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Day 39 – Invitations and Qualifications

135 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

If you have followed this series of blog posts (started on November 26, 2019), then you know that my primary focus right now is on the “middle” distance race known as IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga. I’m not sure why they call it a middle distance when the USAT category for it is long distance. It involves a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.

Although the focus is on that particular race, this blog series captures my thoughts and experiences as I travel along the road that leads to the Chattanooga event. The bigger goal for this athlete is to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship race in Kona, HI and today’s thoughts have drifted in that direction.

Exactly how many ways can a person qualify to race in IRONMAN’s most iconic championship event? To answer that question, I did what any moderately intelligent, slightly competent person would do:

There’s doesn’t seem to be one simple answer, not even on the IRONMAN website. IRONMAN.com attempted to answer it on the other end of a link, but the link brought me back to their home page. I did find something interesting on the endurance-data.com website. I don’t know their sources, but it’s interesting anyway and I’m sure it’s not far from what we can expect in 2020. I’ve summarized their numbers in the table below and added three of my own.


CategoryNumber of QualifiersIRONMAN Race1885IRONMAN 70.3 Race105IRONMAN Hawaii23Legacy Program175Professional99IRONMAN Foundation10eBay Auction5Women For Tri1Executive Challenge25Challenged Athletes?Invited Special Interest?Invited Celebrities ?

I added the three on the bottom. In my opinion, the invited celebrities belong on the bottom. I have little tolerance for people who claim glory based on their celebrity instead of their merit. Look at me. I have neither celebrity nor merit so I tolerate myself quite well.

If you are unfamiliar with the categories in the table, take a look at the web site from where I took the data. My road to Kona is headed straight for the IRONMAN Race category. Check with me in about 10 years and I’ll let you know how that’s going 😉

Until tomorrow…

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