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Next Phase of The IRONMAN Virtual Club Launches with 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration and Five-Week IRONMAN VR Kona Series Build Up

August 27, 2020

- The Kona spirit will be celebrated during the historic IRONMAN World Championship week which will provide new and seasoned athletes the opportunity to compete in a free virtual full-distance IRONMAN triathlon with attainable completion goals of either seven days, three days, or the competitive 17 hours format - IRONMAN VR Kona Series provides five-week-long training journey focused on five key elements – Speed, Strength, Knowledge, Endurance, and Preparation – to help prepare athletes for virtual full-distance IRONMAN triathlon - Hawaiian culture and roots carried throughout series with theme of E Ola Mau meaning, ‘Keep On Living’

TAMPA, Fla. (August 27, 2020) — Building upon the success of the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing Series and in celebration of the IRONMAN World Championship®, IRONMAN has launched a five-week-long IRONMAN VR Kona Series that will take athletes on a training journey that culminates in a virtual full-distance IRONMAN race, to be held as part of a week-long 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration. For the first time, athletes will have the ability to virtually complete 140.6-miles in either seven-day, three-day or traditional 17-hour formats. The IRONMAN VR Kona Series kicks off September 4 and runs through October 11.

Despite the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN World Championship, the triathlon community around the world will be honored as they come together virtually to celebrate their achievements, triathlon’s crown jewel event, and all those who have contributed to the prestige over 42 years. With a binding theme of E Ola Mau, meaning ‘Keep on Living’, the five-week IRONMAN VR Kona Series followed by a week-long series of activities, will celebrate Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i and the IRONMAN World Championship through athletic participation, storytelling and community moments.

The IRONMAN VR Kona Series will be focused on five key training elements athletes focus on in preparation for a full distance triathlon: Speed, Strength, Knowledge, Endurance, and Preparation. At the end of the five-week training block, and anchoring the 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration week, will be the IRONMAN Virtual Club™ first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon virtual race, available to be completed over a seven-day, three-day or 17-hour timeframe. Athletes that participate will have access to an exclusive finisher bundle that includes a finisher tee, hat and medals, including a five-piece medal set that brings together the elements of the training block, representing E Ola Mau and the IRONMAN spirit of perseverance.

The 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration will feature a week of programing broadcasted on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page. Race week hallmarks, including the E Komo Mai Welcome Ceremony, Ho‘ala Swim celebration, Underpants Run and Heroes of Hawai`i cultural performance, as well as live racing competitions, professional athlete features and retrospectives will virtually come to life for a global audience through the live daily show. Hosted by Michael Lovato, Dede Griesbauer and Greg Welch, the program will also feature special guests including IRONMAN legends, professional athletes and Master Coaches.

“While it is hard to believe that for the first time in over 40 years we will not convene in Hawai`i to crown world champions this October, we are excited to share the magic of the iconic IRONMAN World Championship to athletes around the globe with the 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration and IRONMAN VR Kona Series,” said Andrew Messick, President & CEO for The IRONMAN Group. “As we continue to pursue our mission of providing exceptional, life-changing race experiences for athletes of all levels from their first step to the finish line, we are pleased to offer this compelling new opportunity to achieve athletic feats while also providing athletes with the structure and community that training at the highest level requires. We invite athletes of all abilities to join us in celebrating the long-standing IRONMAN mantra, ‘ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!’”

Supplanting the highly successful IRONMAN VR race schedule, IRONMAN VR Kona Series will kick off Friday, September 4 and run Friday-Sunday each week leading up to the 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration during the week of October 5.

The IRONMAN VR Kona Series will also return to a single division format, the Classic division, allowing for new and seasoned athletes alike to come together. Each Kona Series weekend will vary, offering athletes specially designed workouts tailored to building confidence and introducing the core essence of an IRONMAN that can lead to successfully completing a 140.6-mile full-distance virtual race. The 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration 17-hour format will also be available through more competitive Challenger division format.

IRONMAN VR KONA SERIES SCHEDULE:

 

Date Block/RaceDistance Description 
Sept. 4-6IRONMAN VR22 Kona Speed BlockSwim or run: 1km

Ride: 25km

Run: 6km

Shorter distances to focus on speedwork and kick off the training block with power and energy.
Sept. 11-13IRONMAN VR23 Kona Strength BlockSwim or run: 1500 meter

Ride: 50km

Run: 12km

Cutting back on the pace and increasing distance with a focus on getting stronger.
Sept. 18-20IRONMAN VR24 Kona Knowledge BlockSwim or run: 20 minutes

Ride: 40 minutes

Run: 30 minutes

This time trial is intended to call attention to pacing and increase athlete body awareness. Information is power.
Sept. 25-27IRONMAN VR25 Kona Endurance BlockSwim or run: 1.2 km

Ride: 56 km

Run: 13.1 km

The longest total distance of the Kona Block, this workout is intended to test athlete fitness level and boost confidence before tapering for Kona Week during Preparation.
Oct. 2-4IRONMAN VR26 Kona Preparation BlockSwim or run: 1 km

Ride: 25 km

Run: 6 km

A workout focused on race week preparation, recovery, building strength, and preparing for the 140.6 miles during Kona Week that lies ahead.
Oct. 5-112020 IRONMAN VR World Championship CelebrationSwim or run: 3.8 km

Ride: 180 km

Run: 42.2 km

In celebration of the previously scheduled 2020 IRONMAN World Championship, athletes from around the world will have the opportunity to come together and compete in a virtual IRONMAN race, bringing the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN Virtual Club together for the first time.

 

In addition to the IRONMAN VR Kona Series workouts, athletes can take on challenges while learning from some of the best on how to push their minds and bodies with purpose. With challenges set by IRONMAN U™ Master Coaches, athletes will be provided with training tips and overall great workouts that will help them train smart for their next race.

A special three-hour Facebook Watch Live Broadcast of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will air on Saturday, October 10 with live interviews throughout offering insight on the ongoing action and thought process at key points throughout the race. Viewers will get to see the perspectives of the pros and hear their retrospective reflections. Plus, special guests will offer insight and analysis, while celebrating in the Hawaiian tradition that has adorned the iconic race for over 40 years.

Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN Virtual Club continues to grow and has now reached over 115,000 members across 170 nations and all U.S. States on the platform with tens of thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its launch in April. In addition, through the Race Honorably campaign, IRONMAN’s goal is to provide an exceptional virtual racing experience with credible results that requires athletes to do their part by entering accurate data. Additional details can be found on the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/.

Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series as well as IRONMAN Virtual Club are available on www.ironmanvirtualclub.com. For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email [email protected]. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to [email protected].

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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 over 94,000 athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im-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 (www.advance.com), a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

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