IRONMAN today announced that the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon will be held in the United States. Three cities, all of which currently host IRONMAN® or IRONMAN® 70.3® races, have been named as the finalists in the selection process – Chattanooga (Tennessee), Lake Placid (New York) and St. George (Utah). In addition, the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event – with the professional women and age group women racing on one day and the professional men and age group men racing on the other.
“With the global explosion of IRONMAN 70.3 races, we expect approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world to qualify for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, which is too many for a single day of racing,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “We are focused on providing more opportunities for women to race with us globally and, after consulting with members of our Women For Tri Board, felt that having a separate race for female professional and age group athletes would be a strong step forward for our sport.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. This August, the prestigious event will be held in Europe for the first time – in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria. The 2016 race shifts to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time – in Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Domestic and international competitors will earn the right to compete in the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship by qualifying at nearly 90 IRONMAN 70.3 events around the world beginning in July 2016.
“The rotation of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has elevated the race and allowed athletes from all over the world to experience a World Championship event at fantastic locations,” added Messick. “The finalists for the 2017 championship are all tremendous hosts to IRONMAN races and provide courses well suited for an event of this caliber. These cities also provide our athletes and their families world-class hospitality and endless scenic and entertainment options.”
Chattanooga, Tennessee – Chattanooga, known throughout the Southeastern U.S. as the Scenic City with a vibrant downtown, lures athletes with its dramatic backdrop, idyllic weather and low-key southern charm. Host to IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, Chattanooga provides a fast course with a swim in the Tennessee River. Four bridges cross the river over the swim and a pedestrian Riverwalk runs along the entire swim course making it ideal for spectators. Chattanooga is just 90 minutes from Atlanta and is full of attractions, eclectic dining spots and great places to stay.
Lake Placid, New York – Having hosted two Olympic Games (1932 and 1980), this charming town knows how to deliver a world-class athletic event. Lake Placid, located in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, hosts IRONMAN Lake Placid, the longest-running American event aside from the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lake Placid has the amenities of a large city and the convenience of a small town, offering high-end restaurants, shopping and world-class accommodations.
St. George, Utah – This striking Southwestern community currently hosts the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship. St. George offers breathtaking scenery and views of the surrounding red rock canyons. The city's walkable downtown area offers great local fare and boutique shopping. St. George is also only two hours from the nightlife of Las Vegas, with its never-ending entertainment options.
More than 200,000 athletes will participate in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series during the 2016 season, which consists of nearly 90 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa. Participants in the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will range in age from 18 to 80-plus and will represent over 60 countries. Each age-group winner at the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will automatically qualify for the 2016 championship.
For more information about the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, please visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/ironman-70.3/world-championship.
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. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN® 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Women For Tri
Since its inception in 1974, triathlon has been distinctive in its inclusion of female and male competitors on the same courses with the same challenges and rules. In keeping with the unique spirit of the sport, Women For Tri™ looks to increase female participation at all levels of triathlon by identifying and diminishing primary barriers to race entry, and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/organizations/women-for-tri.aspx or email firstname.lastname@example.org.