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Ironman today announced the finalists for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon. Three cities, all of which currently host Ironman or Ironman 70.3 races, have been named as the finalists in the selection process—Nice (France), Budapest (Hungary) and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay (South Africa). The 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, like the 2017 edition—with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.
“The Ironman 70.3 triathlon series has grown exponentially over the past few years, with the World Championship featuring the best athletes from around the world,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman in the press release. “We have been extremely pleased with the global rotation of the event and providing our athletes with an exceptional world-class race in fantastic locations. Nice, Budapest and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay are all extraordinary hosts to current Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races—providing beautiful and challenging courses and world-class hospitality for our athletes and families. Each city is well suited to host this pinnacle event.”
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria. This September, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship shifts to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time—in Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast with athletes representing over 70 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 75-plus. In 2017, the championship event moves to Chattanooga, Tenn. where it will be a two-day event for the first time.
Beginning in July 2017, athletes from around the world will earn the right to compete in the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship by qualifying at any of the more than 100 Ironman 70.3 events globally.
Learn more about the finalists from Ironman below:
Nice, France – Nice, located in the Côte d’Azur area on the southeast coast of France, is the capital of the stunning French Riviera and is the fifth-largest city in France. Host to Ironman France since 2005, Nice incorporates a swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront. With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over five million visitors every year. Beyond the beauty of the area, Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known. With year-round sunshine, a scenic location, and outstanding cuisine and culture, Nice embodies all the benefits of a historic coastal city.
Budapest, Hungary – Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is the largest city in Hungary and is also one of the biggest cities in the European Union. This beloved tourist destination hosts Ironman 70.3 Budapest, joining the circuit in 2014. The Danube River, which is the longest river in the European Union, runs through the center of the city and along the Buda hills and Palace District. Budapest is well known for its restorative thermal baths, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. With a history that dates back to the 1200’s, the city attracts about 4.4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world. Downtown’s nightlife district brings both culinary excellence and the relaxed atmosphere of underground-style lounges.
Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa – The beachside community of Port Elizabeth within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is South Africa’s second oldest city and is the coastal and economic hub of the Eastern Cape. Athletes and spectators who travel to Port Elizabeth get the unique opportunity to visit one of the most widely beautiful and historically significant places in the world. Currently hosting the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship, the course in Nelson Mandela Bay and the city of Port Elizabeth has athletes utilizing the beautiful surroundings of Hobie, Humewood and Kings Beaches. While fishing, surfing, whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing are enjoyed by tourists, Nelson Mandela Bay also prides itself on offering the ability to see lions, rhinos, buffalo, leopards, and elephants in wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area.