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Triathletes React to Possibility of Ironman World Championship Relocation

Triathletes took to social media to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions about any potential changes.

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Ironman’s announcement that the company is “exploring every option” for the Ironman World Championship event, including “potentially taking the race out of Kona,” has provoked strong discussion from triathletes around the world. Though the Hawaii race originated in Oahu in 1978, it has been held in the small island village of Kailua-Kona since 1981.

For some, Kona is synonymous with Ironman itself; for others, it’s a dated idea and logistical boondoggle for those not traveling from the United States. Many have called for the world championship event to move a rotating format like the 70.3 World Championships, which in recent years has been held in South Africa, France, and the U.S. Support for rotating host cities has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the postponement and cancellation of the world championship race three times in the last two years in response to strict travel restrictions from Hawaii. Meanwhile, other Ironman races— including the 2021 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah—have gone on in locations with fewer logistical restrictions.

At this time, it’s not clear whether Ironman is considering a temporary or permanent move from Kona; they also have not revealed what locations could be considered as new hosts of the world championship event. That, of course, didn’t stop triathletes from speculating.

After the announcement, many athletes took to social media to share their feelings on the possibility of a non-Kona world championship event. Responses varied from strong support for rotating host cities to an insistence that the race (and its legacy) stays rooted in its Hawaiian home.

What are your thoughts on the possibilities for the Ironman World Championship race? Sound off on Twitter (@TriathleteMag), Instagram (@TriathleteMag), or Facebook (Triathlete Magazine).

Twitter reactions to Ironman’s announcement:

https://twitter.com/Loube73/status/1439025916718551042?s=03

https://twitter.com/reneekiley_/status/1438850455996559360?s=03

Facebook reactions to Ironman’s announcement:

BREAKING: Ironman CEO Andrew Messick said today the organization is "exploring every option" for the Ironman World Championship event: "That includes potentially taking the race out of Kona.”

Posted by Triathlete Magazine on Thursday, September 16, 2021