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Gordon Ramsay was on a podcast I was listening to (Tower26, episode #55), I think he mentioned 25% of entrants at Kona don't qualify. I did think it was quite that high! 

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Again. I reckon there should be two races - the “Ironman World Championship” - held on the second Saturday in October (actually I’d shift the date to November and make a genuine end of season championship) starting at 6:25 am at Kona Pier. Then at 8am the same day the “Hawaiian Ironman” is held - starting at the same location.

 

The first - championship - race is limited to 800 to 1500 pros and elite age groupers who strictly qualify to start. The second race is selected by a Combination of lottery, legacy and ‘special’ entrants. The limit on that event is set only by the capacity of the course. If another transition area could be found you could have another 3,000 athletes. ...

Edited by Andrew #1
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19 minutes ago, xblane said:

Gordon Ramsay was on a podcast I was listening to (Tower26, episode #55), I think he mentioned 25% of entrants at Kona don't qualify. I did think it was quite that high! 

I did the numbers years ago and it was about 400.

 

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51 minutes ago, Peter said:

I did the numbers years ago and it was about 400.

 

that's is pretty disappointing.

There once was a time you had to qualify just to do an Ironman through a half ironman.  To me that has some importance to it.  

Obviously that disappeared and so did the capped fields.  Now IMO when I look and read about races we see overcrowded fields participating.  You have the cash you can go around.  As I said IMO.  

Now on the topic of Hawaii.  It is a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.  That means the best athletes in the world should be participating.  To qualify you need to meet a qualifying standard.  No gifts. 

I think it is a great sport but when you give away slots to people who haven't met qualifying standards it really gives those who invest a year and sometimes more to get an opportunity it leaves a pretty sour taste.  

 

 

Edited by Fitness Buddy
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21 hours ago, AA7 said:

Yeh i know i shouldn't care, it has no affect on my life at all. But just dont think that is what Kona is all about. Maybe i need to get with the times and accept it. 

If you're passionate about the sport it's hard not to give a shit. Kona is the World Championships, you shouldn't be able to race just because you're famous, you used to be morbidly obese, you won a lottery, you did X number of IMs, you won your AG comprising 2 people etc If this is elitism or people are sad and offended or whatever then remove the World Champs from the race name, just make it another Ironman race and have a separate World Champs, qualification only. 

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Why?  It's only a championship for a handful of people.  When spots can roll down past the 10th place at races?  When some age groups can have 9 places, yet others only 1?  And if you wanna talk about the history of the event, well it started as a "put your application in" race, so there's more than enough history to justify those 400+.  And it might be run by something know as WTC, but it's not a world body but a company.  So they can do what they want.

Do I believe all that and accept all that because the only way I would go would be as one of those 400??  Nope, cause I will never be going.  I just love it, love the idea of it and have watched it since I first saw it as a kid on wwos.  

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58 minutes ago, Andrew #1 said:

Again. I reckon there should be two races - the “Ironman World Championship” - held on the second Saturday in October (actually I’d shift the date to November and make a genuine end of season championship) starting at 6:25 am at Kona Pier. Then at 8am the same day the “Hawaiian Ironman” is held - starting at the same location.

 

The first - championship - race is limited to 800 to 1500 pros and elite age groupers who strictly qualify to start. The second race is selected by a Combination of lottery, legacy and ‘special’ entrants. The limit on that event is set only by the capacity of the course. If another transition area could be found you could have another 3,000 athletes. ...

Totally agree mate.

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

I did the numbers years ago and it was about 400.

 

Excuse my French ladies, but that is a fücking joke.

I get that it's a company and profit is important, but they need to protect their product, their brand. They don't really have any rivals, perhaps Challenge, but if there were genuine competitors they would have to re-think their strategy. 

 

Edited by zed

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27 minutes ago, zed said:

I get that it's a company and profit is important, but they need to protect their product, their brand. 

I think that our vision of their brand and their vision of their brand may be starkly different. 

