Each year, 200 Age Group and five Physically Challenged athletes from around the globe are selected via the Ironman Lottery Program to compete in the annual Ford Ironman World Championship, one of the most in-demand athletic events in the world. Qualifying becomes more difficult each year and the lottery provides another means to enter the race. Starting in 2011, slots will not be divided between U.S. and International athletes; rather, all 200 names will be drawn from one pool for selection.
The 2011 Ironman Lottery Program will officially open on Friday, Oct. 1, at noon EDT and will close on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 15, 2011, at noon EST on ironman.com. One entry per athlete; duplicate entries will not be valid.
A mainstay in the history of Ironman, the Ironman Lottery began in 1983 thanks to the vision of one of Ironman's founders, John Collins, as a way to provide athletes of all abilities the opportunity to qualify for the world's most challenging one-day endurance event. In 1990, Ironman enhanced the Lottery Program by establishing the Passport Club that is open to athletes worldwide. The Passport Club offers an increased chance of being selected through the lottery.