Last weekend, the final Professional Kona slots were decided and 10 slots for the men and 7 slots for the women were awarded. This post has a closer look at the changes in the KPR standings between the end of July and the end of August and what was required to become an August qualifier.
Athletes close to the cutoff
The first set of tables shows the men and women who
- were in the August qualifier spots at the end of July (i.e. the first 10 or 7 non-qualifiers).
- qualified at the end of August, or
- were very close to qualifying.
The tables list these athletes together with
- their rank (among the non-qualifiers) and points at the end of July and August (qualifying spots are marked green),
- the Delta between July and August (i.e. the change in ranks and the addition points scored), and
- a short description of their August race results.
Here’s a look at the men’s table:
And here’s the same data for the women:
It obvious that “big result racing” was required to qualify:
- Daniel Halksworth made the biggest jump from somewhere around #100 (he was so far back I didn’t copy his July standing) to #9, winning in the UK and then baking it up with a 4th place at Mont Tremblant. On the women’s side, Anja Beranek moved from #29 to 5th place.
- Lots of athletes qualified by racing in Mont Tremblant, making use of the large number of points available in the P-4000 race (e.g. Luke, Brandon, Keatsy, Liz Blatchford).
- Some athletes had to race multiple times (because they didn’t score enough points in their first race), sometimes even back-to-back (Mike, Dominik and Paul had to score in Mont Tremblant and a week later in Canada to qualify).
- If you were sitting in an August qualifying spot at the end of July, you had to race in order to stay get a slot.
The following tables show the result that the athletes who didn’t qualify would have needed. Obviously, those athletes that didn’t race would have needed another race, and especially with those close to the cutoff just a mediocre result in a big race such as IM Mont Tremblant would have been sufficient. (15th place in IMMT would have been 800 points, 10th place was 1600.)
I guess the data highlights a few points:
- It’s a bit risky to “rely” on just one good result, a DNF can destroy your hopes pretty soon. (Daniel Fontana had a mechanical 60k into the bike and had to let go of his Kona dreams.)
- Even if you think you’re not having a good day, it still makes sense to fight for each and every place. The difference for Kimberly Schwabenhauer between 5th and 4th in Mont Tremblant was less than 6 minutes, similar for Haley Chura between 8th and 6th. Just a few minutes in any race can make the difference between qualifying or not. I’m sure that there are other examples in earlier races.
Note: An earlier version of this post was written before Sarah Piampiano declined her slot. The women’s tables have been updated to reflect this.