— More Than 2,400 registered athletes to converge in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on Oct. 14 for world’s most iconic single-day endurance event —
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2017) — More than 2,400 of the world’s top athletes will head to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 14 for the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world – the 2017 IRONMAN®World Championship triathlon. For nearly four decades since 1978, IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, has produced this world class event, bringing the world’s best triathletes together in competition.
This year’s edition of the IRONMAN World Championship welcomes the largest international athlete field in race history with athletes hailing from 66 countries, regions and territories. Athletes ranging in age from 18 to 84 have earned their championship opportunity by qualifying at one of more than 40 IRONMAN®events worldwide.
This year, Europe represents 39 percent of the field, while North America closely follows with 37 percent of athletes registered to race in the IRONMAN World Championship. Asia-Pacific brings 17 percent of participants, with South America at five percent.
“The evolution of this race over the decades has been amazing,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “From the most modest of beginnings, the IRONMAN World Championship has evolved into an extraordinary international event with more than 2,400 registered competitors from 66 countries around the world. These athletes have earned their slots in Kailua-Kona through extraordinary feats and deserve the right to race with the world’s elite.”
The United States of America is the most represented nation with 741 registered competitors, followed by Australia (234), Germany (217) and Great Britain (150). Athletes will travel from 48 U.S. states, with the greatest number coming from California (113), followed by Texas (58), Colorado (53), Hawai`i (50) and New York (49). Others from countries as far as South Africa, Brazil and Uzbekistan are traveling around the globe for their shot at the title.
This year, returning age-group champions from the 2016 IROMAN World Championship on the women’s side include Cullen Goodyear (CAN), Jenny Alcorn (AUS), Lisbeth Kenyon (NOR), Jane Hansom(GBR), Natalie Grabow (USA) and Katrine Amtkjaer Nielson (DNK). On the men’s side, returning age-group champions include Hiromu Inada (JPN), Fidel Rotondaro (VEN), Daniel Stubleski (USA), Christian Haupt (DEU) and Christian Hans Tungesvik (NOR).
Racing alongside the returning age-group winners is an inspiring group of athletes that includes Aron Anderson, a world adventurer who overcame cancer at the age of seven leaving him paralyzed from the waist down only to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and win the 2017 Red Bull Wings for Life World Run; a courageous stage-4 pancreatic cancer fighter, Mike Levine, who was motivated by and will be racing with 1982 IRONMAN World Champion, Kathleen McCartney; a former marine racing to honor his 29 fallen brothers, Mike Ergo; an inspiring NYC-based pediatrician who saved a fellow athlete’s life during IRONMAN Santa Rosa in July, Dr. Tricia DeLaMora; and Japan’s Hiromu Inada who, at 84 years old, could extend his record as the oldest competitor to ever cross the IRONMAN World Championship finish line.
Perfectly located on the west coast of the Island of Hawai`i, Kailua-Kona offers the perfect year-round climate and is an ideal location for the iconic, single-day sporting event. The 2017 field of athletes will tackle a 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi, capped with a 26.2-mile run beginning on Ali’i Drive, where spectators pack the roads, up Palani Road to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway before making their way to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. Athletes will complete their journey to the roar of tens of thousands of spectators as they cross the historic Ali’i Drive finish line.
Additional historical facts and stats for this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i:
- This will be the largest athlete field ever at the IRONMAN World Championship, with more than 2,400 competitors
- 72 percent of participants (1,762 athletes) are male
- 28 percent of participants (698 athletes) are female
- 43 is the average age of registrants this year
- Hiromu Inada (Japan) is the oldest participant at 84, while Paul Lennart (Denmark) is the youngest at 18
- 11 athletes will be celebrating their birthday on race day
- Over 85,000 athletes register to compete in IRONMAN races each year, representing over 90 countries, regions and territories
- Approximately 260,000 registered athletes representing over 200 countries, regions and territories competed in IRONMAN and IRONMAN® 70.3® races this year
- Five countries are sending athletes to the IRONMAN World Championship for the first time, Kazakhstan, Paraguay, Serbia, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.
- 1,001 competitors representing 390 different TriClubs from around the world are racing at this year’s IRONMAN World Championship and total 40.7 percent of the field
- 1,530 athletes racing in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship are IRONMAN All World Athletes roughly 85% of the athletes racing represent the top 10% of age group athletes in the world.
- 20 new IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races were established in 2017
- More than 5,000 volunteers will help make the IRONMAN World Championship a success
Live race coverage of the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship will be available on a number of platforms, including NBC Sports in the United States and Red Bull TV internationally (outside of the United States) and on www.ironman.com globally. A full-listing of ways to watch can be found at www.ironman.com/tunein. Comprehensive coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET, capturing every aspect of the race with a hosted show to go along with an available athlete tracker and live blog. For live tracking, real-time results and instant notifications, fans can follow both the professional and age-group athletes on the IRONMAN Tracker app available for download from the Google Play and the iTunes App Store. In addition, NBC will air the IRONMAN World Championship special on Saturday, December 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET (check local listings for details).
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 2,400 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.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN 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, 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 200 events across 50 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 and 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.
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