More than 2000 athletes register for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. For most, it's an incredible feat to earn the right to race in Kona.
Of more than 75,000 competitors in 30 Ironman races and 6 Ironman 70.3 events, only about 1800, or 2.5%, will qualify to race with the best of the best, in Ironman's premier championship race.
The biggest challenge of all: qualifying times are getting faster, in most age groups and most events. On average, qualifying times dropped around 2%this year. That means for example, if it took 10 hours and 30 minutes to qualify in your age group, that 2% improvement means you'll need to finish 13 minutes faster to qualify next year.
In previous years, we presented complete Kona Qualifying Times and Slots comparisons for all Ironman Triathlons in 2011 with some updates for 2012. In preparing the analysis for those posts, we were able to access data for all events.
Unfortunately, this year Kona Qualifying results have not been released for most races on the calendar. Some European and Asia/Pac events proudly shared Kona results; all North American races did not.
We're not sure why the World Triathlon Corporation (an excellent and inspiring team that I'm privileged to consult for) has decided to keep many results private.
So we publish here Kona qualifying Times, Slots, and Change in Qualifying Times for the select races willing to share their results. Some terrific performances in these races, and congratulations to all qualifiers.