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IM AWA Challenge - Louisville
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New thing from IM on the much maligned AWA program, perhaps a trial this year. Anyway, I know this thread may turn into a (sometimes fun) hate fest on the program. I for one, like one point on this list, the First in the Water thing. It may be a start of the 'elite wave' thing we have been clamoring for but it can't be ignored that in this case, elite=AWA which is not a true equation.

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The All World Athlete (AWA) Challenge is an exclusive event where current 2019 All World Athletes get to go head to head. This invitation only event will be hosted at IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health on October 13th, 2019, the same weekend as the IRONMAN World Championship. In addition to the 40 qualifying slots for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship, there will be 26 additional IRONMAN World Championship slots that All World Athletes are eligible to earn. These additional qualification slots make IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health the best race globally for All World Athletes to qualify for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship.

Below is a full list of additional features athletes can expect to see at IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health:

Additional Kona Slots
26 IRONMAN World Championship slots will be added that 2019 IRONMAN All World Athletes are eligible to earn. These slots will be announced after the 40 IRONMAN World Championship standard qualifying slots are announced. All together IRONMAN Louisville will offer 66 IRONMAN World Championship qualification slots.

First in the Water
All World Athletes will have the option of starting the swim through their own exclusive starting lane.

All World Athlete Lounge
IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health will be the test site of a new potential All World Athlete benefit. Athletes will have access to an exclusive All World Athlete lounge. This lounge will be open during IRONMAN Village expo hours and will offer athletes the ability to relax, socialize and prepare for race day with other All World Athletes. Refreshments and recovery tools will be provided by our partners.

Kona Viewing Party
The IRONMAN World Championship takes place the day before IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health and a viewing party will be offered for athletes who’d like to watch the 2019 Kona action with their fellow racers.

Welcome Ceremony & Awards Banquet Seating
To celebrate our All World Athletes, and our inaugural All World Athlete challenge, dedicated seating for athletes will be provided at both the IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health welcome ceremony and awards banquet.

If you have a dream of competing at the IRONMAN World Championship or are looking to qualify again for the IRONMAN World Championship then we’ll see you at 2019 IRONMAN Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health. There is not a better race globally to qualify for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship.

808 > NYC > PDX
2019: Honu, IMC, IMMD, IMAZ
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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Email is vague about how these AWA slots be allocated - fastest awa athletes? Fastest awa athletes by Ag? Allocated to AGs in proportion to # of AWA participants in each AG? Awarded to AWA participants base on their ranking?

This can be a bigger cluster than the regular AG slot allocation process.

Started triathlons to get girls, and continued to be better than people.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [Anton84] [ In reply to ]
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Anton84 wrote:
Email is vague about how these AWA slots be allocated - fastest awa athletes? Fastest awa athletes by Ag? Allocated to AGs in proportion to # of AWA participants in each AG? Awarded to AWA
participants base on their ranking?

This can be a bigger cluster than the regular AG slot allocation process.

I'm guessing similar to the regular allocation. One extra slot per AG (26 age groups) with reallocation/rolldown? I think that's what they are doing with the Women Who Tri initiative slots to 70.3 worlds.


Maybe you will have to be wearing your purchased AWA gear to claim your spot.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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It's complete garbage to allow AWA to start the swim first. For starters AWA doesn't mean fast by any means. It also gives an unfair advantage based on brand loyalty. My position shouldn't be dictated on whether or not I raced WTC the year before.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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Remember, IM is a business. It is very common for businesses to reward their frequent/best customers with perks. Who boards the plane first? Wanna swim in the AWA “lane” become a frequent flyer, otherwise you will board with a later group.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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If you are not AWA, but plan on being in the top few in your age group, does this make any difference in KQ’ng?
I guess the question would be is if three dudes who are AWA are in an AG, and there aren’t enough AWA spots for them if they get top few spots, do they get the other spots?
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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That comparison doesn’t make sense to me. When the end game for some racing is Kona qualifying, you can’t make it easier if you race more. In a wave start IM, this could make a massive difference in finishing times when some slots are decided by seconds.

This is all based off my assumption that’s AWA athletes are eligible for their special slots as well as regular AG slots because it’s vague. If they’re not pulling slots from AG, or included in AG slots, then never mind
Last edited by: rjrankin: Apr 5, 19 16:58
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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The first in the water thing.... If you want to start first in the swim at Louisville or really anywhere that does the self-seeded start, just walk all the way up to the front of the line and start first. You do not need a special lane to do it. Just be prepared to be swum over if you do not belong there.

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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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Similar to what rjrankin wrote above, that comparison isn’t exactly in context, as in this case, it creates un-level playing field in a competition. The AWA program is obviously not about results, it’s about being a frequent “buyer”, and that is what it is - and true to your point that it is a business, after all. Heck, I know someone who got it last year who’s middle to back of the pack, but she did three races, so there ya go. But providing different start lines for a competition is just ridiculous. And just for context, it not only rewards the “frequent buyers”, but also hurts anyone that didn’t race the year prior for reason such as injury, pregnancy, illness, etc.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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At the swim cancelled Chattanooga IM last year, the lowest numbers (AWA) got to start the bike first and us "mature" guys started last maybe an 1-2 hours later. That was a pisser. Had to sit in transition all that time. Don't they know us mature folk need to get home early so we can get to bed! No respect I tell ya.
Last edited by: mdtrihard: Apr 5, 19 17:45
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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Agree. If you were an AWA seems like it would be harder not easier to qualify at a race with more AWA athletes competing for fewer spots??

