From press release.
Ironman has announced three additional ways for age group athletes to earn a spot to Kona this year. Last week, they announced that 100 athletes have been selected for the Ironman Legacy Program, a system that rewards the brand’s most loyal race participants with a spot to the coveted world championship. Today, they released information on new opportunities:
The newly created Ironman Kona Drawing will offer 10 spots to benefit the Ironman Foundation.
The Ironman Foundation’s annual Kona auction on eBay will also offer athletes an opportunity to bid on one of four slots to benefit the Foundation. There will also be a special fifth slot actioned off to support Women For Tri. One additional slot will be allocated to a female athlete “with a compelling story and charitable effort to benefit the Women For Tri initiative”.
Ironman has also added 25 more slots to participants of the Legacy Program for a total of 125 athletes.
Here are all the ways a triathlete can get to Kona this year.
Standard qualification: 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 races. As the last qualifying race of the 2016 season, Ironman Coeur d’Alene taking place on August 21 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 July 24th 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 $50.00 to benefit the Foundation’s charitable giveback in communities around the world. The drawing will begin today (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) and finish on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET. Selected athletes will be announced on April 18. Additional information on the drawing can be found here.
Ironman Foundation annual Kona auction: Beginning on April 18, 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 percent tax deductible less the value of the race registration (minimum opening bid of $10,000). New for this year, a fifth slot, also 100 percent tax deductible, will be offered with 100 percent of the funds going to support the Women For Tri initiative (minimum opening bid of $25,000). This slot will be auctioned off once the auctions for the other four slots have concluded on May 16. Additional information can be found here.
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 $25,000 to the Women For Tri charitable, tax-deductible effort. This slot will be distributed via an application process.
Ironman Legacy Program: The Ironman Legacy Program, now in its fifth year, rewards our most 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, we have added 25 additional Legacy athletes to the annual 100 athletes selected for a total of 125.