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IRONMAN World Championship 2019- What is it?

September 24, 2019

The IRONMAN World Championship is an iconic one-day test of body, mind and spirit. It’s a full Ironman distance triathlon race. How long is the Ironman World Championship? It’s 140.6 miles (226.2 km) long – the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon—into one event. Approximately 95,000 athletes compete at more than 40 global IRONMAN events each year to qualify for the World Championship. Last year’s record-breaking race welcomed approximately 2,500 registered athletes from 82 countries, regions and territories, marking the largest international field in race history.

History of IRONMAN World Championship

The first KONA™ race was held in 1978 as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at endurance swimming and running events. Honolulu-based Navy couple Judy and John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawaii’i. On February 18, 1978, 15 people came to Waikiki to take on the IRONMAN challenge. Prior to racing, each received three sheets of paper with a few rules and a course description. The last page read: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!” It’s been a moto of the race through more than four decades.

From the 15 participants finished 12. The race was won by Gordon Haller in 11:46. The second Ironman race in 1979 has also a female participant who finishes and wins the race in 12:55. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The course

Swim. The mass swim start is the most emotionally charged start in the sport, thanks to TV helicopters, enthusiastic spectators and the sun rising over Mt. Hualalai. A shot from a cannon releases the action of the day. Water temperature in Kailua Bay is typically around 79 F/26 C.

Bike. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama. As athletes make their way north along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi, they can expect intense crosswinds of up to 45 mph. Winds may subside during the gradual climb to Hawi. Temperatures can reach up to 95 F/ 35 C.

Run. After exiting T2, runners will wind through town before taking on Ali’i Drive. Athletes will then retrace their steps, climb up Palani Road to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway to make their way to the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA). Unless cloud cover or nightfall, high heat and humidity on the run course is anticipated.

Theme for the 2019 Ironman season

IRONMAN has announced that the Hawaiian word ‘Ohana’, which in the Hawaiian culture represents a specially bonded extended family, will be the theme for the 2019 IRONMAN season, culminating at the IRONMAN World Championship.

To celebrate the selection of `ohana as the theme of the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN has introduced brand imagery that reflects IRONMAN’s Hawaiian beginnings. The `ohana-themed graphics feature the yellow hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii`i. Representing unity and family, the imagery showcases people at the centre of the flower, as well as the rolling waves of the ocean flowing behind the Hibiscus.

These years Ironman World Championship goes under the name of “VEGA”. “VEGA” is a company which creates plant based sports nutrition. In 2018 the title sponsor was the online giant “AMAZON” and in 2017 it was “ICY HOT”.

Who has won the Ironman World Championship?

Ironman World Championship takes place already for more than four decades. Taking this into account I will only sum up the winners of last 10 years.

2009 Craig Alexander (AUS), 8:20:21 — Chrissie Wellington (USA), 8:54:02

2010 Chris McCormack (AUS), 8:10:37 — Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), 8:58:36

2011 Craig Alexander (AUS,) 8:03:56 — Chrissie Wellington (USA), 8:55:08

2012 Pete Jacobs (AUS), 8:18:37 — Leanda Cave (GBR), 9:15:54

2013 Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), 8:12:29 — Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), 8:52:14

2014 Sebastian Kienle (GER), 8:14:18 — Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), 9:00:55

2015 Jan Frodeno (GER), 8:14:40 — Daniela Ryf (SUI), 8:57:57

2016 Jan Frodeno (GER), 8:06:30 — Daniela Ryf (SUI), 8:46:46

2017 Patrick Lange (GER), 8:01:40 — Daniela Ryf (SUI), 8:50:47

2018 Patrick Lange (GER), 7:52:39 (WR) — Daniela Ryf (SUI), 8:26:18 (WR)


Mark your calendar for the October 12. The race day for the Ironman World Championship. As well as check out my next posts regarding the participants and race reviews.


Related Sites

Ironman official website –

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