In August, IRONMAN, in conjunction with local Hawai`i officials, announced that due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on Hawai`i, the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN World Championship had to be rescheduled. The aim was for the race to be pushed back from its originally scheduled October 9, 2021 race date to February 5, 2022 in Kona.
The date and location have now shifted. The 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN World Championship will take place in St George, Utah, on May 7, 2022. This gives pro triathletes an opportunity to claim a world championship title and a share of the US$750,000 prize purse that goes with it.
The ongoing uncertainty regarding Hawaii`s ability to host the event in February required a change in venue to outside of Hawai`i for the first time since the inaugural event in 1978.
St George was selected as the first new host location of the event outside of Hawai`i in 40-plus years based on… ‘its strong community support, challenging course, and experience hosting IRONMAN triathlons and other major events.’
This includes the recently completed 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission. St George will also host the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on October 28-29, 2022.
“The honor to host the first IRONMAN World Championship outside of Hawai`i is as humbling as it is thrilling,” said Kevin Lewis, Director of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.
“There are few events that hold the prestige and respect of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. I think we understand the weight and responsibility we now have to carry forward the cherished significance of the IRONMAN World Championship and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.”
He added, “We have the deepest respect for the IRONMAN World Championship’s legacy in Hawai`i and all that has gone on before – the passion, the dreams, the gut-wrenching persistence, and the human spirit of caring for one another as we push forward to be the best version of ourselves. Hosting the IRONMAN World Championship here gives us the opportunity to truly honour that legacy with our own brand of enduring success, and once again I’m certain we will rise to it.”
Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group, said “We are fortunate to have built such a strong and trusted relationship with our friends in the greater St George region over the past 10-plus years.
“St George stepped up to ensure IRONMAN athletes will have a 2021 world championship, even if delayed into 2022. We all just witnessed why this special place has been dubbed the ‘Land of Endurance’ and we are confident that we will have an outstanding championship in May.”
Returning to Kona in October 2022 with two-day race format
For the first time in the 40-plus year history of the IRONMAN World Championship, the event will take place over two days with the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship returning to Kona, Hawai`i on October 6 and 8, 2022.
The two-day event will see an expanded women’s professional field of 50 athletes race on Thursday, October 6, and 50 professional men race on Saturday, October 8. This gender parity for pro athletes is a welcome development, particularly for those who have campaigned for equal male / female pro race slots over the years.
Details of the age-group races will be communicated in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see if equal race slots for age group women will be available.
“We expect the races in October of 2022 to be unique and historic,” said Andrew Messick. “Two days of racing in Kailua-Kona addresses the overwhelming demand from athletes to race in a world championship and will allow us to host our deferred athletes and place more emphasis on showcasing our women’s and men’s professional races.”
“We are excited to work in collaboration with IRONMAN to bring two events home to Hawai?i Island in October of 2022,” said Hawai`i County Mayor, Mitch Roth. “As our island’s premier sporting event, IRONMAN has been a trusted community partner for over 40 years, and we’re ever grateful for their willingness and ability to adapt to our community’s needs and contribute to its vibrancy.”
Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President, World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group, said “It has been a challenging few years, however we have stayed true to our goal to create exceptional experiences for our ‘ohana.
“We are grateful to our host communities in St George and Kailua-Kona as well as their local and state officials, for their willingness to trust us. Our team is committed to putting on incredible race weeks as we add pages to the IRONMAN World Championship history books in May and October 2022.”
IRONMAN athletes registered for the 2021 and 2022 editions of the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon, along with athletes currently registered for 2022 IRONMAN St George, will be contacted directly with additional information.