World Triathlon Corporation, owner of the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 brands, announces the launch of the Ironman Executive Challenge (XC). The program targets top-level executives and provides its members with the opportunity to compete at the following sold-out events in 2009: Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene, Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman Germany, Ford Ironman Lake Placid, Ford Ironman Louisville, Ford Ironman World Championship (by qualification only) and Ford Ironman Arizona.
The mission of the Ironman Executive Challenge (XC) is to provide the ultimate Ironman experience for the world’s top business leaders. This exclusive, members-only program offers privileges such as guaranteed entry into select Ironman events, VIP treatment for athletes and their families, first-class accommodations, personalized coaching, interaction with Ironman icons and much more. Members of Ironman XC will also have the opportunity to win multiple coveted slots to the renowned Ford Ironman World Championship, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
“We are pleased to announce this new program, one that showcases the synergies of today’s most passionate business leaders and the unique qualities of Ironman. We look forward to providing a group of select athletes with a one-of-a-kind experience, while allowing them with the opportunity to compete among their peers at the world’s most challenging endurance event,” said Ironman Executive Challenge Director, Troy Ford.
To kick-off the program’s inaugural year, all participating members of Ironman XC will be eligible for the Kona Personal Record (PR) Challenge. One (1) Ford Ironman World Championship slot will be awarded at each event to the athlete who has most significantly improved his or her PR time.
Additionally, Ironman will establish customized age divisions at each event to determine distribution of Ford Ironman World Championship slots. Every group will be allocated with one (1) World Championship slot and it will be awarded to the winner of each age group. If a particular age group exceeds five XC Series participants, an additional slot will be added, totaling two (2) for that group, and a second slot will be awarded to the second place finisher within that age group. Each event within the XC Series will award a minimum of two (2) Ford Ironman World Championship slots (in addition to the Kona PR Challenge slot).
XC Series athletes awarded a Ford Ironman World Championship slot through standard qualifying procedures are ineligible for the aforementioned programs. World Championship slots are non-transferable and may not be deferred to another year. Athletes who are awarded slots to Kona must participate in the XC Series Ford Ironman World Championship package and compete for title of Ironman XC Series Athlete of the Year.