In October, WTC announced the rules for Pros that want to qualify for Kona 2015 – the system known as „Kona Pro Ranking” or KPR for short. The official rules can be found on the Ironman website. Compared to 2014, there have been a few changes:
- There will be automatic qualifiers for the winners of the five Regional Championships.
The Asia-Pacific (Melbourne in March) and the European (Frankfurt in July) championships are unchanged. The North American Championship has moved from Mt. Tremblant in August to Texas in May. There will be two additional Regional Championships, one for for Africa (Nelson Mandela Bay/South Africa in March) and another one for Latin America (Florianopolis/Brasil in May).
- There won’t be automatic qualifiers for the 70.3 champions (Daniela Ryf and Javier Gomez for 2014) or the HyVee champions (Hunter Kemper and Helle Frederiksen)
- The automatic slot for Kona champions are still in the rules, but validation now requires a „competitive finish as determined by Ironman“.
- There will still be five results that count for the total score, but now only up to three IMs count.
Changes to the race calendar (fewer races in North America with Pro divisions and KPR points) have been announced, but the changes for 2015 Kona qualifying are pretty small. (For example, the number of full distance IMs is basically unchanged from 2014 to 2015.)
A lot of details are unchanged from 2014, most notably:
- The points schemes per race are unchanged (P-8000 for Kona, P-4000 for Regional Championships, P-2000 for other IMs).
- The number of points slots are unchanged (50 slots for men and 35 for women).
- The dates for assigning slots are unchanged (end of July for the majority of slots, and end of August for the final slots).
Over the next days, I will have a closer look at the impact of the changes. If you’re interested in the KPR, please consider purchasing the 2015 KPR Observer: For 29$ you will receive an „Initial Information Package“ (describing the KPR in detail and my 2015 cutoff estimates) and at least six updates as the season progresses (some more info on the Graph View and Table View can be found here). (If you act soon and purchase before the Observer’s release around mid-November, you can get it for it’s pre-release price of 24$.)