Finland Named Host Country Of The 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
March 22, 2021
- The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship returns to European soil in 2023 - Lahti becomes third European city to host event after Zell am See-Kaprun (Austria) in 2015 and Nice (France) in 2019
LAHTI, Finland / TAMPA, Fla. (March 22, 2021) – The IRONMAN Group today announced that Lahti, Finland has secured the right to host the 2023 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship, a two-day event that will take place on August 26-27, 2023. It is the third time that the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be held on European soil after Zell am See-Kaprun (Austria) in 2015 and Nice (France) in 2019.
The winning bid was announced today during a global broadcast, that saw Finnish sports stars join IRONMAN leaders in celebration.
“As we look towards the future of IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship racing, we have some of the most distinct and unique destinations for athletes to test their mettle in St. George, Utah, Taupō, New Zealand and now Lahti, Finland,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “It is our great pleasure to be able to showcase Finland and its rich sport history and beautiful landscape to the world with this event in 2023.”
“We are very proud and happy to welcome the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to Lahti in 2023. We have a long experience in hosting international sporting events and we are committed to providing a world-class environment for athletes and audience alike. Our goal is to share this unique experience together,” said Pekka Timonen, Mayor of Lahti.
Lahti is located approximately 100 km northeast of the country’s capital of Helsinki, Europe’s northern- and easternmost capital. The surrounding landscape lends to Finland’s reputation of “Land of a Thousand Lakes” with numerous interconnected lakes surrounding the city which recently was declared “Europe’s Green Capital of 2021.” Once visitors arrive in Lahti, everything is within walkable distance, including the city’s transport hub, restaurants, shopping and hotels.
Lahti is also considered Finland’s sports capital – a unique distinction in a country that hosted the 1952 Olympic Games and multiple other world-renowned sports events – and is the six-time host of The Nordic Skiing World Championships.
Now, the city of 120,000 inhabitants wants to leave its mark on summer sports too. With its reputation as one of the flattest countries in Europe – Finland’s highest point is Halti in Northern Lapland – athletes can expect a flat and fast racecourse surrounded by unique Finnish nature.
After a preliminary selection from a number of potential host countries, Klagenfurt (Austria) and Lahti (Finland) were the finalists with Lahti emerging as the winning bid.
“We couldn’t be happier with our two finalists and while both locations would have served our athletes well, we are excited to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to Finland for the first time,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship events for The IRONMAN Group. “Since the rotation of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began in 2014 and then the two-day format in 2017, the event has seen substantial growth of global competition. Being able to chase new physical challenges against top competition in locations that are as different as they are beautiful are key elements we want for our IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship athletes and we look forward to continuing this in Lahti, Finland in 2023.”
“We had two great candidate cities and each one would have deserved this unique event,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “My gratitude goes out to all those who were involved with the Klagenfurt and Lahti bids. Congratulations to Lahti and Finland; we are extremely excited to see the world’s best athletes race in Finland in 2023.”
The next edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be taking place on September 17-18, 2021 in St. George, Utah, USA followed by Taupō, New Zealand on December 10-11, 2022.
Further updates on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be found at 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. 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 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, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
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.