I generally feel Ironman gets a lot of unwarranted crap/pissing and moaning that’s coming from people that just want to complain… I also absolutely commend triathlon (and Ironman) as our sport has always been one of the leaders as far as equality from a male/female perspective, as compared to other womens sports - especially at the professional level.
That said, it’s a pretty big failure on Ironmans part in understanding the demographics of their participants. The male/female ratio for triathlon has always been 75/25 for males across shorter distances, and then it goes towards 80/20 and 85/15 as you get towards the full distance. Ironman also failed to realize a huge number of female participants in 2022 in Kona were due to people deferring their slots from 20 and 21 - it was not representative of people who qualified for 2022 in 2022. This is also true for the male side.
Hawaii was a tough ticket when it was capped around 1800 a decade or so ago, and that is with an approximate 2/1 male to female split. Ironman made a huge mistake in assuming there would be 1200 (in this example) additional women that would do anything for a slot - they were wrong, which makes Hawaii participation look bad this year.
Ironman also made a mistake in going to the side of thinking amateur males would do anything to race the Ironman WC, regardless of location. For the pros, a rotating course might make sense, but for amateur’s the number of folks who’ve accepted Nice slots indicates we actually do care about it being in Kona.
I’m actually more concerned about how much money is going to be lost next year when the men have Kona (which will sell out), but the women have to go to Nice - my assumption here is there will be even less slots accepted for that on the women’s side than for Kona this year.
Hopefully this is a 2 year experiment and it goes back to men and women on the same Saturday in Hawaii in 25. My guess is with Ironmans cancelling of so many long distance events that they’re hoping to take it back in the direction where it’s capped at ~2000 participants on the peer, and then we’ll have the same exclusive/coveted Hawaii as before.
Lots of rambling, hope it made some sense. Also, let’s not forget Ironmans hand was forced by Hawaii this year at the last minute. The way it was supposed to go in 23 was the men would race on Thursday and the women Saturday, but after 2022 Hawaii county said “nope” and Ironman was forced to scramble, making this cluster$$$$ look even worse than it already is for the sport