Ironman have announced today that the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event – with women racing on one day and men racing on the other (both professional and age-group) – allowing for a full day of triathlon for each, although numbers of race spots on each day are yet to be confirmed.
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“With the global explosion of Ironman 70.3 races, we expect approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world to qualify for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, which is too many for a single day of racing,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman. “We are focused on providing more opportunities for women to race with us globally and, after consulting with members of our Women For Tri Board, felt that having a separate race for female professional and age-group athletes would be a strong step forward for our sport.”
This move comes as increasingly questions are being asked about the equality of triathlon under the Ironman brand, with campaigns such as #50WomenToKona from Tri Equal gaining momentum across the internet and social media (see our earlier story here), with support from big name athletes including Rachel Joyce, Sarah Gross and Karen Smyers.
America to host
In addition, Ironman have announced that the United States will play host to the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Three cities, all of which currently host Ironman-branded races, have been named as the finalists in the selection process: Chattanooga (Tennessee), Lake Placid (New York) and St. George (Utah).
“The rotation of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship has elevated the race and allowed athletes from all over the world to experience a World Championship event at fantastic locations,” added Messick. “The finalists for the 2017 championship are all tremendous hosts to Ironman races and provide courses well suited for an event of this calibre. These cities also provide our athletes and their families world-class hospitality and endless scenic and entertainment options.”