Beginning with the 2019 qualifying year for both the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship, the KPR and 70.3PR will no longer be used as the qualifying systems for the professional field. The current points-based system will be replaced by and return to a slot qualifying system. The change aligns with the global age-group system with qualifying slots being allocated to Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events on the global pro calendar for the respective world championship races.

Press Release by Ironman | Image by Witsup


UPDATED Ed’s note: The guaranteed slots account for approximately 37 pro women, and 37 pro men equally. The rest of the slots are referred to as ‘floating slots’ which will make up approximately 24 slots divvied up between both men and women depending on numbers on start lists.


The guaranteed base slot allocations will be equal for both male and female professional athletes**, with additional slots being allocated and distributed to events based on the number of professional starters. The Regional Championship events will be assigned the greatest number of qualifying slots of any event on the pro circuit. Each qualifying Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event will have at a minimum one men’s and one women’s professional slot.

For the global 2019 Ironman professional calendar, the number of Ironman World Championship slots is expected to be approximately 100, similar to the current total allocation. Based upon the global 2019 Ironman 70.3 professional calendar, the current two-day format of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship could allow for up to 170 professional athletes split between the days.

The five-year World Champion exemption will remain in effect, with the addition of a one-year exemption for Ironman World Championship podium finishers and a reciprocal exemption invitation to the Ironman 70.3 World Champion. All exemptions remain subject to completion of a validation race and remain additional to the guaranteed allocations to qualifying events.

“Finishing atop the podium at an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event is a great accomplishment and the reward for that should be a place at the starting line at the World Championship events,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman. “The return to the slot system celebrates our champions and Ironman host communities around the world and changes the focus squarely back to recognizing great performances on race day. If you win you are in, and athletes will no longer need to calculate how to plan their race schedule to qualify.”

Qualifying for the 2019 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i will begin on September 9, 2018 with slots being awarded at Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Wales.

Qualifying for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France will begin on July 8, 2018 with slots being awarded at Ironman 70.3 Jönköping and Ironman 70.3 Ecuador.

The KPR and 70.3PR Pro qualifying systems remain in effect with respect to qualifying for the 2018 Ironman World Championship and 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

For the full global professional calendar, please visit

** Ed’s note: We’ve asked the question about what the base number is, and how those additional slots are divvied up based on professional starters – ie. male vs female or overall slot allocation. **

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Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP

Serious about what I do, but don’t take myself too seriously

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