IRONMAN Foundation Programs to Create Lasting Impact Through Service in Sport

April 5, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (April 4, 2019) – In 2019, the IRONMAN Foundation® will provide 22 service project opportunities along with the launching of two new service programs in conjunction with multiple IRONMAN® and IROMMAN® 70.3® events. Each service initiative is conducted in partnership with a local nonprofit organization, connecting IRONMAN athletes to the local race community. This year’s roster builds on the successful 2018 campaign that saw more than 1,200 athletes participate in 16 service projects and positively impacting countless lives.

“Athletes, TriClubs, volunteers and their supporters are invited to join the IRONMAN Foundation throughout the season as we connect with our local race communities for unique, life-changing opportunities,” said Sarah Hartmann, Executive Director of the IRONMAN Foundation. “When we unite for a common purpose – changing lives through sport – we leave our IRONMAN legacy behind long after race day.”

2019 Service Projects

At select IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, the IRONMAN Foundation creates positive tangible impact through service projects in the local race communities. Each service project benefits local nonprofit partner organizations, powerfully linking IRONMAN athletes to the local community and leaving the IRONMAN legacy behind long after race day. Below is brief synopsis of the service projects for 2019. Further details will be available for each project closer to the event date.

  • IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico) – On March 18, more than 70 IRONMAN athletes, staff and volunteers traveled to Barrios Saint Just and San Antón for a day of community impact in partnership with local nonprofit partners Fundación Buena Vibra, La Marana and HASER. The volunteers worked in teams, collaborating directly with community residents and leaders to transform a condemned school into a new, multi-functional community center.
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside (Oceanside, Calif.) – On April 7, 50 professional and age-group athletes will volunteer at the 2019 IRONMAN Foundation Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Clinic presented by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Thirty children, women and military/adults with physical challenges will spend the morning learning to paddle and surf at Oceanside Pier with the assistance of surf coaches, volunteers and triathletes.
  • IRONMAN Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa, Calif.) – On May 12, athletes and volunteers will provide hands-on rebuilding support at a community wildfire recovery project.
  • IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (Nice, France) – On Sept. 9, athletes and volunteers will participate in a community impact project, which will make up part of $80,000 in grant funding to local charity initiatives.
  • IRONMAN World Championship (Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i) – On Oct. 7, athletes and volunteers will engage in a hands-on community service experience.
  • IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina (Wilmington, N.C.) – On Oct. 20, athletes and volunteers will contribute to a Hurricane Florence rebuilding project.
  • Bicycle World Texas IRONMAN 70.3 Waco (Waco, Texas) – On Oct. 25, a pre-race hands-on community service project is planned.
  • IRONMAN Florida (Panama City Beach, Fla.) – On Nov. 3, a large-scale Hurricane Michael rebuilding project is planned in conjunction with the IRONMAN Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief Effort Campaign.
  • IRONMAN Arizona (Tempe, Ariz.) – On Nov. 21, a day of service is planned in partnership with the Salt River Children’s Foundation.

2019 Bike for a Kid “Pop Up Service Projects”

At an additional nine races, the IRONMAN Foundation will conduct “pop up service projects” inside the IRONMAN Village race expo. Athletes will have the opportunity to build bikes for local youth as part of the “Bike for a Kid” program in partnership with FLO Cycling. The 2019 Bike for a Kid events are:

  • Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas (The Woodlands, Texas) April 24-26
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast (Panama City Beach, Fla.) May 9-10
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Connecticut (Middlebury, Conn.) May 31-June 1
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City (Traverse City, Mich.) Aug. 23-24
  • IRONMAN Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.) Sept. 5-7
  • IRONMAN Maryland (Cambridge, Md.) Sept. 25-27
  • IRONMAN World Championship (Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i) Oct. 8-11
  • IRONMAN Florida (Panama City Beach, Fla.) Oct. 30-Nov. 1
  • IRONMAN Arizona (Tempe, Ariz.) Nov. 22-23

For athletes and community members who are interested in volunteering at the respective service projects, please visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/service-projects for full registration details. Questions about the individual service projects and how you can help, can be directed to IRONMAN Foundation Community Relations Manager Michael Lynn Sills at [email protected].

2019 Gold Star Initiative Events

In 2018, IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador and Marine Corps veteran Mike Ergo piloted a new program called the Gold Star Initiative, giving veterans and active duty service members the chance to team up and honor Gold Star Families by carrying an American flag during the run portion of select IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events and presenting it to a local Gold Star Family at the finish line. He will continue to lead the program in 2019 with fellow ambassador and Gold Star Mother, Lisa Anderson.

In 2019, the program will expand to four events and partner with wear blue: run to remember, a national nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. Gold Star families will be provided with scholarships to participate in the wear blue Gold Star Race program, providing them with access to training, support and entry into various running events, including the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series, empowering them to process their grief and heal though running.

  • IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside: April 7, 2019
  • IRONMAN Santa Rosa: May 11, 2019
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa: July 27, 2019
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Superfrog: Sept. 8, 2019

“After 10 years of working with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, we are thrilled to grow our relationship with the IRONMAN Foundation through the Gold Star Initiative,” said Lisa Hallett, Executive Director and Co-Founder of wear blue: run to remember. “The meaningful connection between our veterans and surviving families provides healing, community, and strength that only this unique bond can provide. We are proud to continue to support our military, their families, and those who have sacrificed all for our freedoms in this exciting new program.”

Athletes and Gold Star Families may visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/gold-star-initiative for applications and details.


IRONAID™ is a new program of the IRONMAN Foundation engaging athletes from the medical community to raise funding and awareness for health-related causes. Initially available to North American athletes, IRONAID was inspired by longtime IRONMAN Foundation supporter and Mālama Club Athlete, Dr. Timothy Deer. The restricted funds will be available for grant applications by health-related nonprofit organizations and awarded once annually. Potential projects include improving fresh water access, nutrition for children, vaccines for communicable diseases and lifesaving equipment. IRONAID athletes and grant applicants may visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/ironaid for applications and details.

For more information on the IRONMAN Foundation, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org. For media related inquiries, please contact [email protected].


About wear blue: run to remember

wear blue: run to remember honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. With communities spanning the globe, wear blue empowers our nation’s families of the fallen, supports our military and their dependents, and remembers our nation’s fallen heroes. As highlighted in The Washington Post, Fox & Friends, NPR, The Military Times, and Good Morning America, wear blue’s tribute Mile, featured on Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race courses, has been identified as the most patriotic mile on a race course. For more information, visit www.wearblueruntoremember.org

About the IRONMAN Foundation

The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 8,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including TEAM IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town™, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.


As part of Wanda Sports Holdings, 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®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia™, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Holdings

Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.