For every Ironman race, you get points based on how you perform in your age group. First person across the finish line in your age group gets the maximum number of points (5000 for a full, 3500 for a 70.3), then the points drop by for point for every few seconds until it hits a floor (minimum number of points you get just for finishing-1000 for a full, 700 for a 70.3). Top three scores are added together for your final point total for the year. This year I racked up 2376 points (last year I had 2145-which looks like a small improvement until you factor in that I completed three races last year and I beat that score in only TWO races this year).
This ranks me at 2228/6167 American athletes in my age group (36.1%) and 7789/17988 worldwide (43.3%). Last year, I was at 3087/6397 US (48.3%) and 10256/17787 worldwide (57.7%).
Had I competed in one more 70.3 and just finished (and received the base points of 700), my score would have been 3076. This would have improved my ranking too 1445/6167 (23.4%) US, and 4840/17988 (26.9%) worldwide.
You get special status from Ironman if you are in the top 10%. Even if I had completed a third race, I would have been nowhere close to that kind of elite status, but seeing those numbers really makes me wish that I had found one more event to participate in. Would have been great to claim that I went from an obese couch potato to top 25% among American Ironman participants in my age group in 3 years.
I doubt that I will ever rank so high again. I have no plans to ever compete in a full Ironman again. My 2015 calendar if set, and I will only compete in sprint events next year. I might do a 70.3 in the future,but I will limit it to one/season. For that reason, I wish I would have found a third event this year to max out the points. However, I am still pleased with the gains I have made this past season…