Ironman says the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championships will return to Europe in 2022. Two cities are still vying to host the event.

Daniela Ryf celebrates her fifth Ironman 70.3 world title in Nice last September.

Since 2014 the Ironman 70.3 World Championship has been on a three-year rotation between North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. That 2014 event took place in Mont-Tremblant, Que. The following year the race moved to Europe and was in Zell Am See, Austria, then in 2016 the race moved to Australia’s Sunshine Coast. In 2017, when the race was held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the men’s and women’s races were separated, with the women racing on Saturday and the men racing on Sunday. That format continued when the race took place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa in 2018 and in Nice, France in 2019.

This year’s race takes place in Taupo, New Zealand, while the 2021 race will be held in St. George, Utah.

Today Ironman announced that the 2022 race will either take place in Lahti, Finland, or Klagenfurt, Austria.

Klagenfurt has, since 1999, served as the host city of Ironman Austria. Considered one of Ironman’s most scenic and beautiful courses, the event is based at the pristine Lake Wörthersee with the Southern Alps as a spectacular backdrop. The fast bike course includes many stunning vistas, while the run course heads into Klagenfurt’s old town and is lined with enthusiastic spectators.

Lahti is considered the “gateway to Finnish Lake District” and is less than an hour from Helsinki. The course allows athletes to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Päijänne National Park and, once athletes arrive in Lahti, everything is with walking distance. The swim takes place in Lake Vesijärvi, followed by a bike course “through forests, along lakes and across rolling hills surrounded by typical Finnish villages and followed by a flat and fast run course that leads athletes along the lakeside.”

Based on a tweet from triathlon journalist Brad Culp, though, there might not be much drama around picking the event site if the date is set for September:

When the Ironman 70.3 World Championship first began in Clearwater, Florida, it was held in November, about three to four weeks after the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. When the race moved to Henderson, Nevada (Lake Las Vegas), the date was changed to September, allowing athletes to use the race as a tune up for Kona. This year’s race will be held in November, spring in New Zealand, with the event moving back to it’s September timeline in 2021 and, one assumes, in 2022.

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