Ironman World Championship moving to Utah, officials plan Kona return in October 2022

  • Anne Haug, of Germany, reacts after winning the Ironman World Championship Triathlon, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

The Ironman World Championship will be held outside of Hawaii for the first time in its 40-plus history, race officials announced Thursday.

The next edition of the grueling triathlon featuring a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run will move to St. George, Utah, and be held May 7, 2022, Ironman announced Thursday morning in collaboration with both Greater Zion and St. George, Utah, officials and Hawaii officials.

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The World Championship has not been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, officials announced the event would be held in Kailua-Kona in February 2022, however, that is now off the calendar.

Officials said Thursday the ongoing uncertainty regarding Kailua-Kona’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 was held in Oahu, before it moved to Kailua-Kona in 1981.

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However, Ironman said Thursday the event will return to the Big Island October 2022 with a two-day race format slated for Oct. 6 and 8, 2022.

“We expect the races in October of 2022 to be unique and historic,” said Andrew Messick, president and CEO for The IRONMAN Group. “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.”

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