Are Ironman’s virtual 70.3 Worlds qualifiers a good idea?

In an effort to increase the cachet and add an indirect revenue stream to its fledgling virtual racing offering, Ironman has dangled the carrot of qualifying for the yet-to-be-rescheduled Ironman 70.3 World Championship in New Zealand.

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It’s the latest initiative from the race organiser that has witnessed tens of thousands of triathletes sign up to compete or complete its free weekly virtual challenges on either the turbo and treadmill or by uploading data files.

As part of its Ironman Virtual Club, slots to the postponed 70.3 World Championship in Taupo can now be won through a four-race duathlon series – comprising one 70.3 distance and three standard-distance race formats – with points weighted towards the longer distance. For the 70.3, a 5km run replaces the 1.9km swim. A 3km run starts the shorter event.