Ironman started the All World Athlete (AWA) program back in 2012. It was a good idea that provided benefits for those crazy enough to do multiple Ironman events (full and 70.3) in one calendar year. Why not? Reward your best customers and motivate them to race more.
Well, I just went back to review my results from the very beginning and noticed they changed the calculation for the rankings. Not just the current rankings but retroactively! So, how about we play a game, announce a winner, then go back and change the rules and announce a NEW winner!
Look, the rankings never really meant much to me. Yes, I was grateful for the additional benefits the program awarded but I don’t think you change the rules AFTER the rankings were already announced.
For those of you who have been around as long as me, you will know that there were TWO rankings each year: one for the full/70.3 (combined points) and one for the 70.3 by itself. According to THOSE rules, I was ranked 2nd in the world back in 2013 behind Kevin Moats, who later was ejected from Ironman for testing positive for testosterone (he admitted this, and it was arbitrated). Therefore, I would have been ranked 1st if the rules hadn’t changed.
Instead, I am now ranked 5th out of 3,067 guys. So what? So, nothing really. I don’t really care. I did a lot of racing in 2013 and had a good year. I’m happy and proud of that.
My problem is that Ironman (the company) doesn’t always consider the athlete’s perspective. A better example of this lack of understanding their athletes is the change of venue for the Ironman World Championships. I am not in favor of having moved the venue from Kona and splitting the men’s and women’s races, and I don’t think there was any vote amongst the athletes – Ironman just decided this was best.