 6 Races

3 Nov Belek, Türkiye
10 Nov Melbourne, Australia
17 Nov 70.3 Mossel Bay – African TriClub Championship
17 Nov 70.3 Phu Quoc, Vietnam
17 Nov Valdivia, Chile
TBD Los Cabos, Mexico

December – 5 Races

1 Dec Cartagena, Colombia
1 Dec Acapulco, Mexico
1 Dec Western Australia
8 Dec Indian Wells, California
15 Dec Haines City, Florida


It’s important to note that even if you qualify for the World Champs, you still have to register and pay for the race, on the spot.

Here’s an example of how the rolldown works, when the winning athlete for an age group is not available to take the world champs spot:

YouTube player
Short video showing the rolldown at Desaru, Malaysia in 2022

Related post:

5 Ways to Qualify the Ironman World Championships in Kona or Nice

Related video:

YouTube player

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