KPR 2015: Reducing the Number of Scoring IMs

Among the changes to the KPR for 2015 (official text on ironman.com website) is the reduction of number of Ironman races that will count as part of an athlete’s total score for the KPR. In the past (up until 2014), it was possible to use up to five full distance Ironman races for the total score. Starting with the KPR qualifying for Kona 2015, only up to three IMs can be part of the total score. (There can still be up to five scores total, but only up to three can be from IMs, similar to the up to three 70.3 results that can be part of the total.) Here’s a look at the changes in the rankings that this will probably bring. Because the women have fewer slots available, they usually race more often than the men, so I’ll have separate sections for each gender.

Men

Here are the men who qualified for Kona that had more than three IMs in their total KPR score. I have added their total number of Ironman finishes and the number of points they would loose in parentheses.

  • 5 IMs: 2 athletes
    Matt Russell (8-1080), Harry Wiltshire (6-1105)
  • 4 IMs: 5 athletes
    Daniel Halksworth (4-340), David Plese (4-340), Marek Jaskolka (4-405), Christian Brader (4-305), Justin Daerr (4-230)

Under the new rules, these athletes would have had a lower score. If they wanted to make sure to qualify for Kona, they would have had to race 70.3s for some extra points. 

Among the qualified athletes, Axel Zeebroek raced four IMs this season, but his total score only uses three of these, so his total wouldn’t change under the new rule.

In addition there are athletes that finished more than three IMs but didn’t qualify. As the rule change will only affect those that actually might be interested in a Kona slot, I’m only listing those that scored more than 1.000 points:

  • 8 IMs: Petr Vabrousek (3.265)
  • 5 IMs: Jonathon Woods (1.385)
  • 4 IMs: Kyrill Kotshegarev (3.220), Joshua Rix (1.400), Balazs Csoke (2.090), Thomas Darby (1.890)

Women

Here are the women who qualified for Kona that had more than three IMs in their total KPR score. I have added their total number of Ironman finishes and the number of points they would loose in parentheses.

  • 5 IMs: 2 athletes
    Lisa Roberts (5-1125), Jackie Arendt (5-610)
  • 4 IMs: 9 athletes
    Elizabeth Lyles (4-960), Amber Ferreira (4-405), Melanie Burke (5-720), Asa Lundstroem (4-720), Kristin Moeller (4-960), Sophie Goos (4-565), Bree Wee (4-720), Jessie Donavan (4-540), Katja Konschak (5-540)

Under the new rules, these athletes would have had a lower score. If they wanted to make sure to qualify for Kona, they would have had to race 70.3s for some extra points. 

Among the qualified athletes, Beth Shutt raced four IMs this season, but her total score only uses three of these, so his total wouldn’t change under the new rule.

In addition there are athletes that finished more than three IMs but didn’t qualify. As the rule change will only affect those that actually might be interested in a Kona slot, I’m only listing those that scored more than 2.000 points:

  • 5 IMs: Mareen Hufe (5.165)
  • 4 IMs: Ashley Clifford (3.385), Erika Csomor (4.780)

Overall Assessment

Obviously, the impact of the rule change is different for the men and women. 

The impact on the men’s cutoff will be relatively small (only 7 out of 50 qualifying athletes had four or more IMs in their total score). I think that racing under the new rules would have driven them to do more 70.3s, and the changes to their total score would have been in the order of 100 points.

For the women, there is a larger number of athletes that are impacted (11 women out of 35 qualifiers have raced four IMs or more), and the impact on their scores would also have been higher. All of them would have lost 400 points or more, and I’m not sure that they would have been able to fully compensate by racing additional 70.3s. 

To sum up, I think that the men’s cutoff will be lowered by about 100 points and by 400 points for the women by only allowing up to three IM scores.

Of course, there are other changes impacting the cutoff projections. If you want to see my overall projections for the 2015 cutoff and which athletes already have a safe slot, you should subscribe to the 2015 KPR Observer, consisting of an Initial Information Package and ongoing email updates as the season progresses.

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