My last post triggered some discussion on the TriTalk forum’s thread on the WTC Announcement.
A few people came up with other ideas for “guesstimating” the number of eligible athletes. One example was user Stengun who wrote the following:
I recently attended the Ironman Lanzarote "Special Achievement" Ceremony. For those of you who don’t know: They give a special award/medal for anyone that’s completed 5 Lanzas or more. I did go this year, and felt quite excited by it. However I left feeling a bit average and not very special by end. This was because of the numbers of people receiving this award. I assumed it would be me and hand full of others. But it was not. There must have been 40+ people all receiving this, and not just people with 5 Lanza finishes, there where plenty with 10+ and the one guy had 18! Remember this is just Lanza finishes. So almost everyone would most likely have other finishes at other event (as do I). I understand some events like Lanza have a very loyal following and that could skew the numbers a bit. But I’d estimate, there’s an equally loyal following at the other big and long standing events.
With similar qualifications as in my first post, this is certainly something I can look into! Here then is a list of the long standing Ironmen and the number of athletes who have raced in all six years that I have age group data for:
- IM Canada: 50 athletes
- IM Coeur d’Alene: 17 athletes
- IM Lake Placid: 28 athletes
- IM Wisconsin: 26 athletes
- IM Lanzarote: 28 athletes (This number seems to be consistent with Stengun’s observation.)
- IM France: 8 athletes
- IM UK: 23 athletes
- IM Switzerland: 4 athletes
- IM Austria: 17 athletes
- IM Western Australia: 23 athletes
This is a total of 224 athletes from 10 races. Trying to remove Kona qualifiers (again, using the crude 10-Hour-barrier as outlined in the first post) reduces this number to 207.
Then there are at least 6 more “long-standing” IMs (Arizona, Florida, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Germany, maybe Louisville) – which would give a total number of 331 athletes that have consistently race their “home race” in the last six years without having raced Kona.
It is a bit hard to estimate how many of these have completed 12 or more races overall. I’m guessing that not all of these would have raced the required number of “other” races (either at home or in another race), but that this number can be balanced by those athletes who have missed a year here or there but have done other races a few more times.
So this would give a slightly higher number than when estimating by “at least 8 races”. (That number was 273 which is in the same ballpark.) If I had to give a number, I’d put it at around 300. But based on all this analysis, I’m very certain that the number can’t be close to “a thousand” that people have been throwing around.