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IRONMAN Foundation to Support Local Initiatives and Launch New IRONAID Program on the Island of Hawai’i

October 5, 2019

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i / TAMPA, Fla. (October 5, 2019) – In celebration of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN® World Championship, the IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $120,000 in charitable giveback to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the Kailua-Kona community, in conjunction with the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship. This year’s grant funding brings the total giveback awarded in the region to over $1.8 million across 1,325 Kailua-Kona nonprofit organizations.

Giveback

The IRONMAN Foundation, in partnership with Hālau Ka’eaikahelelani, a school of Hawaiian culture,will continue its mission of creating tangible impact in race communities with a special service project. On Monday, Oct. 7, IRONMAN athletes, ambassadors, partners and staff will spend the morning restoring indigenous spaces on the property of Hālau Ka’eaikahelelani.  In addition, Hālau Ka’eaikahelelani will receive a $2,500 grant to sponsor ongoing programs to connect to the land, the people, the place, and the community.

The IRONMAN Foundation will also present a special grant of $1,406 to P.A.T.H. Hawai`i at the 33rd Annual P.A.T.H. 5K and 10K runs taking place on Saturday, Oct. 5. P.A.T.H. works with Hawai`i state, county and local leaders and community members to safely connect people and places on Hawaiian islands with bikeways, sidewalks and pathways.

IRONAID™ is a new program of the IRONMAN Foundation engaging athletes from the medical community to raise funding and awareness for health-related causes. IRONAID was inspired by longtime IRONMAN Foundation supporter and Mālama Club Athlete, Dr. Timothy Deer, who will be racing in the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship.  Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation will receive a $10,000 IRONAID grant in conjunction with the 2019 Vega IRONMANWorld Championship to assist in furthering its work to provide essential equipment and training to the Hawai`i Island Fire Department who serves the Hawai`i community, and more than 1.5 million visitors per year from around the world.

“We are truly honored to partner with these organizations to provide funding or support for their initiatives,” said Sarah Hartmann, Executive Director for the IRONMAN Foundation. “Together, as `Ohana, we’re leaving a positive and lasting impact here on the Island of Hawai`i.”

Bike for a Kid in Partnership with FLO Cycling

In partnership with FLO Cycling, the IRONMAN Foundation will host a “Bike for a Kid” pop-up service project in the IRONMAN Village on Tuesday, Oct. 8 through Friday, Oct. 11. IRONMAN World Championship athletes, along with their families and friends, are invited to visit the IRONMAN Foundation booth to assemble bikes for local kids in need. A total of 100 bikes will be built and distributed to local organizations including Family Support Hawai’i, Kahakai Elementary, Punana Leo O Kona, and The Salvation Army.

IRONMAN Foundation Athlete Team

Thirty athletes from around the world will race in support of IRONMAN Foundation programs, including the IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund and Women For Tri®. Athletes include:

  • Michael McDonald: Michael is the founder of the music management company, Mick Management and Chairman Emeritus of the nonprofit, MusiCares, which he credits with saving his life. While working as a tour manager, McDonald struggled with addiction and spent many mornings hungover, watching broadcasts of the IRONMAN World Championship with “lonely envy.” This year, McDonald turned 50 and marks his 20th year of sobriety by racing the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship. He has raised over $250,000 for MusiCares and the IRONMAN Foundation.
  • Todd Crandell: Todd has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping those battling addiction to attain and sustain sobriety through a balanced holistic lifestyle. He shares his personal experience with substance abuse, along with innovative and unique approaches in prevention and treatment, with his patients. In his pursuit of recovery, he directed his energy towards training for IRONMAN races. Crandell completed his first IRONMAN triathlon in 1999. Clean and sober since 1993, Crandell has completed 28 full-distance IRONMAN triathlons around the world. He is the founder of Racing for Recovery, a non-profit organization dedicate to helping those affected by addiction.
  • Ashley Zaccaro: Ashley is a sexual assault and abuse survivor who has transformed her life through triathlon, saying that triathlon “broke the bond that allowed her abuser to control her.” She was selected as the 2019 Women For Tri Inspirational Woman due to her remarkable spirit and resilience.
  • Tim Deer: Tim is a MālamaClub Athlete, West Virginian surgeon, and the driving force behind the new IRONAID program. The program engages athletes in the healthcare industry, assisting them to raise funds and awareness for health-related initiatives in IRONMAN race communities.
  • Roderick and Marian Sewell: Roderick and Marian are the special guests of IRONMAN and the IRONMAN Foundation in Kailua-Kona. Roderick was born with severe leg deformities that would prevent him from walking. His mother, Marian, made the difficult to decision to have both of his legs amputated above the knee before his second birthday. Despite moving from shelter to shelter starting at the age of seven, Roderick’s pure determination led him to pursue his athletic goals which started with handcycling, then to running track, playing basketball, and swimming. Roderick went from homelessness to accomplish many “firsts” in his family: from the first to graduate college, to bringing home a Gold and a Bronze medal from the 2014 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships, his accomplishments continue to grow with Roderick focusing on becoming an IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon finisher.

IRONMAN Foundation Kona After Party

To kick off race week at the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, the IRONMAN Foundation will launch ticket sales on Oct. 7 for its fundraising gala event, the Kona After Party. Held on Nov. 22, 2019 at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona in conjunction with the 2019 Dignity Health Medical Group IRONMAN Arizona, guestswill walk the red carpet, bid on one-of-a-kind experiences and enjoy an exclusive up-close look at this year’s race, hosted by Mike Reilly. Tickets available at www.ironmanfoundation.org/konaafterparty.

The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteerism grant opportunities to nonprofit organizations where IRONMAN events are held. In 2019, the IRONMAN Foundation will distribute more than $1.8 million in grant funding to support the needs of IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series® race communities across North America.

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

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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.

About Women For Tri

Women For Tri®, a program of the IRONMAN Foundation launched by IRONMAN in 2015, works to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon. The program seeks to identify and diminish primary barriers to entry and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all race distances and representing all athletic abilities. Since inception, over $300,000 in grants have been awarded to triathlon clubs supporting female participation initiatives. Women For Tri embodies the heart and soul of what makes the sport so rewarding: testing your ability, overcoming challenges, and realizing the full depth of your potential in the most widely recognized test of endurance – triathlon. Learn more at www.womenfortri.com and join the Women For Tri online community of 50,000+ female triathletes at www.facebook.com/groups/WomenForTri.

IRONMAN World Championship

Since its inception in 1978 on the island of Oahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The race now sees over 2,500 athletes embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. In 2019, the event will be utilizing the theme `Ohana which in Hawaiian culture represents a specially bonded extended family to celebrate the greater IRONMAN community of athletes, volunteers, supporters and partners. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/worldchampionship.

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 unrivalled 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.