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Kona Qualifying Situation Mid June 2018 – Men

With only seven Ironman races remaining before the first cutoff at the end of July, it’s a good time to have a close look at the current qualifying situation. This post looks at the situation for the men, yesterday’s post analyzes the women’s standings.

Current Situation

Let’s start with an overview of the ranking in mid-June (click on the graph for a higher-res version):

Based on the projected cutoff around 3.500 points the graph shows six categories:

  • Automatic Qualifiers: Kona winners of the last five years and the winners of the Regional Championships receive an automatic slot. Past Kona winners have to validate their slot with an Ironman finish. (Both Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange still have to do this.) The AQs do not count for the “points slots”.
  • Safe: These athletes are more than 300 points above the projected cutoff and can be considered safe for a July slot. There are currently 19 male athletes in this category.
  • Safe not validated: These athletes have enough points (usually from a good Kona result the previous year) but still need an Ironman finish to be eligible for a slot. There are another five athletes in this category.
  • Bubble: These athletes (currently twelve) are close the cutoff and might be fine for a slot – but there could still be a number of athletes that can overtake them and they can still fall out of the slots.
  • Close: These athletes will have to race again and improve their total in order to have a chance for a slot – another 13 athletes.
  • Close, not validated: There are three athletes in this category, but Ben Kanute and Sam Appleton are unlikely to race an Ironman this season.

There is a total of 40 “points slots” for the men at the end of July. If you add up the number of athletes in the different categories (leaving aside the AQs) you already end up with more than 50, so you can see that the race is very tight.

Upcoming Races

Ironman has released entry lists and start lists for all the remaining Ironman races up to the end of July. As always, they are easily accessible through my Race Posts showing the entries with their current KPR points and the seedings for races with a closed start list.

The following table shows an overview of the remaining Ironman races and the currently registered athletes currently without a secure Kona slot. (Of course, most races have some more high-profile athletes on the start list, and athletes can still register for most of these races.) I’ve also listed a few “Additional Athletes” who aren’t shown in the graph above but who still have a chance for a slot:

Race Racing for a Slot Additional Athletes
France Andrej Vistica (2.960)
TJ Tollakson (2.575)
Romain Guillaume (2.435)
Austria David McNamee (7.870)
Andy Potts (5.050)
Michael Weiss (3.435)
Thiago Vinhal (3.180)
Miquel Blanchard Tinto (2.325)
Frankfurt (P-4000) Patrick Lange (AQ)
Jan Frodeno (AQ)
Patrik Nilsson (3.825)
Tyler Butterfield (1.830)
Philipp Koutny (1.730)
David Plese (1.530)
Andi Böcherer (1.390)
UK Will Clarke (2.905)
Whistler Joe Gambles (2.885) Sam Long (1.575)
Switzerland Jan van Berkel (3.390)
Hamburg Miquel Blanchard Tinto (2.325)
Horst Reichel (1.445)

A few of the athletes haven’t announced their plans yet (James Cunnama, Bart Aernouts) or have been forced to change them (Boris Stein who planned to race IM France but had a bike crash a few days out and won’t be able to race).

As you can see, the number of athletes that aren’t on my graph but still have a chance to qualify is quite large. There are also a few more 70.3s on the calendar that may not have many points but can still make a difference when things are getting close, so it’s hard to tell at this point who will actually qualify. Some athletes might also decide to look for a race in August to secure one of the additional ten male slots that are even harder to predict.

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