Ironman VR World Championship celebration kicks off after race canceled due to the coronavirus

  • Patrick Lange celebrates his first place victory at the 40th Ironman World Championship in 2018. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Ironman will commemorate its pinnacle event, the Ironman World Championship, with a week-long celebration starting Sunday that includes the first-ever offering of a virtual full-distance Ironman triathlon with Ironman VR27 Kona.

The 2020 Ironman VR World Championship Celebration will commence on Sunday at 7 a.m., offering a global audience more than 14 hours of programming through the Ironman Now Facebook Watch page.


All week, the hosted Kona Celebration Daily Show will bring the hallmarks of world championship week to life virtually for fans across the world, including the E Komo Mai Welcome Ceremony, Ho‘ala Swim celebration, Underpants Run and Heroes of Hawaii.

Each broadcast of the Kona Celebration Daily Show will celebrate the greatest athletes and achievements over the event’s more than 40-year history, presenting the most inspiring storylines to ever emerge from this iconic race with a binding theme of “E Ola Mau.”

The show will celebrate Kailua-Kona and the Ironman World Championship through athletic participation, storytelling and community moments. The audience will have access to exclusive interviews and interactions with Kona pros and legends, a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the race production, new course insights, and original content that immerses viewers in the race-week experience and energy.

The show will be hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer with reporting by Greg Welch and Matt Lieto and the program will also feature special guests including Ironman legends, master coaches and professional athletes.

“Despite the challenging year for all, we have been determined to find a way to celebrate and honor the traditions and achievements that make the Ironman World Championship event so special for so many. Our goal was to give everyone a chance to experience the uniqueness that encapsulates the Ironman World Championship Week,” said Andrew Messick, president and CEO for The Ironman Group, in a press release.


“While we all wish the world was once again joining us here on the Island of Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship, we are grateful to still be able to put together an inside look full of the spirit and culture that makes this event truly one of a kind,” said Diana Bertsch, senior vice president of World Championship events for The Ironman Group. “The entire Hawaii Ironman ohana, including our Kona-based staff, and the incredible community of volunteers and directors are thinking about the athletes we are so inspired by, and can’t wait to welcome the world back in 2021. Until then, we hope everyone can feel the aloha shared with you during the Ironman VR World Championship Celebration.”

A full schedule of events can be found at

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