Any thoughts on the wisdom of entering the Lottery? I'm very much in favor of it because there is no way I can finish high enough in my age group to qualify. And, yes, I also believe in genetic limitations as applied to swim-bike-run. So don't tell me to train harder. My point is, and I do have one, there are a lot of people who have been chosen numerous times, and others who have applied for ten years or more and not been chosen. If you agree with the Lottery, isn't there a more equitable way to allow first-time entry, i.e.,points for this or that, etc.?
The most difficult part of this whole process is how do you define what is "equitable"? Everyone has their own definition of the word. And an individuals definition of what they feel is equitable is biased towards their own particular circumstance. At the risk of sounding un-PC, why do they let some crippled competitors in without legitimately qualifying? Why should they a free pass to the front of the line because they were born with only one good leg (or whatever their particular disability may be)? Hell, I have a 28.5" inseam, a definite disability when it comes to competing in triathlon. Where's my free pass? I'll even let NBC do a tear-jerking story about me - complete with the fuzzy lens filters and Yanni music.
I think the lottery is the fairest way to divy up Kona slots. For me, that would be my only chance. But right now, I can't even fathom training for an Ironman!
I don't necessarily agree with the lottery system. But as long as they're going to have it in place, maybe the most equitable way of running the lottery is to not allow any former Kona competitors to enter the lottery. After all, one may argue that former competitors already had their chance, why don't they step aside and let someone else have a turn?
If there were a point system in place that gave points to people for competing in other races, that may be fair, but I don't know if it'd be a good idea. Too many die-hard wanna-bes would race themselves sick in their pursuit to amass the necessary points.
The ultimate in fairness would be to divy up the slots to qualifying races based on relative participation. Then award these slots to finishers without any regard for their sex or age. For instance, if a qualifying race had 150 slots to award, the first 150 finishers, regardless of age or sex, would be given the option to take the slots. There would be no lottery and no free pass for people with disabilities. After all, the Ironman bills itself as the "world championship", right? So shouldn't only the fastest be allowed to compete, with no regard to sex or age? Of course, this would be a disaster for Ironman public relations efforts, but it'd be a lot fairer than what's in place now.