 

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49 minutes ago, goughy said:

Why?  It's only a championship for a handful of people.  When spots can roll down past the 10th place at races?  When some age groups can have 9 places, yet others only 1?  And if you wanna talk about the history of the event, well it started as a "put your application in" race, so there's more than enough history to justify those 400+.  And it might be run by something know as WTC, but it's not a world body but a company.  So they can do what they want.

Do I believe all that and accept all that because the only way I would go would be as one of those 400??  Nope, cause I will never be going.  I just love it, love the idea of it and have watched it since I first saw it as a kid on wwos.  

I used to watch it WWOS also and I thought they were crazy. Never thought id actually do it myself. Also never thought it was for people that lost a heap of weight or who have a big social media following. Call me naive, but I like to think it would be the best of the best, where people are busting their butts in training and racing to qualify through the slot allocation. 

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Back when it started, there wasn't a social media thing.  You know what I remember the most from those days watching it on wwos, above all else!  The Hoyts!  That's what I remember.  A loving father doing something unbelievable with his disabled son!  Who, if it was only a true world championship (it's a series championship anyway) I would never have heard of or have been inspired by!  Shlebs like me at the bottom of the rung aren't just inspired by the best, but by ordinary people like us doing things most think impossible.  And it's people like that (not me I guess, but like me) that make the company a bucket load of the money they earn.

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It really doesn't make that much difference to the experience for the dedicated athlete who puts in the time - he/she is focused on doing what they do as well as they can do it - and racing those who are serious contenders 

The people who get an easy entry don't figure in the top five of any age group (they recognise top five) - if you're not in the top five you're in the audience anyway - after all even if we do lots of early mornings and lots of miles we're still in the sport for the same reasons as the people who manage to get a chance to race without qualifying

I don't think Gordon Ramsay or the "once fat but now skinny chic" ever hold themselves up as serious contenders, they're bucket listers who move onto the crossfit games or something like that next 🙄

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13 minutes ago, goughy said:

Back when it started, there wasn't a social media thing.  You know what I remember the most from those days watching it on wwos, above all else!  The Hoyts!  That's what I remember.  A loving father doing something unbelievable with his disabled son!  Who, if it was only a true world championship (it's a series championship anyway) I would never have heard of or have been inspired by!  Shlebs like me at the bottom of the rung aren't just inspired by the best, but by ordinary people like us doing things most think impossible.  And it's people like that (not me I guess, but like me) that make the company a bucket load of the money they earn.

Bang on. 

 

And I still think that those saying it should be a true world championship don't understand the ramifications. A true world championship race would allow a few professionals from around the world that had qualified in other pro division events. No Age groupers. No age categories. Open Male and open female.

This would kill WTC, and the spirit of Ironman. It's honestly fine as it is. It offers inspiration for those watching and for the "plebs", hope for those agers who want to compete and push themselves to reach a great goal and "be elite" but are  basically too old / working have jobs etc. And then a real race for the pros.

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2 minutes ago, AP said:

It really doesn't make that much difference to the experience for the dedicated athlete who puts in the time - he/she is focused on doing what they do as well as they can do it - and racing those who are serious contenders 

The people who get an easy entry don't figure in the top five of any age group (they recognise top five) - if you're not in the top five you're in the audience anyway - after all even if we do lots of early mornings and lots of miles we're still in the sport for the same reasons as the people who manage to get a chance to race without qualifying

I don't think Gordon Ramsay or the "once fat but now skinny chic" ever hold themselves up as serious contenders, they're bucket listers who move onto the crossfit games or something like that next 🙄

Well said.

It's still a world championship for the people at the front and nobody else matters really. If some of the "celebs" get people watching then jolly good. As for anybody else, they know they didn't KQ, we know they didn't KQ... all they really did was have a hot, windy and expensive long day out!

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And, hopefully, a ball!

Don't get me wrong, while I say I'm never going, that doesn't stop me from being jealous of every single person that has.

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17 hours ago, goughy said:

Need to keep this on repeat!  

 

17 hours ago, goughy said:

But as said above, its never been a race where the only way to go was to qualify. 

Yup

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Oh the irony in the video, "Kona is something you really have to earn, you don't get given it." (3:15 in video)

But yes, I'll take that free spot you're offering me.

