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Triathlon News and Notes: Full Ironman Back in St. George, a Pro’s Return, and More

A look at some of the buzz we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

Full-distance Ironman heading back to St. George in 2022

While all eyes were on St. George, Utah for Saturday’s 70.3, plans were already underway for a full-distance Ironman in the scenic spot in 2022. Ironman announced that St. George will host a full Ironman on May 7, 2022 and again in 2024–and it will also serve as the Ironman North America Championships in those respective years. St. George, which last hosted an Ironman in 2012, will continue to host a 70.3 each year. “We are excited to bring a full distance IRONMAN triathlon back to St. George in 2022,” said Paul Huddle, senior regional director for Ironman. “While we were prevented from bringing the full-distance Ironman race in 2020, we can’t wait to see this race make its return to St. George next year.”

Chelsea Sodaro’s return from pregnancy highlighted in new content series

What does it take to go from pregnant to racing as a top pro triathlete in a matter of months? “Greater Than One,” a new five-part series from the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) will answer just that by highlighting the journey of American pro triathlete Chelsea Sodaro, who gave birth to her daughter, Skye, on March 16. One of the top 70.3 athletes in the world, Sodaro is aiming to compete at the Collins Cup event in August. The first 10-minute episode, which showcases Sodaro’s final weeks of pregnancy and offers snippets of her childhood, is available on the PTOHub on YouTube.

Tokyo tightens COVID rules in the buildup to the Olympics

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics are putting more precautions into place in advance of the late July event, including establishing a new rule that all athletes must be tested for COVID-19 every day. This is a change from the original guidelines, which stated that athletes would be tested at least once every four days. All Olympians and close contacts  must have two negative tests before arrival to Tokyo, and anyone who tests positive will not be able to compete. This is all to assuage public opposition to the Olympics from those who fear it could turn into a superspreader event. The triathlon events are scheduled to go off on July 26 (men’s individual race), July 27 (women’s individual race), July 31 (triathlon mixed relay), and the Paralympic Games will take place from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

USAT brings back the Splash & Dash

The Splash & Dash is back! USA Triathlon’s kids-only aquathlon series is set to return in 2021 with 30 events planned in cities across the U.S. and possibly more to be added to the calendar. Launched in 2012, the series is for athletes ages 7 to 15 and follows a swim-run format as a way to introduce the younger set to multisport in a non-competitive, fun environment. Click here to find an event near you. 

Podcast Notes

  • Alicia Kaye–a successful pro triathlete turned professional organizer and race commentator–opens up about her past and present careers on Witsup.
  • Morocco has just one spot available for the Tokyo Olympics, and Mehdi Essadiq and Badr Siwane are both on a mission to make the team and be the first-ever triathletes to represent their country  in the Games. They chat about their friendly rivalry on the World Triathlon podcast.
  • Paratri world champ and Paralympic bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell joins The Triathlete Hour and shares her story as the first female soldier to lose a limb during the Iraq War, as well as how she’s shooting for a spot on the Tokyo paratri team as a 41 year old.
  • Coach David Tilbury-Davis (who works with pros including Alissa Doehla and Bart Aernouts along with top age-group athletes) heads to That Triathlon Show to talk about his training philosophy and the science behind it.
  • Triathlon Taren chats with Patrick Lemieux about his new career as an agent (including pro triathlete Lionel Sanders) and how he picked up most of his agent chops from supporting his wife, gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen. Plus, he shares how triathletes can look for sponsors and an agent of their own.
  • Curious about Norway’s secret to success on the World Triathlon Series scene? You may glean some insight from Greg Bennett’s chat with Arild Tveiten, Triathlon Norway Head Coach who has led athletes like Gustav Iden, Casper Stornes, and Kristian Blummenfelt to the top of the world’s rankings.
  • Jan Frodeno’s status as triathlon’s seemingly unbeatable golden boy is discussed on the MX Endurance Podcast with Chris McCormack, who also touches on Daniela Ryf’s recent departure from her longtime coach Brett Sutton.