We’re back in Kona! After a three year break from the Ironman World Championship taking place here in Hawaii, racing has returned with a bang. With more than 5,000 registered athletes from 92 countries taking part in the first-ever two-day event, this year’s race will truly be like no other seen before.
Here are some facts and figures along with a list of age-group champions returning for this week’s racing:
Among the many athletes from around the world, Europe leads the way with 46 per cent of the athletes registered to race in the 2022 Ironman World Championship. Following Europe, North America accounts for 35 per cent, while Oceania accounts for seven per cent of the field. Latin America represents five per cent and Asia four per cent, while the final two per cent is shared by Africa and the Middle East. Athletes range in age from 19 to 82 years old.
“We are so pleased to be returning to the Island of Hawai`i following a three-year hiatus with this highly competitive field of athletes,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Ironman Group. “With over 5,000 of the world’s best athletes, as well as their family and supporters, making their way to Kailua-Kona as we will embark on the first ever two-day Ironman World Championship, we do so in appreciation of this community and in the spirit of this year’s event theme Kū Like, meaning stand together.”
Canada sits sixth in terms of representation
The United States of America is the most represented nation with 1,617 registered athletes, followed by Germany (504), United Kingdom (314), Australia (314), France (263) and Canada (231). Other athletes from countries as far as Bermuda, Cyprus, Guatemala, Iceland, Lithuania, and Saudi Arabia are traveling from around the globe to race the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. Countries being represented for the first time include Kyrgyzstan and St. Martin.
Returning age-group champions
This year’s field boasts 14 age-group champions from the 2021 Ironman World Championship that took place in St. George on May 7, 2022. On the women’s side, there is: Brazil’s Julia Iglesias (F18-24), Netherland’s Kyra Meulenberg (F25-29) and Marlene De Boer (F30-34), Finland’s Satu Suuronen (F40-44), Austria’s Constance Mochar(F45-49), United States’ Beni Gras-Thompson (F50-54), Julie Dunkle (F50-54), Lynne Fiedler (F60-64), Diane Tracy(F70-74) and Switzerland’s Irene Gambaro (F65-69). On the men’s side, 21 IRONMAN World Champions include Germany’s Christian Storzer (M50-54) and Olaf Karsten (M50-54), United States’ Justin Riele (M25-29) and Rick Simpson (M70-74), and Great Britain’s Martin Gannon (M65-69).
This year’s field also features seven age-group champions from the 2019 Ironman World Championship when the event was last held in Hawai`i. On the women’s side, there is: Great Britain’s Laura Addie (F25-29), United States’ Jana Richtrova (F40-44), Switzerland’s Georgina Gadient (F40-44), Austria’s Mary Mitchell (F60-64) and Canada’s Laurelee Nelson (F65-69). On the men’s side, returners include United States’ Aaron Tomasz (M25-29) and New Zealand’s Warren Hill (M80-84) the oldest athlete in the field.