West Hawaii Today reports that Ironman 70.3 Hawaii will no longer hand out slots to the Ironman World Championship.
The half Ironman race, which takes place on the Kohala Coast, will no longer serve as an age group qualifier for the Ironman World Championship held each fall in Kailua-Kona.
“It’s a bit disheartening to hear the news,” said Rani Henderson, a Kailua-Kona triathlete who also serves as a columnist for West Hawaii Today. “I think people will feel differently about it. Some will be for it and some maybe against it.”
Henderson was one of a handful of Big Island residents who earned a spot in the world championship in the spring Honu, but she turned it down. Most of the 28 age-group qualifiers have come from outside of Hawaii.
“There aren’t very many, but there are quite a few each year that obtain international slots,” Henderson said. “There are some that get slots through Honu.”
Diana Bertsch, event director for Honu, pointed out that the race will serve as a qualifier for a world championship – just not the one in Kona.
“The thing is, it actually it is (a qualifier) for the 70.3 world championship,” she said, referring to the 2015 race that will be held in Austria. “We have a complete series around our 70.3. That series has grown tremendously over the past few years.”
Read more: Westhawaiitoday.com