Ironman will put on a new full-distance race in the country’s northernmost state next year – Ironman Alaska will take place in the state’s capital, Juneau, on Aug. 7, 2022.
“Hosting an Ironnman event in Alaska has never been done before and we are beyond excited to partner with Travel Juneau to showcase the unbelievable destination that Juneau is,” said Dave Christen, Regional Director for The Ironman Group. “This world-class host city will demonstrate to the IRONMAN community a truly Alaskan experience at every turn. .. Not many people know Juneau is just a short two-hour flight from Seattle.”
Athletes will have to fly or travel to Juneau by boat – there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska or any other parts of North American because of the rugged terrain all around the city. The city is at the base of Mount Juneau and is surrounded by mountains between 3,500 and 4,000 feet high – at the top of those mountains is the famous Juneau Icefield, from which about 30 glaciers flow, including the Mendenhall Glacier, a popular tourist destination a short drive from town that is part of the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States.
According to a release from Ironman, “The inaugural Iroman event in Alaska will cover 140.6 miles (226 km) of truly Juneau territory. With a two-loop swim in the beautiful spring fed Auke Lake, athletes will start the day enjoying breathtaking beauty of Mendenhall Glacier in the distance as their sighting line. Once out of the water athletes will use the Glacier highway to head north until the road literally ends at 28 miles from Auke Lake. The two-loop bike course will skirt the edge of the stunning coastlines of Juneau. The run course will utilize two historic trails in the area to include Montana Creek, as well as running a loop around Auke Lake and using the Kaxdigoowu Heen Dei trail to get back to transition and onto their second lap.”
Registration for the new race opens on Aug. 23, 2021. The race will offer qualifying spots for the 2022 Ironman World Championship. You can get more information here.