Edited by TimG
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You lot are so up yourselves.

Qualifying in your tiny little age groups has never been the only way to be able to race in Hawaii  and never will be, nor should it.

Think of the history, think of the guys that created it? Do you really think that's what they wanted it to become?

Seeing as though we've all got our own ideas, I reckon they should halve the qualification slots and increase the lottery slots. OR make it a complete lottery race and if you're good enough you can qualify with the Pro's.

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Guest FFF1077
4 hours ago, AA7 said:

I used to watch it WWOS also and I thought they were crazy. Never thought id actually do it myself. Also never thought it was for people that lost a heap of weight or who have a big social media following. Call me naive, but I like to think it would be the best of the best, where people are busting their butts in training and racing to qualify through the slot allocation. 

Exactly! 

Same 

I saw hard arsed mofos doing epic shit. 

I saw that first in the early 90's 

Been dreaming since

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In 2016 I qualified and at the kona pre race ceremony I overheard a guy telling someone he was doing his first ever ironman, and he got the slot as his dad was mates with one of the execs. Pissed me off, he could have just been given a free entry at any other race, why Kona? Anyways there are heaps of them there like that but it didnt cheapen how hard i worked for qualification and I quickly stopped worrying about this freeloader.

 

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3 hours ago, nealo said:

You lot are so up yourselves.

Qualifying in your tiny little age groups has never been the only way to be able to race in Hawaii  and never will be, nor should it.

Think of the history, think of the guys that created it? Do you really think that's what they wanted it to become?

Seeing as though we've all got our own ideas, I reckon they should halve the qualification slots and increase the lottery slots. OR make it a complete lottery race and if you're good enough you can qualify with the Pro's.

Legacy slots are a good addition in my opinion to help dedicated long time athletes, maybe make the number of ironmans needed a bit less and increase slots in that category.

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34 minutes ago, Gilliga said:

In 2016 I qualified and at the kona pre race ceremony I overheard a guy telling someone he was doing his first ever ironman, and he got the slot as his dad was mates with one of the execs. Pissed me off, he could have just been given a free entry at any other race, why Kona? Anyways there are heaps of them there like that but it didnt cheapen how hard i worked for qualification and I quickly stopped worrying about this freeloader.

 

Spot on echoes my thoughts as well.

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Good on him.  Hope he has a great day.

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That's a horrible story :( 

I also hope he has a great day. And for those of you who think he shouldn't be there he already qualified in 2014 so he has earned it as well.

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She should have been given a free entry to Busso 2018 to make up the numbers, not Kona, what a joke.

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Totally agree, not sure why they had to make an exception to give 2 spots away when they should have just given to him instead

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18 minutes ago, -H- said:

Totally agree, not sure why they had to make an exception to give 2 spots away when they should have just given to him instead

Channel Nine would have pushed for this one. Theu probably paid a motza to get it for her.

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I can see both sides to it - those inside the sport i can appreciate that the majority feel it's unfair or undeserved.

Those outside the sport probably lean more towards the "feel good" element of the story.

I guess as a business WTC are responsible for determining the grey of who deserves what for their event, and as a large corporate they choose what they believe is bang for buck from a marketing $ perspective.

Similar to sportsbet who during the week paid the pensioner 5k when the TAB wouldnt honour his 2k win. Cheapest bit of marketing they will do all year with the greatest positive brand impact.

I guess at the end of the day it really show that KONA is now an event run by a corporate entity - not a championship governed by an international federation or industry body

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Hasn't it always been an event run by a corporate entity?  It was privately owned and run in the early days wasn't it?  Has it ever been a championship governed by an international Federation or industry body?

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Guest FFF1077
8 hours ago, TriGuy said:

She should have been given a free entry to Busso 2018 to make up the numbers, not Kona, what a joke.

Yeah! 

Like us other charity cases 😂😂

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Here's another take on it.

Should Turia Pitt have got one. Both people have had amazing stories..... however the person this topic refers to he amazing story comes from being self inflicted.

The trouble I have is some of these people who get gifted lottery spots like this is they do one race....which is an amazing in itself, then they get the gifted Kona spot and then never race again.

