The IRONMAN Group operates many events worldwide, including the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, along with other multisport races and series, such as the The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, and others. It is the largest participation sports platform in the world.
Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. Since its inception as a single race, athletes have now crossed the finish line at challenging endurance races around the globe.
2021 Edition IRONMAN World Championship in St. George, Utah
As the impact of COVID-19 persists on the Island of Hawai`i, resources remain stretched, and Ironman organizers lack confidence that the Big Island will be ready in early 2022 for the postponed 2021 race. St. George, Utah, has risen to the occasion to hold the 2021 edition. The Land of Endurance will mix the striking and austere landscapes of the desert to create a one-of-a-kind World Championship experience.
- 2021 IRONMAN World Championship, St. George, Utah, USA, May 7, 2022
2022 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona
In addition, in 2022, there will now be a two-day IRONMAN World Championship in Hawai`i in October 2022. This two-day event will see professional women race on Thursday, October 6, 2022 and professional men race on Saturday, October 8, 2022, and age groupers distributed between the two days.
- 2022 IRONMAN World Championship, Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, USA, Oct 6 & 8, 2022
Kumukahi – new beginnings – are ahead.
Brief History of IRONMAN
The first-ever Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon was held on February 18, 1978. In 1980, the event gained worldwide recognition when ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” aired the IRONMAN race in Hawai’i.
Two years later, the world saw what has become one of most iconic moments in IRONMAN history. San Diego college student Julie Moss was the frontrunner in the race. She collapsed during the marathon, just yards from the final finish line. She ultimately crawls to the finish line, but does not capture the title. Kathleen McCartney passed her for the win. (I can still remember watching the event in awe.)
Since 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame as recognized many of the people who have epitomized the spirit of competition with invaluable contributions to the event, including Dave Scot, Julie Moss, Paula Newby-Fraser, Mark Allen, John MacLean, founders John and Judy Collins, and many others.
Read about these and many other fascinating accomplishments by IRONMAN athletes and promoters: https://www.ironman.com/hall-of-fame
IRONMAN World Championship in Kona
The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i is the global event that remains the pinnacle of triathlon competitions worldwide. Triathletes from around the world compete in qualifying events to earn a spot in this iconic race.
Qualifying athletes who make the cut embark on a 140.6-mile journey that will test the limits of their body, mind, and spirit (channeling Julie Moss, perhaps?).
Athletes begin the race with a swim, entering the water in assigned groups or waves.
IRONMAN race course in Hawai’i
The IRONMAN triathlon includes a swim race, bike race, and ends with a full marathon. Here are the course details for each leg:
- Swim: 2.4 mile (3.86 km) sunrise swim through ocean currents, out and back from Kailua Bay in the heart of Kona. Wetsuits are not allowed, except for athletes 70 ages and older. Each athlete must complete the swim in 2 hours and 30 minutes or less.
- Bike: 112 mile (180.2 km) along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, from Kailua-Kona to Hawi on the northwest corner of the Big Island and return. Trade winds can be a challenge for the bicyclists throughout the course. Each triathlete must complete the bike race in 10 hours 30 minutes or less.
- Marathon: The 26.2 mile (42.2 km) marathon race course extends from Pahoehoe Beach Park (4-about 5 miles south of Kona town) northward to the Natural Energy Lab near the Keahole Airport. Racers return to Kona amid the cheers of the spectators at the finish line hear Kailua Pier, where their long, long day began.
The race cutoff time is 17 hours after the racer’s designated IRONMAN start time.
Professionals complete the IRONMAN in about 8-9 hours. Non-professionals who are well-conditioned typically come in around 13-14 hours. Anyone finishing the grueling IRONMAN in under 17 hours achieves something relatively few people in the world have done.
Watch & volunteer for IRONMAN
The IRONMAN races takes place in and around the town of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Spectators can line up for the swim race start, at the swim-to-bike change over, or the finish line, as well as at points along the bicycling and marathon courses.
Volunteers are needed and appreciated. It’s a fun way to join the fun and meet people from many places.