Juneau, Alaska will be the newest host venue for a full-distance Ironman event – the inaugural Ironman Alaska event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.
Due to the rugged terrain that surrounds the city, there are no roads connecting Juneau, the capital of Alaska, to the rest of the state or North America. That means athletes will have to get to Juneau by plane or boat (as do all goods). The city is a two-hour flight from Seattle.
Once there visitors can enjoy the city’s “lively” downtown with historic sites, local shops and pubs. The city sits at the base of Mount Juneau and is surrounded by mountains about 3,500 to 4,000 feet high. At the top of the mountains is the Juneau Icefield from which about 30 glaciers flow. A favourite tourist destination is the Mendenhall Glacier, a short drive from town, which is part of the Tongass National Forest, America’s largest national forest. Whale watching tours are another popular tourist activity.
“Native to the Juneau region are the Tlingit people and they share a value called Haa Latséeni which means, Strength of Body, Mind, and Spirit,” says Dave Christen, Regional Director for the Ironman Group. “This aligns well with what it takes to be an Ironman athlete and that Anything is Possible!”
“I am thrilled to share Tlingit art & cultural values on Áak’w Ḵwáan territory,” said Crystal Worl, a Tingit artist who designed the Ironman Alaska logo. “The salmon symbolizes the strength, resilience, and endurance it takes for the journey home to spawn. It is this salmon that brings nitrogen and nutrients from the deep ocean to our land, which has enabled our land to become as lush and green as it is! It is with great honor I am able to create the Ironman logo for my hometown Juneau!”
According to a release from Ironman, “The inaugural Ironman event in Alaska will cover 140.6 miles of truly Juneau territory. With a two-loop swim in the beautiful spring fed Auke Lake, athletes will start the day enjoying breathtaking beauty of Mendenhall Glacier in the distance as their sighting line. Once out of the water athletes will use the Glacier highway to head north until the road literally ends at 28 miles from Auke Lake. The two-loop bike course will skirt the edge of the stunning coastlines of Juneau. The run course will utilize two historic trails in the area to include Montana Creek, as well as running a loop around Auke Lake and using the Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei trail to get back to transition and onto their second lap.”
Registration for the new event opens on Aug. 23, 2021. You can get more information on the race and register here.