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IRONMAN Returns to Belgium with the Inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist Triathlon Event

September 12, 2022

Inaugural edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist, Belgium to take place on September 17, 2023 with general registration opening October 4, 2022 here: www.ironman.com/im703-knokke-heist; Qualifying slots will be available for the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand; Weekend of triathlon festivity to kick off with 5150 Knokke-Heist Olympic distance triathlon on September 16

KNOKKE-HEIST, Belgium / LONDON, UK / TAMPA, Fla. (September 12, 2022) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ –IRONMAN has announced the return to Belgium in 2023 with IRONMAN® 70.3® Knokke-Heist, Belgium set to take place on September 17, 2023. The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist, Belgium will mark the return of the brand to Belgium for the first time since 2012 and will see the evolution of the long-standing Zwintriathlon in Knokke-Heist into a weekend of triathlon festivity on the international stage.

Kicking off the weekend’s activities on Saturday, September 16, 2023, will be the 5150® Knokke-Heist, an Olympic distance triathlon perfect for athletes new to the sport or those who love a fast and fun race. On Sunday, triathletes from across Europe will take on the IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist with a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run through Belgium’s West Flanders. Both courses will showcase the beaches and lush green landscapes of the Zwin nature reserve with a finish on Heist beach.

“The triathlon culture is closely woven into the DNA of our municipality,” Mayor of Knokke-Heist, Piet De Groote, said. “Knokke-Heist has successfully hosted many short and middle-distance triathlons over the years, as well as fun triathlon events for our younger generation, and so adding an IRONMAN 70.3 event to our calendar feels like the natural next step. We are very much looking forward to putting on a special and memorable event and look forward to welcoming athletes to our wonderful town next September.”

Athletes taking on the IRONMAN 70.3 will kick off their swim-bike-run race day with a 1.9km open water swim in the North Sea, on Heist Beach. The water temperature in September is typically cool, but pleasant, and the course is protected by a dike which also aids a calm swim. The one loop bike course will take athletes along the tranquil green countryside and polders of Ramskapelle, Damme, Oostkerke, Hoeke and Sluis. With flat and fast roads, the course has personal best potential. Finally, athletes will take on the 21.1km run while enjoying the beautiful Zeedijk (sea dike) while being cheered on by the residents of Knokke-Heist as they head back to the beach to cross the finish line.

“We are so excited to see the return of IRONMAN 70.3 racing in Belgium after a few years’ absence,” said Thomas Veje Olsen, Managing Director of The IRONMAN Group in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We have had our eyes on Knokke-Heist for a while now, thanks to its growing triathlon culture, coastal appeal, and close international travel links. Belgium has a strong triathlon culture and a proud history of producing multiple IRONMAN champions. Most well-known are former IRONMAN World Champions, Frederik Van Lierde and Luc Van Lierde as well as Marino Vanhoenacker, Bart Aernouts and Tine Deckers who also claimed titles on the European and world stages.”

Knokke-Heist is the greenest municipality on the Belgian coast. More than a quarter of the municipality is made up of recreational parks or untouched forestry – all easily accessible by bicycle. Knokke-Heist boasts diverse culinary delicacies, such as L’étage, and it is known as paradise for food lovers. It has numerous cultural events throughout the year, and a range of first-class shops for the shopping fanatics.

Frederik Van Lierde, Belgian professional triathlete and 2013 IRONMAN World Champion commented: “Knokke-Heist, an iconic destination for triathlon in Belgium! A very beautiful setting on the Belgian coast and a course where it is not the elevation that makes the difference, but the wind. I won on a similar course back in 2010 and 2012, and it was the perfect preparation for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist will offer qualifying slots to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship taking place on December 14 -15, 2024, in Taupo, New Zealand.

For more information on IRONMAN 70.3 Knokke-Heist, Belgium please visit www.ironman.com/im703-knokke-heist.

For more information on 5150 Knokke-Heist, please visit: www.ironman.com/5150-knokke-heist.

Media enquiries can be directed to: Victor Alvarez: victor.alvarez@ironman.com.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.

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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® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, 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. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. 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/about-ironman-group.

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, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.