Ironman announces ‘Open division’

Picture: Facebook Ironman

Ironman today announced their updated 2023 global competition rules for Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Series including new and modified athlete divisions focused on broadening inclusivity, as well as further rule alignment with World Triathlon. The PC Open/Exhibition division has been expanded to now include athletes with an intellectual disability, creating the Physically Challenged/Intellectual Disability (PC/ID) Open division. Additionally, a brand-new Open division has been created to provide further inclusion opportunities, enabling participation for all able-bodied athletes who wish to race in an event without a gender or age-based peer comparison. Divisions under the 2023 Ironman Competition Rules include Age Group, Relay (where offered), Handcycle, Open, and PC/ID Open. The 2023 Competition Rules, including new and updated athlete divisions, will go into effect March 1, 2023, and can be found here.

Expanded to include athletes with an intellectual disability, the newly modified PC/ID Open division is a participatory division which includes PC Open athletes, Special Teams, and ID Open athletes. Athletes in the PC/ID Open division will also be eligible for the PC/ID Open World Championship Drawing for slots to compete in the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

“Inclusion in Ironman changed my life because it helped me get my dreams by giving me a big crazy goal,” said Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman. “Now I also have a purpose to help others enjoy this amazing opportunity. A huge thanks to Ironman for being first and inspiring all the major running races around the world to follow.”

Ironman has also introduced a new Open division for Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Series events. This participatory division provides a welcoming and inclusive field for able-bodied athletes that cannot or do not wish to race in a competitive age or gender group. With no approval process necessary for participation in the Open division, athletes can self-select to register for the Open division during an event registration process. Athletes in the Open division will still be bound by the Competition Rules and are not eligible for Ironman or Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifying slots.

Ironman will also be further aligning with World Triathlon rules and policies in a number of areas as part of its updated global Competition Rules. Notably, Ironman will be applying World Triathlon’s eligibility regulations for Transgender Athletes which requires transitioning Male to Female athletes to maintain less than a 2.5 nMol/L testosterone level for two sequential years prior to receiving approval to compete as a Female. Further, transitioning Male to Female athletes may not have competed as a Male in an official competition of triathlon or its related multisport or an allied sport of swimming, cycling, athletics (including all track and field events) and cross-country skiing for a minimum four-years preceding approval to compete as a Female. Transitioning Male to Female athletes can participate in the Open division during this four-year period until they are formally approved under the new policy. Eligibility requirements for transitioning Female to Male athletes remain consistent with the previous Transgender Policy. The updated Ironman Transgender Policy can be found here.