Approximately 4,500 of the world’s top athletes – from over 90 countries, regions and territories – are registered to compete in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, on September 1-2 at the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, has produced the event since 2006, with global rotation beginning in 2014.
“This is a historic year for the event as the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship reaches the African continent for the first time,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “Nelson Mandela Bay is well-equipped to play host and will provide athletes with a stunning backdrop along the coastline. We look forward to providing our athletes with an exceptional race experience in this great host location.”
With athletes hailing from over 100 countries, regions and territories, Europe leads the way with 40% of the athletes registered to race in the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Following Europe, North America accounts for 23%, while South America accounts for 13% of the field.
The United States of America is the most represented nation with 769 registered athletes, followed by South Africa (472), Germany (368) and the United Kingdom (320). Other athletes from countries as far as Costa Rica, Iceland and Croatia are traveling around the globe for their shot at the title.
This year, returning age group champions from the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on the women’s side include Clive Kennedy-Burn (GBR), Colleen De Reuck (USA), Leanne Charlotte Fanoy (ARE) and Missy LeStrange (USA). On the men’s side, returning age group champions include Patrick Regers (DEU), Sibyl Jacobson (USA), and Simon Mitchell (GBR).
IRONMAN adds that Nelson Mandela Bay is a supreme location for a sporting event. This year athletes will take on a 1.2 mile (1.9 km) swim at Kings Beach, followed by a 56 mile (90 km) bike through town heading towards Seaview and returning to transition at Hobie Beach. Capping the triathlon off will be a 13.1 mile (21 km) run along Marine Drive.
The run will bring athletes closer to their family and friends ‘pushing them to end on a high with 80,000-plus spectators cheering them home’ – all of which must be completed before the eight-and-a-half-hour cut-off time.
In order to qualify for the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 185,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 100 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.
Additional historical facts and stats on the field competing in the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa:
- Nelson Mandela Bay is the seventh city in history to host the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship following Clearwater, Florida (USA) (2006-2009), Henderson, Nevada (USA) (2010-2013), Mont-Tremblant, Quebec (CAN) (2014), Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand (AUT) (2015), Mooloolaba, Queensland (AUS) (2016) and Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) (2017)
- 64% of registered participants (2,908 athletes) are male
- 36% of registered participants (1,656 athletes) are female
- 42 is the average age of male registrants, and 40 is the average age of female registrants
- Erwin Helml (DEU) is the oldest participant at 78, while Mao Kurano (JPN) is the youngest at 18
- 12 athletes will be celebrating their birthdays on the event weekend
- 48 of the 50 US states are accounted for, with the greatest number hailing from California (135), Florida (94), Texas (67), New York (66) and Colorado (50)
- More than 185,000 registered athletes compete in IRONMAN 70.3 races each year
- Since the series began in 2006, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been led by Australia (six champions), followed by Germany (five champions), Great Britain (four champions), and Switzerland (three champions). The United States and Spain have had two winners, while Canada and New Zealand have each had one winner
- Over 3,000 volunteers will help make the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship a success
The 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be viewed race day on IRONMAN Now on Facebook Watch or on www.ironman.com and features IRONMAN Live, a hosted online show with extensive, in-depth coverage of the professional race.
In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity – moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec – its first stop on the ‘global rotation’ for the championship.
The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting a memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to North American making its way to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and marked the first time that the event would take place over two days.
This year marks the first time the event will be held on the African continent, taking place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa; and for the second year it will be a two-day race. More than 190,000 athletes participated in a season of qualifying races for the championship, a series which consists of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland.
Approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world are registered to compete in this year’s race. Participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship range in age from 18 to 85-plus, and represent over 90 countries, territories and regions.
In 2019, the event will be hosted in Nice, France. Perth and Taupō have been named as finalists to host 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.