Nikki Bartlett (GBR) and Ben Kanute (USA) emerge Victorious during the IRONMAN VR11 Pro Challenge Weekend

June 15, 2020

- Over 15,000 athletes from 129 nations registered to compete in IRONMAN VR11 a dual distance format - More than 3,000 age-group athletes registered to compete in the second IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series event - More than 105,000 people from around the globe have now joined IRONMAN Virtual Club platform

TAMPA, Fla. (June 15, 2020) – The 11th edition of the IRONMAN® VR™ Pro Challenge saw Nikki Bartlett of Cheltenham in the United Kingdom and Ben Kanute of Phoenix, Arizona take top honors in the women’s and men’s races respectively. For the second straight week, the professional triathletes took on a 3 km in their home communities before hopping on their trainers for the bike portion. From there, athletes took on a 40 km bike ride on the newly offered IRONMAN 5150 Port Macquarie bike course, utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality.

On Saturday, the professional women saw IRONMAN VR7 champion Nikki Bartlett (GBR) sweep all of the primes and take the overall victory with another impressive performance. Bartlett finished the 3 km run and 40 km bike in an overall time of 1:07:16. Making her second IRONMAN VR appearance, Angela Naeth (CAN) finished in second place with a combined time of 1:11:21. In their first IRONMAN VR appearances, 2017 IRONMAN North American Champion Jodie Robertson (USA) took third position with a finishing time of 1:13:06 and Summer Deal (USA) rounded out the group with a time of 1:14:28. Deal’s professional triathlete husband Ben, who was preparing to compete in Sunday’s men’s race, cheered her on throughout what was only her second professional race.

The full broadcast of the women’s IRONMAN VR11 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional women’s results:

1. Nikki Bartlett GBR 00:10:10 00:57:08 1:07:16  
2. Angela Naeth CAN 00:11:08 01:00:13 1:11:21  
3. Jodie Robertson USA 00:10:46 01:02:20 1:13:06  
4. Summer Deal USA 00:11:01 01:03:27 1:14:28  

 On Sunday, the professional men provided a thrilling finish that saw IRONMAN VR7 champion Ben Kanute (USA) narrowly edge out the field with an overall time of 1:02:26. Just behind Kanute was IRONMAN VR5 champion Joe Skipper (GBR) finishingin second with a time of 1:02:28. In their first IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge appearances, Ben Deal (USA) finished third in a time of 1:04:17 while Taylor Reid (CAN) rounded out the men’s group clocking a time of 1:07:09.

The full broadcast of the men’s IRONMAN VR11 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional men’s results:

1. Ben Kanute USA 00:08:48 00:53:38 1:02:26  
2. Joe Skipper GBR 00:09:14 00:53:14 1:02:28  
3. Ben Deal USA 00:09:20 00:54:47 1:04:17  
4. Taylor Reid CAN 00:08:47 00:58:22 1:07:09  

 In total, over 15,000 athletes from more than 129 nations and all 50 states set out to participate in IRONMAN VR11. The IRONMAN VR11 sprint distance simulation requires athletes to complete a 3 km Run, 20 km Ride, and 5 km Run between Friday, June 12 at 2 p.m. ET (6 p.m. GMT) and race close this evening, Sunday, June 14 at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 p.m. GMT). Competitors who race in the Classic Division can do so anywhere, indoors or outdoors, can complete the three segments in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively.

The 3,000 athletes who registered for the second race in the new IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series are bound by a different set of rules over a four-week long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes in a structured and competitive virtual environment. An athlete’s overall standing is based upon their top three performances in aggregate over a four-week period. Athletes competing will have the opportunity to earn race slots to the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship with a total of 75 qualifying slots allocated across age groups for top performers.

IRONMAN VR11 leaderboard updates can be found by visiting the IRONMANVR Facebook Page.

Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has more than 105,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.

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


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 more than 235 events across 55+ countries. On March 26, 2020, Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) entered into an agreement to sell The IRONMAN Group to Advance; closing is anticipated in mid-2020. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.