They should only get a gift spot after years of effort. So many people support Ironman year after year and never get the chance....though the Legacy Lottery is help to fix that somewhat.

To my point above...should Turia Pitt have received one.... where is she in the sport these days since she ticket a bucket list.

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14 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

To my point above...should Turia Pitt have received one.... where is she in the sport these days since she ticket a bucket list.

She had a kid last December.

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1 hour ago, IronmanFoz said:

Here's another take on it.

Should Turia Pitt have got one. Both people have had amazing stories..... however the person this topic refers to he amazing story comes from being self inflicted.

The trouble I have is some of these people who get gifted lottery spots like this is they do one race....which is an amazing in itself, then they get the gifted Kona spot and then never race again.

They should only get a gift spot after years of effort. So many people support Ironman year after year and never get the chance....though the Legacy Lottery is help to fix that somewhat.

To my point above...should Turia Pitt have received one.... where is she in the sport these days since she ticket a bucket list.

Yes self inflicted problem versus someone with a disability who have no choice.

I reckon Lionel Sanders should get one every year he beat a drug addiction

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A read on this thread is perception of Kona is a race that stands out in contrast to any others with respect to participants quality and competitiveness. 

And therefore an elitist field.

I think perception doesn't match reality.  My experience is the race was very similar to any other IM around the world with probably the only exceptions being there was a larger contingent of gun people way ahead (maybe 15% of the field compared to 3% of the field and the rest bunched up as usual)   - they're the ones most think is the overwhelming majority of the field.

Behind that, there were a lot of talented people duking it out (like any race) with blowups, great efforts and bad days.  IME, I had a higher contingent people way out in front as mentioned- shed loads of people duking it out around the same time and plenty of people way back (the ones you think in every race you feel sorry for - and I've had those bad days too) - perhaps they're the 400 being mentioned.

But really it was like any other race other than a crap course (except swim), harder conditions - but also to give respect it is an  achievement as it is a goal of most and you get that, not from the course, not from your position but the journey. 

The long winded point I'm making is the fact that others are out there on different journey's makes little difference as it's the same as any IM around the world with different aspects that I downplay as discussed in this thread.

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15 hours ago, gregb said:

She had a kid last December.

I think she may not be able to do another one due to the skin issues she has with all the burns. I can't remember where I read that. The burns means she is unable to sweat, and I think more sensitive to the sun.

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11 hours ago, GSP said:

But really it was like any other race other than a crap course (except swim), harder conditions - but also to give respect it is an  achievement as it is a goal of most and you get that, not from the course, not from your position but the journey

The long winded point I'm making is the fact that others are out there on different journey's makes little difference as it's the same as any IM around the world with different aspects that I downplay as discussed in this thread.

Yep

And this is why I like the legacy program (And in reality, know that I will either qualify in the 70+ AG, in another 35 years, or end up in a legacy slot) - It is the journey that got them there, they did the work.

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On 15/08/2018 at 3:37 PM, TimG said:

Oh the irony in the video, "Kona is something you really have to earn, you don't get given it." (3:15 in video)

But yes, I'll take that free spot you're offering me.

I thought the same thing but I remember sitting with IJ, IF and a few other trannies at the Port Mac pressos in 2015. It was Port Mac's 20th anniversary so they were giving away 30 spots to Kona. We were more than happy to take them then. But no way in the world would we have been banging on about how good we were. I  would've made it very clear to the world that it was pure luck that got me there if I had've been drawn out.... But i wouldn't have knocked it back. So I guess I'm a hypocrite.🤔

On 16/08/2018 at 9:47 PM, Fitness Buddy said:

 

I reckon Lionel Sanders should get one every year he beat a drug addiction

I'm obviously delirious and hungry,  only 90 minutes into training and I read that as Kernel Sanders!!🤣 and I don't even like kfc!

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6 minutes ago, -H- said:

Do you mean Colonel Sanders?

 

Probably. I dont know what day it is! And my power this morning sucks!

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5 hours ago, Cranky said:

Rumour has it Ella is "go fund me"-ing to repaint her bike for Kona 

I’d rather see the proof before we burn her. 

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