IRONMAN has announced that Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been selected as a multi-year host venue for a brand-new full distance IRONMAN event. Sponsorship for the new event comes from Certified Piedmontese Beef, which will serve as the title partner for the new triathlon taking place on May 31, 2020.
General registration for the inaugural Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa triathlon will open on Wednesday, June 19.
Since the beginning of the year, IRONMAN has ‘undergone a rigorous process to identify a host venue in the central United States for a new IRONMAN triathlon’. On April 18, it was narrowed down to four host-city finalists: Des Moines, Iowa; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
IRONMAN officials made multiple site visits to each location connecting with city officials and the local community to determine the viability of each potential market while viewing areas where a race could be held. IRONMAN notes that each of the four premier cities had a great deal to offer athletes and spectators alike in their bids to host the IRONMAN triathlon event in 2020 – with Tulsa ultimately prevailing.
“We are very excited to welcome Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the IRONMAN `Ohana,” said Shane Facteau, Chief Operating Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “When we started this process, our goal was to identify cities in this region that could host an event and would bring a fresh offering while providing athletes a world-class experience.
“We were blown away by the response and potential of all four finalist cities, each of whom made a strong case. Ultimately, we felt that Tulsa is the right place for the first new IRONMAN triathlon added in the United States since 2014. We are encouraged by the possible venues that Tulsa and the surrounding areas offer, including the beautiful Keystone Harbor in Mannford, Oklahoma, and Guthrie Green in downtown as we create an enjoyable experience for athletes and support crews.
“We look forward to a great future in Tulsa and the potential that continues to exist for additional opportunities within the other finalist communities.”
Situated on the Arkansas River between the Osage Hills and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma, Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state. It boasts a wide variety of attractions, including Gathering Place (the largest privately funded public park in the country), Philbrook and Gilcrease museums, the Tulsa Zoo, and the Oklahoma Aquarium.
Visitors can also enjoy professional baseball and soccer at the downtown stadium, ONEOK Field. Tulsa is known as a barbeque town but also boasts James Beard award-winning seafood and internationally renowned craft beer. The city prides itself on offering… ‘big-city experiences in a completely different way: no huge crowds, no big attitudes, just plenty to do for you and your whole group.’
“Tulsa proudly accepts its place as the newest host city for an IRONMAN event, standing among other elite cities globally,” said Ray Hoyt, President for VisitTulsa, Tulsa Sports Commission, Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture. “This opportunity further validates our re-emergence as a world-class city. Once the Oil Capital of the World, Tulsa is filled with strong visionaries who have helped build an international model for outdoor recreation, arts and tourism. Like the athletes we look forward to welcoming in 2020, we aim to inspire and perform at the highest level.
“We are grateful for our partners and would also like to recognize the invested hoteliers and board members of the newly formed Tulsa Tourism Improvement District #1, whom provided marketing and event service funds toward this successful bid. Congratulations to all involved in making Tulsa an inspiration destination.”
The 2020 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa triathlon taking place on Sunday, May 31, 2020 will begin with a rolling start format. The 2.4-mile swim will take place in Keystone Lake in Mannford, where the water temperatures are generally in the low to mid-70 degrees.
Once out of the water, athletes will embark on a 112-mile scenic bike tour of the surrounding Tulsa area, including portions of Osage, Creek and Tulsa County. Athletes will have the opportunity to ride portions of the Osage Hills and experience the lush green terrain that make up the ‘Green Country’ of northeastern Okla.
Athletes will be challenged with plenty of rolling hills before finishing in downtown Tulsa at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus. Once off the bike, athletes will start the 26.2-mile run leg of the event. The run course begins at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus and makes its way through downtown Tulsa to the River Parks Trail System. Runners will have flat and fast views of the Arkansas River as they make their way down past Tulsa’s Gathering Place and back to downtown to finish at Guthrie Green.
General registration for 2020 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa triathlon will open on Wednesday, June 19. The 2020 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa triathlon will offer 40 age-group qualifying slots to the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship taking place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. A professional prize purse will be published at a later date.
Certified Piedmontese Beef joins the IRONMAN Tulsa herd as title sponsor of the inaugural race. As the Official Beef Sponsor of the IRONMAN US series, Certified Piedmontese Beef will expand its partnership with IRONMAN on the new event.
“Certified Piedmontese Beef is proud to partner with IRONMAN to bring this event to the Tulsa community,” said Shane Peed, General Manager of Certified Piedmontese Beef. “Our beef provides athletes an ideal source of protein, and we’re looking forward to fuelling these incredible athletes’ journey to the IRONMAN Tulsa finish line.”
To kick-off the title partnership and show its commitment to Tulsa, Certified Piedmontese Beef has teamed up with the IRONMAN Foundation to donate 2,000 pounds of frozen Certified Piedmontese ground beef to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
IRONMAN will also begin with charitable activity through the IRONMAN Foundation which will present a grant award for US$10,000 to the Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma, a program of the Tulsa Community Foundation and Tulsa Area United Way to support local flood recovery efforts.
At the 2020 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa, the IRONMAN Foundation will award additional grant funding to support long-term recovery efforts and provide a hands-on service project opportunity for athletes, as well as their families and friends. Athletes who race the Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Tulsa on TEAM IMF will specifically help support these local efforts.