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Ironman Makes Big for 2024 Worlds Qualification

New qualification for Nice, key tips for beginners, and why you need to take Vitamin D

Good morning everyone,

We had some great responses from last week’s breakdown of the Sam Laidlow doping investigation. A figure in the story even reached out to say they thought our coverage was balanced. A goal of ours is certainly to someday have the resources to do proper investigative deep dives and reporting.

And thanks to your support, we’re slowly getting there.

In today’s edition:

  • 🥐 Ironman makes significant changes to its 2024 World Championship qualification process.

  • 🌞 Why you might need to start taking vitamin D ASAP!

  • 😬 And tips we wish we knew as beginner triathletes.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Changes Ahead for 2024 Ironman World Championship Qualification


What is it: In an interview with Triathlete Magazine, the CEO of Ironman, Andrew Messick, discussed the incoming changes to the qualifying process for the 2024 Woman’s Ironman World Championship in Nice.

  • The changes were made in response to a slower than anticipated roll-down process that has seen fewer athletes register for Nice.

Demand differences: According to Messick, there is a significant demand gap between the 2024 Men’s World Championship in Kona, and the 2024 Women’s World Championship in Nice.

  • 92% of male athletes who qualified for the previously-scheduled 2023 World Championships in Kona chose to defer to 2024 so they could compete on the big Island.

  • “Nobody wants an 800-person race in Nice next year,” Messick stated. However, since the successful Woman’s Ironman World Championships earlier this month, “there has been significant take up for next year’s event.”

It would make sense that Nice might not be able to attract a full field, according to Coach Cox, as Ironman races women typically feature only 20% of the field size, which has been the historical average for some time.

The following female athletes will be invited to accept a spot for the 2024 Ironman World Championships:

🌴 2023 Ironman World Championship top 10 - Athletes who finish in the top 10 of their age group at the 2023 Ironman World Championships.

  • These spots will not roll down further.

  • And athletes will still have to validate their slots.

🏁 70.3 qualifiers - The top 5 finishers at select Ironman 70.3 events.

  • Events include 70.3 Oceanside, Texas, Venice-Jesolo, Port Maquarie, Vietnam, Elsinore and Swansea.

  • Full list of qualifying events here.

🥇 Top-ranked age groupers - Athletes who finish at the top of their age group for the 2023 year-end age group rankings.

Family dynamics: Messick acknowledged, “whether we like it or not, women have to disproportionately deal with family and the home.” And they may not have the opportunity to prepare for an Ironman in the same way a male athlete could.

World Championship worthy: Earlier this year, Ironman took steps to ensure there would be a larger field in Kona by extending slot allocations. Backlash ensued as individuals felt the World Championship was being “devalued” by giving slots to athletes who did not qualify through the earlier standards.

  • However, these concerns were negated by the record swim completion (100%) and finisher rate (97%).

What are your thoughts on the new qualification standards?

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🦸 Super Vitamin: Vitamin D is one of those super vitamins that are oft-neglected. But the positive effects on bone growth, muscle growth, recovery, and immune function can’t be ignored. And as we head into the northern hemisphere winter, the lack of Vitamin D could be devastating for your mood. [TrainingPeaks]

🏃 LEVER up: LEVER is releasing a new product on Nov. 1st! Follow us on Instagram to see what we are up to (and maybe win something...)*

🛫 Blummenfelt’s odyssey: The Olympic test event, the PTO Asian Open in Singapore, and the Ironman 70.3 World Championships — a mind-blowing three races in ten days for Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt, with all the madness documented here. [Cadex]

✍️ Beginners take note: Our best advice for beginner triathletes? Never forget the anti-chafe! Here are a few other key lessons all beginners (and veterans) should know. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]

⌚ Data deluge: Triathlon devices can be complicated and overwhelming. GPS, TSS, and W/KG are a few of the many data points, and do you really need a nap tracker?!? If you have a device you’re thinking of investing in, check out DC Rainmaker for incredibly in-depth and demystifying reviews. One of his latest is a review of the newest offerings from Zwift. [DC Rainmaker]

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Here’s what Tempo readers said about Sam Laidlow revealing he is under an anti-doping investigation.

Reader: Let the results talk. Turn the other cheek, and if you feel the urge, respond to the allegations once the pre-race and post-race analysis is completed. Actions/results speak louder than words.

Reader: Although the drama has been wildly entertaining, he’s supposed to be a “professional” and this response is incredibly childish. I LOL’d that you called him young, “at 2” 😂😂😂 he certainly acted like a toddler!

Tempo: The “2” was supposed to be 24!

Reader: He should have just ignored the email entirely or contacted Von Berg Sr and confronted him directly. By making his since-deleted public Instagram post, Laidlow either demonstrates his overall immaturity or is trying to aggressively cover up something.

Reader: If he didn't want the attention, he should have kept silent. It's incomprehensible that he thought this was going to make him look good.


National Championships: USA Triathlon has announced that next year’s Triathlon National Championships weekend will be held on the iconic boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 13-15. [USA Triathlon]

Smarter racing: World Triathlon announced that FORM Smart swim goggles are now approved for in-competition use. It joins Super League Triathlon, Ironman, and Challenge Family in allowing the goggles during races. [Financial Post]

Fairer racing: One of the world’s most iconic triathlons, Challenge Roth, will introduce the innovative draft-busting Race Ranger technology in its 2024 pro events. [Challenge Roth]

Davao drive: Next year’s edition of Ironman 70.3 Davao City, Philippines will feature the all-new Davao City coastal road as a part of its race course. [Mindanao Times]

World record: Congrats to Dr. Dan Plews of New Zealand, who set the fastest-ever age-group Ironman time at Ironman California. His swim time was a mind-blowing 36:47. Michael Phelps is reportedly watching his back! [Triathlon Magazine Canada]


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