How Can I Get an Entry to Kona?

Triathletes treat an entry to the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, like Charlie Bucket treated the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. The race is so esteemed, so famous, and the entries are so scarce.

The cannon fires each year with roughly 1,900 triathletes in the water. But without open registration, how did those athletes get the privilege of racing in triathlon's biggest event?

The process is extremely structured—mostly based on performance in other IRONMAN races, but opportunities to get in are there for lifelong triathletes and even those with a little bit of luck.

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