Ironman’s announcement was not scheduled for another few weeks, but due to yesterday’s publication by Triathlon Today, Ironman could no longer deny it: they just published a statement which admits that the men’s World Championship will indeed be held not at Kona, but at another location. This is for the first time in history. Interestingly, Ironman is not yet saying that that new World Championship location is Nice, France, even though this has been confirmed to Triathlon Today by several sources – also affiliated with Ironman.
You can read Ironman’s statement down below:
Following the first-ever two-day IRONMAN World Championship and a continued commitment to providing women and men their own dedicated day of racing, the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will occur in two different host venues.
To ensure that both professional and amateur women and men have a focused IRONMAN World Championship race experience, the women will race in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 14, 2023, with the men’s race date and location outside of Hawai`i currently being evaluated and expected to be announced in January 2023. For 2024, the men and women would exchange locations.
The 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship was held this past October in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i over two days for the first time in the history of the event, showcasing the very best women and men in the sport while giving both their deserved spotlight. With the future dual host locations and separation of race weeks, the women’s and men’s races will each garner further attention with all eyes focused on the race week activities and lead up to their respective IRONMAN World Championship race days.
While the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship two-day format was a success in many areas and the two-day format in Kailua-Kona for 2023 had already been announced, IRONMAN and the County of Hawai’i concluded together that the impact of two days of racing in Kona is not currently in the best interest of the local community.
“We are reinforcing our commitment for a dedicated world championship race experience for women and men to each receive an exclusive spotlight on their race. Hawai`i is in our DNA and we look forward to the first-ever exclusively women’s world championship race week in Kona. At the same time, we are looking forward to announcing a co-host location for the men’s race that will be worthy of an IRONMAN World Championship and will capture the imagination of our athletes and fans,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group.
Hawai`i is the proud birthplace of IRONMAN and despite not being able to undertake a two-day world championship event at this time, it will continue to be an important part of the shared history of IRONMAN, with Kona continuing as a co-host of the IRONMAN World Championship.
“Hawai`i County has long enjoyed partnering with IRONMAN and this year’s epic races were another example of world-class athletic competition held on the traditional Kona-Kohala world championship course,” said Hawai`i County Mayor Mitch Roth. We learned, however, that more than one race day during IRONMAN week is too many for the community to manage. We are pleased that IRONMAN plans to return to Kailua-Kona as a co-host of the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship and look forward to more exciting events in the future.”
With this major move to ensure dedicated IRONMAN World Championship racing for both women’s and men’s fields, the qualifying cycle and slot allocations will be slightly adjusted. Allocations may be viewed here, with further adjustments to occur in line with the men’s championship race location announcement in January. Additionally, all athletes who have previously qualified and registered for the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will be contacted directly with additional information. Further athlete information can be found in the FAQ located here.