IRONMAN has announced additional ways for athletes to get into the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
Opportunities include: the newly created IRONMAN Kona Drawing, which will offer 10 slots to benefit the IRONMAN Foundation; the IRONMAN Foundation’s annual Kona auction on eBay, which for the 14th consecutive year will offer athletes an opportunity to bid on one of four slots to benefit the Foundation – as well as a special fifth slot auctioned off to support Women For Tri.
The additional Women For Tri slot will be allocated to a female athlete with a compelling story and charitable effort to benefit the Women For Tri initiative.
In addition, to reward some of IRONMAN’s most loyal and committed athletes, 25 additional slots have been awarded to participants of the Legacy Program for a total of 125 athletes. Meanwhile, IRONMAN has also confirmed bonus Kona slots available this year at IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene and IRONMAN Switzerland.
Every year, more than 2,200 hard-working athletes have the chance to compete at the iconic IRONMAN World Championship on Hawai`i’s Big Island. It was there that Dave Scott and Mark Allen battled head to head in 1989’s ‘Iron War’; and it was there that IRONMAN legend Paula Newby-Fraser earned her historic eight victories.
The event continues to be where thousands of athletes have overcome illness and injury, fighting through their own—or sometimes others’—mental, emotional, and physical hardships.
IRONMAN adds that the historic finish line on Ali’i Drive has become synonymous with big dreams, and even bigger accomplishments. It is the place where the IRONMAN mantra, ‘anything is possible’, originates and ‘pulses through the beat of the Hawaiian drum’.
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. This route demands a lot of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears, as athletes compete against their fellow age-groupers for slots.
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 special races. As the last qualifying race of the 2016 season, IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene taking place on 21 August 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 24 July 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 US$50.00 to benefit the Foundation’s charitable giveback in communities around the world.
The drawing bagn on Wednesday 23 March 2016 and finishes on Friday 15 April 2016, at 12pm ET. Selected athletes will be announced on 18 April. Additional information on the drawing can be found here online at crowdrise.com/racekona.
IRONMAN Foundation annual Kona auction
Beginning on 18 April, 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% tax deductible less the value of the race registration (minimum opening bid of US$10,000).
New for this year, a fifth slot, also 100% tax deductible, will be offered with 100% of the funds going to support the Women For Tri initiative (minimum opening bid of US$25,000). This slot will be auctioned off once the auctions for the other four slots have concluded on 16 May. Additional information can be found online 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 US$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, aims to reward 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 online at www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2016/03/2016-ironman-legacy-winners.aspx.