IRONMAN announces Memphis, Tennessee as New Host City of 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis Triathlon
November 21, 2019
MEMPHIS, Tenn. / TAMPA, Fla. (November 21, 2019) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, announced that Memphis, Tenn. will serve as a multi-year host venue for an IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlon. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, will serve as the title partner of the event. The inaugural St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 with general registration and the accommodation platform opening on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at www.ironman.com/im703-memphis.
“We are extremely proud to welcome Memphis to the IRONMAN `Ohana,” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for The IRONMAN Group. “Memphis will allow IRONMAN to deliver a world-class experience for athletes and their families. Memphis thrives as a tourism destination along with renowned medical care services for children through St. Jude and now we get to show it off as a triathlon destination.”
Located in the southwest corner of Tennessee, the city of Memphis is nestled on the Mississippi River and is a city that can’t be duplicated. It is the realm of music icons, where streets rock and the Mississippi River flows; it is a city that can feed your soul with its Southern hospitality and original flavors. Memphis is more than a place — it’s an experience. In the home of the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, visitors can chase music legends at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Catch live music on Beale Street every night of the week. Sample the diverse food-and-drink scene that features ample barbecue and soul food — and experience Memphis’s new generation of chefs that like to riff on tradition — as well as the craft brewers and distillers who make sure you have the perfect pairing. Memphis has received numerous accolades including being listed as one of “America’s Friendliest Cities” by Travel + Leisure, as well as “The Best Affordable Destinations in the U.S.” by US News and World Report.
“We are looking forward to showing off our hospitality, culture, and history as we open our home and hearts to our guests. There is no better venue for the triathletes than one of Shelby County’s greatest assets, Shelby Farms Park,” says Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “We welcome athletes and their families to experience the rumblings of the mighty Mississippi, the musical nightlife of Beale Street, and the southern smoke of barbeque at the newest IRONMAN 70.3 destination.”
Beyond the historic music scene, Shelby Farms Park will be at the center of it all. As one of the largest urban parks in the country, the 4,500-acre park will host the swim and run portions of the event, while the bike course traverses east into Shelby and Fayette Counties.
“Through the hard work of the Memphis Sports Council, Memphis continues to grow as a major player on the global sports stage and the St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon complements the variety of year-round athletic events that draw hundreds of thousands to our city annually, including the World Golf Championships FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Southern Heritage Classic, AutoZone Liberty Bowl and St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of Memphis Tourism. “Memphis is not only the home of blues, soul & rock ‘n’ roll, it is also home to a variety of outdoor assets that combine with our world class leisure visitor offerings to create the ideal fit for athletes and their traveling cheer sections.”
Individuals can also participate in the event as St. Jude Heroes®, or those who fundraise for St. Jude through an athletic event. Registration is now open for a limited number of St. Jude Hero fundraising entries. Funds raised through events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
“As we enter the 20th year of the St. Jude Heroes program, we are excited to embark on this new opportunity for our generous fundraisers alongside our partners at IRONMAN and bring this prestigious event to our beloved city of Memphis,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We are honored to partner with an organization whose athletes exemplify some of the same fundamental values displayed daily in our patients, families and staff at St. Jude: endurance, perseverance and fortitude.”
The 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will begin with a rolling start format. The 1.2-mile swim will take place in the clear man-made waters of Hyde Lake in Shelby Farms Park. Hyde Lake offers a welcoming environment to new athletes as the shoreline is easily accessible from anywhere in the lake. Spectators can follow their athletes by walking the perimeter of the lake on paved paths.
Once out of the water, athletes will take on the 56-mile bike course that traverses the rolling hills of Shelby and Fayette Counties, before returning to Shelby Farms Park. The spectator friendly run course weaves through the paved and packed gravel trails of the park. Athletes will likely get a view of the buffalo herd that resides at the park while on the run course.
General registration for 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will open on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. Athletes will be vying for slots to compete at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in St. George, Utah.
Individuals can also participate in the event as St. Jude Heroes®, or those who fundraise for the hospital through an athletic event. Registration is now open for a limited number of St. Jude Hero fundraising entries. Funds raised through events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
For more information on the 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon, visit www.ironman.com/im703-memphis and follow the social media hashtag #IM703Memphis. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries can be directed to [email protected]. Media related inquiries may be directed to [email protected].
Memphis is a world-class sports destination that is complemented by the legendary food and music the city is known for around the world. The city is headlined by live music and full of one-of-a-kind experiences that include Beale Street, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Memphis Zoo, home to two giant pandas. Stunning Mississippi River views, mouthwatering barbecue, lively festivals, and intriguing galleries and museums round out the many attractions and activities for visitors to experience in Memphis. These only begin the list of what’s so great about the Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll. For more information, visit www.memphistravel.com/
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, sharing stories and videos from St. Jude Inspire, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
About Shelby Farms Park
At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee is one of the largest urban parks in the country. The Park is a recreational hub for cyclists and runners as it features more than 40 miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. Park landscapes include hundreds of acres of forests and dozens of lakes, including the iconic 80-acre Hyde Lake, which is popular with paddlers. Shelby Farms Park offers activities for kids and kids at heart, and it features several innovative projects, including an internationally recognized and sustainably designed playground, a LEED Silver certified visitor center and event center and a treetop adventure course. Shelby Farms Park is home to an array of wildlife, including a herd of buffalo (American bison), and it is managed by the nonprofit organization Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. For more information, visit www.shelbyfarmspark.org
About The IRONMAN Group
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 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 more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Group
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivaled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.