Tampa, FL (August 17, 2021) — IRONMAN today announced changes to the 2021 and 2022 editions of the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship based on the continued global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel and border restrictions are expected to prevent as many as half of the athlete field from being able to attend the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission in St. George, Utah. As a result, the race will shift to a single day event with both men and women racing on Saturday, September 18. Additionally, the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship that was set to be held in Taupō, New Zealand will also now be held in St. George, Utah, giving the travel-restricted athlete community an opportunity to race in the “Land of Endurance” with a two-day format from October 28-29, 2022.
“We have continued to monitor border and travel restrictions closely, and it is increasingly clear that these restrictions are not likely to be relaxed in time for most international athletes to be able to race in St. George,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “We have a special host partner in St. George and its surrounding communities, and we are looking forward to being able to host a full international two-day race in 2022.”
“Navigating the twists and turns of a global pandemic has been daunting, but at every turn our community has been able to look around the corner and find a positive path to a brighter horizon,” said Kevin Lewis, Director of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office. “The dedication and commitment that the IRONMAN team has made to ensure success is inspiring. Working together, we’ve put together what will be an amazing world championship event this September, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to host the world here again in 2022.”
New Zealand remains a storied and special destination for The IRONMAN Group events, and despite the current uncertainties related to border and travel restrictions, both New Zealand and IRONMAN officials are committed to discussing how to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event to Taupō in a future year, giving the world’s top athletes the ability to enjoy a World Championship experience in this unique destination that has embraced The IRONMAN Group events for more than 35 years.
“I think it’s important to look at it from how big an impact COVID-19 is having across the globe – particularly with the new Delta strain – and understand that having a longer lead-in time will actually allow us to host more athletes. As the world opens up in the next few years, athletes will have more events across the world to qualify for the world championship,” said Mayor of Taupō David Trewavas. “We are working closely with our stakeholders and IRONMAN to come up with a new date as quickly as possible. This is a huge event for us – and we are really looking forward to finally being able to showcase our district to the world and reap the rewards that this international event will have for us here.”
The previously announced 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Lahti, Finland will continue as planned.
Registered athletes can visit www.ironman.com/703-wc-deferral for more information on what options they have with consideration to their geographical location.
For more information and event details for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, please visit www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee where it became a two-day event for the first time. In 2018, the event reached the African continent for the first time and was hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. Continuing the rotation, 2019 saw the French Riviera and Nice, France play host to the ever-growing IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event. More than 200,000 athletes participate annually in a series of qualifying races, consisting of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, North America, South Africa and Switzerland. Hosting more than 5,000 athletes from around the world, participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship have ranged in age from 18 to 85-plus. In 2021, the event takes place in the Red Rocks of St. George, Utah on September 17-18 in the United States and again on October 28-29, 2022, before shifting to Lahti, Finland on August 26-27, 2023. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.