This blog post is just a quick rehash of two issues that I have written about in the past: Number of slots for Women, and qualifying in August.
Last summer, Rachel Joyce wrote an article on witsup.com arguing for equal Kona slots between men and women. The issue has been picked up by others, and I put together a blog post with some supporting data. However, WTC has not made any changes in the number of slots. My view on this issue hasn’t changed at all, I think that the weird differences in Kona qualifying between men and women (women need at least 1.000 more points to qualify) just add one more argument for offering the same number of Kona slots for men and women.
August qualifying is another issue that has been on my mind for quite some time. My first post on this issue dates back to October 2011. The data I analyze in that post shows that the shorter the period of no IMs before Kona, the worse your performance, and a rest period of more than three months is best. This means that even racing an IM in July is not good for your Kona performance, and a race in August is even worse. (This is consistent with the observation that if you raced well in the Ironman Frankfurt or Challenge Roth, you can’t expect much in Kona.) Therefore, I strongly argue against August qualifying as a strategy for those that want to do well in Kona, and I also think that WTC should not encourage it. I understand that there are business reasons for offering August races, but I can’t really see why the August races can’t be the first ones of the new qualifying year. At the very minimum, racing multiple Ironman races for the last few Kona points slots shouldn’t really be possible – these athletes don’t have a decent chance for a good Kona race.
My assessment: My position on these issues is clear, but I haven’t seen any signs that WTC is considering changes in these areas.