I posted my WTC IM Qualifying idea to the Ironman group on linkedIn it got some useful responses, as well as the expected personal attacks. Sigh. The general consensus was that no one wanted qualifying, and preferred the volunteer/Foundation/online system currently employed. Hardly anyone that took part in the discussion though would have been excluded from racing, as they'd done a qualifier. Hard to understand...
Yesterday the WTC announced a new points based age group ranking of age groupers for WTC races. Initially this suggests a new competition for Ironman addicts, get points across 5i50, 70.3 and Ironman races and compete in your age group.
I wonder though if this could have alternative uses, for example, instead of simply showing up at a full distance IM race, or one of the few 70.3 races, like Buffalo Springs, and winning your age group and getti ng to Kona, now you'll be required to have "enough" points. Another use of the points system could also be requiring age group athletes to reach a certain number of points before being able to enter a full distance IM race. This isin essence what the pro's have to do.
Andrew Messick, WTC CEO says the ranking will be global and will allow age groupers to compete across the globe. Which is all well and good, but given the number of WTC races in the USA, will mean the WTC has aggressive expansion plans if they really want this to mean anything. Of course, as suggested, switching US qualification for Kona to points might make some sense, but only if it really doesn't require more than one full distance and one half distance race in a given IMH qualifying cycle, after all for many the difference between the pro's and age groupers is often NOT speed, just that the age groupers have a non-triathlon job.