With my three Ironman 70.3 races in 2016, I earned the Ironman All World Athlete status which rewards the top 10% athletes in their age group. This sounds really good and at this point someone might think that I am in the top 10% of the fastest athletes in my age group but that's not the case (yet) ! :-) In fact, the Ironman AWA is a loyalty program that benefits to frequent racers. The Age Group Ranking System is not about being fast, it is a combination of the performance and the number of races completed in the calendar year. Racing more is the best way to improve the ranking. This being said, completing multiple races requires dedication and hard work. And it is not easy to reach higher rankings since only the top three performances are taken into account. Getting to the top 5% or top 1% of an age group does definitely require fast performances. This could be a challenging goal for the coming seasons.
It is good to mention that for the fourth year in a row, I am ranked first by country position! This sounds great too! :-) While in the previous years I was the only Tunisian competing in my age group, this year there were two other athletes. I would love to see more and more Tunisians competing in Ironman events, that would make my ranking more valuable! :-)
There are some benefits that come with the Ironman AWA status. The interesting one is the fast track for registration, in a big race like Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, it will help to avoid long registration queues. Another interesting benefit is the priority bike rack close to the Pro atheles. Since it is near the exit of the transition, it will save some seconds from transition times. So to sum it up, the Ironman AWA status is just nice to have, it means that I am a frequent Ironman racer, nothing more, nothing less. :-)