E Ola Mau: Over 8,000 Registered Athletes from around the World compete in First Virtual Full-Distance IRONMAN Triathlon, IRONMAN VR27 Kona, during IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration Week

October 15, 2020

- Magic and spirit of race week in Kona brought to life through 14 hours of programming on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page via the Kona Celebration Daily Show – E Ola Mau (Keep on Living) - IRONMAN VR28 to feature recovery race offering a sprint distance simulation with 1.5km run, 20km ride, and 5km run

TAMPA, Fla. (October 15, 2020) In a fitting week-long tribute to the iconic and beloved IRONMAN World Championship®, IRONMAN provided the entire endurance community a way to enjoy the magic of the event with the IRONMAN® VRTM Championship Celebration. The virtual celebration included the first-ever offering of a virtual full-distance IRONMAN triathlon with IRONMAN VR27 Kona, that competitors could complete in seven-day, three-day and traditional 17-hour race formats. Commencing on Sunday, Oct. 4 and running through Sunday Oct. 11, IRONMAN VR27 Kona saw over 8,000 registered participants take on the virtual IRONMAN in historic fashion.

In addition, over 14 hours of programming on IRONMAN Now via Facebook Watch provided a global audience an in-depth view into the history, personalities, and magic that have made the iconic IRONMAN World Championship the pinnacle endurance event for over 40-years now. Through the hosted Kona Celebration Daily Show viewers across the world were able to relive all the hallmarks of world championship week virtually, including the E Komo Mai Welcome Ceremony, Ho‘ala Swim celebration, Underpants Run, Heroes of Hawai`i and much more.

Looking Back IRONMAN VR27 Kona – By the Numbers

Facts & Figures

  • In total, over 8,000 registered participants took part in IRONMAN VR27 Kona
  • Athletes represented 49 states and 117 nations
  • The United States led the way with over 2,200 participants, followed by United Kingdom (over 550), Germany (just under 500), India (over 350), Canada (over 300), and Philippines (over 250)
  • Other nations represented included Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates, among others
  • Of the 49 U.S. states represented this past weekend, the greatest number came from California, followed by Florida, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, and New York
  • 1,526 participants completed their first 140.6 full-distance race
  • 123 participants completed their first 140.6 full-distance race in the traditional 17 hours
  • Over 2,300 IRONMAN TriClub members registered for IRONMAN VR27 Kona
  • In total, more than 33,000 athletes participated in the IRONMAN VR Kona Series

IRONMAN Virtual Club Platform Facts & Figures:

  • The IRONMAN Virtual Club platform has reached more than 120,000 members since the inception of the platform
  • In total, there have been over 330,000 registrations to participate in the IRONMAN Virtual races
  • Over 17,000 TriClub members are registered on the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform
  • To date, 127 athletes have completed all 27 IRONMAN VR races. Over the past 27 weeks of racing, these athletes have completed at least 425km of running and 1,401km of cycling

Bringing Kona to Life – Broadcasting the Kona Celebration Daily Show – E Ola Mau

Over the course of the race week, over 2.4 million tuned in to watch the Kona Celebration Daily Show on IRONMAN Now on Facebook Watch. The daily hosted show brought to life the magic of race week in Kailua-Kona through athletic participation, storytelling, and community moments. Hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer with reporting by Greg Welch and Matt Lieto, the program also featured special guests including IRONMAN legends, Master Coaches and professional athletes giving viewers an in-depth look at the greatest athletes and achievements over the event’s 40-plus-year history through the most inspiring storylines to ever emerge from this iconic race with a binding theme of E Ola Mau, meaning ‘Keep on Living’. The week culminated with an edited re-air of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship featuring live commentary from the top pros, legends of the sport and staff members taking viewers from swim start to the midnight finish.

Recap of the week of broadcast:  

Sunday, October 4

Monday, October 5

Tuesday, October 6

Wednesday, October 7

Thursday, October 8

Friday, October 9

Saturday, October 10

  • Kona Celebration Daily Show 7 – Race Day – Watch Again

Looking forward

IRONMAN VR28 – Recovery Week

As the excitement from the IRONMAN VR Kona Series and IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration winds down, The IRONMAN Virtual Club transitions into a recovery week. With recovery being paramount in the prevention of injury and burnout, the platform will offer a post-race recovery plan now on IRONMAN+, as well as a series of recovery workouts and IRONMAN VR28, a sprint distance simulation with run-bike-run option

  • IRONMAN VR28 to open on Friday, Oct. 16 at 6:00 a.m. ET (10:00 a.m. GMT) with registration still open
  • IRONMAN VR28, a sprint distance simulation, requires competitors to complete three segments – 1.5km run, 20km ride, and 5km run by race close at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 pm GMT) on Sunday, Oct. 18.
  • Leading into IRONMAN VR28, athletes can take on the recovery challenges designed to aid in proper recovery and give athletes’ bodies the TLC they need after a full schedule of training and virtual racing.
  • Visit IRONMAN+ for the perfect post-race recovery plan, as well as daily tips and recipes, including the protein-packed Fall Protein Salad merges seasonal flavors with the nutrients needed to restore and protect against injury.
  • ICYMI: Limited supplies of past IRONMAN VR medals are now available for athletes who may have missed a previous opportunity to purchase along with other IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series merchandise through www.ironmanstore.com/ironman-vr

IRONMAN Foundation – IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund

Last week, IRONMAN Foundation Ambassadors, TEAM IMF Athletes and friends of the IRONMAN Foundation took part in Kona Celebration Week. Participants included IRONMAN Foundation Athlete Jay Hewitt, a 39-year-old pastor who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (Stage 3 astrocytoma) two years ago and is presently undergoing chemotherapy. Despite having a very low white blood count, he has trained through his treatment, and on Friday, October 9th he completed the IRONMAN VR27 Challenge in 13:40:54. Additionally, through the IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund, over $300,000 in grant funds have been distributed to 120 health-related charitable organizations around the world since March, with a fourth round of grants to be announced this month. Applications for the fifth round of IRONAID COVID-19 Support Fund grants are currently being accepted. For more information about IRONAID visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.

Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN Virtual Club continues to grow and has now reached over 120,000 members across 170 nations and all U.S. States on the platform with tens of thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its launch in April. In addition, through the Race Honorably campaign, IRONMAN’s goal is to provide an exceptional virtual racing experience with credible results that requires athletes to do their part by entering accurate data.

Athletes can find additional details on the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/ For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email ironmanvr@ironman.com. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


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 Marathon Series®, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, 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 (www.advance.com), a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Advance

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.