Earlier this week we wondered where else Ironman might host the world championship if it couldn’t take place in Kona next February – we ruled out St. George, Utah, because it would be too cold in February. Ironman has just announced that the February event will indeed be moved to St. George, Utah, but the race will take place on May 7.
The Ironman will return to its usual October date for a second 2022 rendition, but will feature a two-day race format on October 6 and 8.
St. George first non-Hawaii host of the Ironman World Championship
This means St. George will become the first venue to host the Ironman World Championship outside Hawaii. The race started in Honolulu in 1978 before moving to the Big Island in 1981.
“The ongoing uncertainty regarding Kailua-Kona, Hawaii`s ability to host the event in February required a change in venue to outside of Hawaii for the first time since the inaugural event in 1978,” Ironman said in a press release today. “St. George was selected as the first new host location of the event outside of Hawaii in 40-plus years based on its strong community support, challenging course, and experience hosting Ironman triathlons and other major events.”
St. George hosted last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship and will host next year’s 70.3 worlds as well on Oct. 28 and 29.
“The honor to host the first Ironamn World Championship outside of Hawaii is as humbling as it is thrilling,” said Kevin Lewis, Director of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office. “I think we understand the weight and responsibility we now have to carry forward the cherished significance of the Ironman World Championship and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We have the deepest respect for the Ironman World Championship’s legacy in Hawaii and all that has gone on before – the passion, the dreams, the gut-wrenching persistence, and the human spirit of caring for one another as we push forward to be the best version of ourselves. Hosting the Ironman World Championship here gives us the opportunity to truly honor that legacy with our own brand of enduring success, and once again I’m certain we will rise to it.”
Two-day race format in Kona – 50 pro women
When the world championship returns to the Big Island next October it will feature a two-day format for the first time. The women’s field of 50 pros will compete on Thursday Oct. 6, with the 50 pro men racing on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Ironman says it will provide details on the age-group races “in the coming weeks.”
“We expect the races in October of 2022 to be unique and historic,” said Ironman CEO Andrew Messick. “Two days of racing in Kailua-Kona addresses the overwhelming demand from athletes to race in a World Championship and will allow us to host our deferred athletes and place more emphasis on showcasing our women’s and men’s professional races.”