Obviously not all AWA folks are fast, but still.

And if they can get regular spots too, then is that fair to folks who already signed up as now KQ would be more competitive.

Maybe I don’t understand it correctly.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [DBF] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah I had to edit my original post to be clear I’m assuming they’re eligible for all spots, not just the new AWA spots. It doesn’t really make sense to be AWA if you’re only getting the 26 slots. It’s just another way to get into Kona if you’re not at the pointy end of your AG, at least that’s what I’m reading into it.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [quakertri] [ In reply to ]
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I’m not so sure there’s an unfair advantage for starting in an earlier wave as everyone’s time starts when their waves gun goes. You could say there is more traffic on the swim, but that’s always the case for wave starts! My point is AWA is a way for IM to reward some of their best customers, want those rewards then become AWA.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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If there are 4 kona spots, and 2 awa dudes get 3rd and 4th, do they both get spots and 5th and 6th get spots also?
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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If they want to reward them, give them something. Some stupid hat or shirt. You can’t start the same race at two different times. How the hell am I’m supposed to be racing someone who started 45 minutes ahead of me (hypothetical based of my wave one year at FL70.3). You know what 45 minutes could mean in heat and wind in Florida? I shouldn’t have to spend money to get a start time with IRONMAN. The AWA program is a sham to begin with.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [DBF] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry, I don’t know how those additional slots work!
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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Read Ed’s reply above please. Louisville is not a age wave start, so what you described for FL doesn’t apply!
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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It doesn’t apply at Lou, but could elsewhere. If they’re offering AWA slots at Lou, I’d assume they will elsewhere. Even if it isn’t 45 minutes though, all AG should start at the same time. Where else do races start at different times?
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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Are there any Ironman branded races other than world championships that still do wave starts?

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Ed O'Malley
www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [abrowntd] [ In reply to ]
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From the email above it sounds like they will allocate the normal 40 slots first and then offer the 26 AWA slots after.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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I was in my warm house a few miles from the 58 degree rainy IM Louisville course in October, 2018. If the weather repeats itself, that special AWA Lounge may have to be a special warming tent.

Echoing what others wrote, I have a friend who has shelled out major bucks to be an AWA bronze “winner.” She’s definitely an MOP/FBOP (front of the back of the pack) athlete. I assume that many of us agree that this is a (somewhat successful, monetarily) frequent-flier Club. The costs to IM are minimal (silicon Swim cap, a “VIP” area, preferred racks in T1), but IM keeps getting those $750 entry fees.

AWA is yet another vehicle for people to brag on social media, to take it up a few notches. It’s not enough anymore to have the tattoos (“Say, did you do an Ironman race??!”).

AWA is perfect for triathletes. Grudging respect to IM for cashing in on their vanity.
Last edited by: 140triguy: Apr 5, 19 19:13
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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I honestly don’t know if fulls are, I think some halfs still do. Even still, you can’t start the same race at 2 different times, even if it’s as little at 10 minutes. Seconds separate some qualifiers.

Then hypothetically an AG has 2 slots and 1 AWA slot. 1-2 accept their slots, 3-5 aren’t AWA, 6th is. Is 6th AG really getting a slot ahead of more deserving people because they race IRONMAN more last year. The gap between 3rd and 6th can be pretty big. I thought they were running out of room on the pier. If they can find that many spaces, is there not a more deserving group?
Last edited by: rjrankin: Apr 5, 19 19:58
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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From a business perspective? No, there is not a more deserving group than your most loyal customers.

Louisville is, and always has been, a rolling TT start. No one races head to head there anyway. That argument holds no value there. I don’t think any fulls use AG wave starts. Definitely not in the US. That is more of a 70.3 thing.

Additionally, no one deserves to race Kona. Or anywhere else for that matter. If you want to race Kona badly enough, there are multiple methods to get there. Some might take longer and more money than others, but they exist.

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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [rjrankin] [ In reply to ]
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I am still confused.
Let’s say there are 3 K spots. The 3rd one is a AWA. Does the 4th place person get a spot?
Does the next awa guy get a spot becasue the first awa got a regular spot?

If The second is the case, that should discourage folks on the bubble from choosing Louisville.

Excuse typos, not fact or grammar checking until Jan 2021.
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Re: IM AWA Challenge - Louisville [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
Are there any Ironman branded races other than world championships that still do wave starts?

When you say Ironman brand, I am assuming you mean both 70.3 and 140.6 - I was shocked to see that Florida 70.3 is a wave start this year. Personally I like it way better for an AG race. It is a lot more fun to know when and where your opponents are in relation to you. Last year at Muncie was the first time I had done an IM branded 70.3 with a self seeded start and quite honestly it zapped a lot of the competition out of the air. I damn near lost part of my soul the last 1/3 of the run chasing down a guy in my AG, but had started right at the front of the race; just under 2' ahead of me.
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