WTC posts new 140.6 and 70.3 Age Group Ranking system
This is an interesting development. Starting this year, all 140.6 and 70.3 racers will receive a numerical score similar to what the pros get (as far as I can tell from the info provided). There will be bonuses for top finishers overall and top AG finishers. At the end of the year, your top 3 races will be averaged (I’m assuming that it’s only 70.3 and 140.6 races here also) and competitors will be ranked globally. They apparently tested this program in Europe last year and have decided to roll it out globally this year. They give “Ironman All World” designation to those ranked in the 90th percentile or higher. See the full story via triathlete.com here or the info from Ironman.com here.
I don’t plan to do 3 Ironman events this year, but I’m curious how I’ll fare. My first 70.3, I came in the 89.6 percentile. Nearly 90, but not quite :). My second event, Steelhead, I came in 95th percentile. I should suspect that I’ll do no worse this year and easily clear the 90 percentile ranking (at least for my first race). I’m hoping my second race is Vegas, but I have to qualify first so I may not make it. However, if I do, reaching 90th percentile there will be much more difficult. For 2012, that required a 4:53 or better.
This will be interesting to see, but I’m wonder what purpose it all serves? After all, I can look and see if you beat me in a race or I beat you. If we didn’t race in the same race, it’s also pretty simple for me to see my percentile and your percentile if I wanted to compare us. The points don’t qualify you for anything, nor do they get you anything other than the aforementioned designation of “Ironman All World.” It would be neat to be desiginated that, but I’m not going to change my racing schedule (nor donate any more money to WTC) to up my score. Perhaps they think this will help to encourage people to race more WTC events? Or perhaps they just thought it would be cool to have a world wide ranking system and comparison for all those that do race WTC events? I’m not sure. Either way, it’s just a tool. If the tool influences you to spend more money, then that’s your own choice.