An Insider’s Perspective: IRONMAN® Point Structure

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An Insider’s Perspective: IRONMAN® Point Structure

Guest Blog by 2014 Klean Team Ambassador & IRONMAN® Champion Professional Triathlete – Balazs Csoke – Sponsored Triathlete

2014 Klean Team USA Ambassador and IRONMAN® Champion Professional Athlete, Balazs Csoke, shares his strategy on how to make the most of the entire season while racking up the IRONMAN® Points. We sat down with Balazs for a few minutes and he broke down the points system for us. We asked the questions and Balazs provided an insider’s perspective on how the quest for points guides athletes through their season and dictates how and where they compete.


Q: How does the point system work? And who does it effect?

The point system was introduced for pros four years ago. It has gone through many changes. The most recent status is there are now 33 World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) events where pros can register points. The qualification starts September 1st and goes through July 23rd.  We still don’t know how many athletes will race in 2015. Previous years it was, 55 men and 35 women.

Athletes can compete in as many events as they want, but only the three best  IRONMAN® and the three best IRONMAN® 70.3 count to the system.

There are three categories of the race.

1. The World Championship, where the winner gets 8000 points.

2. The Regional Chamionship, where winner gets 4000 points.

3. All other IRONMAN® races the winner gets 2000 points.

Usually, races with bigger points attract a bigger field of competitors.
Also I found this important to point out, that the actual World Championship (WC) counts towards next year’s ranking.
If you have a bad day in Kona or simply just finish out of the top 15, you have to be very careful how you plan your season, as it’s difficult the get the points you need and still be ready for Hawaii.



Q: How many points does a pro need for Kona 2014?

Just about 4­­­000 points. Basically we can say you have to win an IRONMAN® and finish another at podium just to get to Hawaii.


Q: Does your prior year performance effect your points?

No. The system starts every year at the 1st of September.


Q: Not to reveal any secrets, but do you strategize how to maximize gaining points?

That’s a good question! With the WC in October, most athletes try to get points early, so they can focus on Hawaii. Also its very important that you do well for at least one regional championship.
When I pick up a race, I usually see if the course fits me, can I do my IRONMAN® training block before that? Also trying to keep travel to a minimum.


Q: Do you think the points accurately reflect the season’s top athletes?

Yes and no. For sure you have to be very strong to qualify but also picking the right races can come in handy too. The point system only sees your finishing position at a race. It doesn’t matter if that race is right after the start of the qualification time, where usually the pool of competition is smaller, versus right in the middle of the big points hunting season. Also, if you have an outstanding performance at the World Championship, you’re pretty much all set for the next year and you don’t have to worry about the points.


Q: If you could redesign it, what would you do?

I would make sure the System starts AFTER the World Championship, limit the number of races where we can get points, and also would make sure every athlete who qualifies has enough time to recover and train well for Hawaii after the point chasing.


Stay tuned for more insider’s perspectives from our Klean Team USA.


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