How to Watch the Ironman Tulsa North American Championships

Ironman heads to Tulsa for the first time as thousands of athletes prepare to take on a point-to-point course in potentially tough conditions.

Photo: Getty Images

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It’s been six months since the United States has hosted an Ironman and although mother nature has made for an interesting race week in Tulsa, the Ironman North American Championship will go on as planned with 2,600 registered athletes ready to take the start line. Despite heavy rain in the forecast in the days leading up to the event and the days immediately following, race day—Sunday, May 23—is currently calling for mostly cloudy conditions with a chance of rain and a high of 82 degrees F. In addition to the age-group athletes vying for finish-line glory and 75 Kona qualifying slots, 83 professional athletes will be in pursuit of their share of the $150,000 and one of the four professional Kona qualifying spots.

See the results from the race here.

How to Watch

As it has done for its marquee races for the last few years, Ironman will broadcast the event on Facebook Live via the Ironman Now channel. Comprehensive coverage of the entire race will begin at 6:15 a.m. CT/7:15 a.m. ET. Former pro athletes Matt Lieto and current pro Dede Griesbauer will host the show, providing insights and commentary throughout the day.

For live athlete tracking, you can follow both the professional and age-group athletes on the Ironman Tracker app.

The Inaugural Course

While the announcement of Ironman Tulsa came nearly two years ago, this weekend marks the first time that Tulsa will host the 140.6-mile event. Athletes will kick off the day with a rolling start and a 2.4-mile swim in Keystone Lake at Keystone State Park before heading into T1 and out onto a point-to-point bike course through the hills surrounding Tulsa. The 112-mile bike ride concludes in downtown Tulsa at Oklahoma State University’s campus. From T2,  athletes run through downtown and then alongside the Arkansas river where they will complete two laps before returning downtown for the finish.

Who to Watch

Four-time Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf highlights the start list and, if her dominant victory at Ironman 70.3 St. George was any indication, she’s in top form and will be tough to beat over the Ironman distance. Athletes looking to make the upset include Skye Moench (USA), Sarah Crowley (AUS), Heather Jackson (USA), Kelsey Withrow (USA), Meredith Kessler (USA), and Angela Naeth (CAN). As is the case with most of these early-2021 races, it will be no surprise to see a lesser-known name on the podium as people make breakthroughs after the last year. Without consistent racing for 18 months, some athletes are ready for a big day but haven’t yet had an event to show off their fitness.

This is especially the case in the men’s race with 59 names are on the start list and no clear favorite. It’s hard to bet against American Sam Long to pick up his second Ironman victory as he’s shown top form (and a gutsy racing style) at Ironman Florida (third) and, most recently, Ironman 70.3 St. George (second). Ironman Florida race winner Chris Leiferman (USA) is also on the start list. While Long and Leiferman are two of the only American athletes to experience Ironman success over the last year, the winner could come from one of several Europeans traveling to the U.S. right now to get in races. Two-time Ironman world champion Patrick Lange (GER) is always at the top of a list of favorites. Plus, Patrik Nilsson (SWE), Joe Skipper (GBR), Nils Frommhold (GER), Daniel Bækkegård (DEN), and Bart Aernouts (BEL) have all experienced success over the Ironman distance and could be in the right form to make the podium on Sunday. Viewers will also be excited to see how fan-favorites Andy Potts (USA) and Tyler Butterfield (BER) perform, and will be watching former pro cyclist Adam Hansen (AUS) make his pro Ironman debut.

Ironman North American Championship Tulsa Pro Start List


1 Patrik Nilsson (Sweden)
2 Patrick Lange (Germany)
3 Cody Beals (Canada)
4 Florian Angert (Germany)
6 Kristian Hogenhaug (Denmark)
7 Joe Skipper (United Kingdom)
8 Sam Long  (United States)
9 Nils Frommhold (Germany)
10 Daniel Bækkegård (Denmark)
11 Jan Van Berkel (Switzerland)
12 Boris Stein (Germany)
14 Matt Russell (United States)
15 Jesper Svensson (Sweden)
16 Bart Aernouts (Belgium)
18 Mathias Lyngsø Petersen (Denmark)
19 Denis Chevrot (France)
20 Michael Weiss (Austria)
21 Andy Potts (United States)
22 Alexander Berggren (Sweden)
24 Arnaud Margot (Switzerland)
26 Adam Bowden (United Kingdom)
27 Samuel Huerzeler (Switzerland)
30 Colin Norris (United Kingdom)
31 David Breuer (Germany)
32 Antony Costes (France)
33 Marc Duelsen (Germany)
34 Mauricio Mendez Cruz (Mexico)
35 Michiel De Wilde (Netherlands)
36 Axel Beci (Spain)
37 Eliot Scymanski (United States)
38 Tiago Depaula (Brazil)
39 Rasmus Svenningsson (Sweden)
40 Ben Hall (United States)
42 Nicholas Chase (United States)
43 Mattia Ceccarelli (Italy)
44 Raul Tejada (Guatemala)
45 Tripp Hipple  (United States)
46 Kevin Portmann (France)
47 Pedro Gomes (Portugal)
48 Kennett Peterson (United States)
49 Andreas Jung (Germany)
51 Clay Emge (United States)
52 David Plese (Slovenia)
53 Derk De Korver (Netherlands)
54 Gregory Close USA (United States)
55 Michael Patrick Alonso Mckernan (Spain)
56 Elliot Bach (United States)
57 Lukas Krämer (Germany)
58 Kristian Hindkjaer (Denmark)
59 Marcus Herbst (Germany)
60 Chris Leiferman (United States)
61 Adam Feigh (United States)
62 Jesse Vondracek (United States)
64 Garrett Mayeaux (United States)
65 Adam Hansen (Australia)
66 Alexander Khalamanov (Russian Federation)
70 Yvan Jarrige (France)
71 Tyler Butterfield (Bermuda)
72 Martin Fredriksson (Sweden)


80 Daniela Ryf (Switzerland)
81 Skye Moench (United States)
82 Sarah Crowley (Australia)
85 Katrina Matthews (United Kingdom)
86 Heather Jackson (United States)
87 Meredith Kessler (United States)
88 Angela Naeth (Canada)
89 Carolin Lehrieder (Germany)
91 Gurutze Frades Larralde (Spain)
93 Kelsey Withrow (United States)
94 Kimberley Morrison (United Kingdom)
95 Ruth Astle (United Kingdom)
97 Marj Rinaldo (United States)
98 Amy Vantassel (United States)
100 Lenny Ramsey (Netherlands)
102 Tara Grosvenor (United Kingdom)
103 Rebecca Marrou (United States)
104 Jennie Hansen (United States)
105 Pamella Oliveira (Brazil)
107 Kayla Kobelin (United States)
108 Sarah Karpinski (United States)
109 Sarah Bishop (United States)
114 Clarice Lorenzini (United States)
115 Ginger Howell (United States)

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