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.
Here are some tips on how to increase your odds of qualifying:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Often, brand new races (first-year races) have very small fields – these can be good choices as they limit the competition.
- 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.
- 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:
- 2023: Lathi, Finland
- 2022: St. George, Utah, US
- 2019: Nice, France
- 2018: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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:
5 Ways to Qualify the Ironman World Championships in Kona or Nice
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