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Will we ever see equal numbers of men and women in Kona?

Next year the Ironman World Championship will host the same number of male and female pros.

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

It didn’t take long for the question to be asked. A few days after Ironman announced that it would have 50 pro men and 50 pro women compete at the Ironman World Championship in October, 2022, Feisty Triathlon’s Ellen Pennock sent out a newsletter titled “Equality for pro women in Kona. What about for age group women?”

“While we do need to take a moment to celebrate progress, we also need to keep moving forward towards true gender equality in triathlon,” Pennock wrote. “Namely, gender equality for age group women. Yes, there will be a day dedicated to the women’s race in Kona but this comes with an asterisk. Because the women’s age group field is much smaller than the men’s, IRONMAN has said that some age categories for the men will race behind age group women to even out the days. But the question that begs to be asked is why aren’t there equal slots for the age group women in the first place?”

“We are allowed to take a sip of champagne to toast the progress made for the pro women,” she continued. “We are also allowed to want more, especially when that “more” should technically be a given.”

We figured the best way to tackle this issue would be to set up an interview with Pennock and former pro triathlete and another of the crew from Feisty, Sara Gross, to delve into this issue more deeply. You can click on the link below to see the entire interview – it is an insightful chat with lots of great insights into the issues around gender equality in our sport.