IRONMAN announced that the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will once again take place over two days in Kona. The two day format, first announced for this year's race, will return in 2023 but with a women's only event on Thursday and a men's only event on the traditional Saturday date.
Both IRONMAN and Hawaiian officials noted the level of partnership needed in order to execute a multi-day race in Kona.
“The County of Hawai`i and IRONMAN have a long history of working together closely to ensure this global event is conducted safely and with due respect for the needs of the athletes, county residents, and worldwide visitors,” said Hawai`i County Mayor, Mitch Roth. “The partnership with IRONMAN has stood the test of time and we are grateful and humbled that the culture here has fed into the culture of IRONMAN, reflecting the aloha spirit and the theme of Holomua — to move forward — for the 2023 IRONMAN season.”
Andrew Messick, CEO of The IRONMAN Group, echoed that sentiment, stating, "We are grateful for our partners in Hawai`i and Kailua-Kona, for their support for over 40 years of this homegrown event that has captured the imagination of the world and turned into the pinnacle event of the sport of triathlon. We look forward to an incredible two-day event in 2022, and the ability in 2023 to further advance what a two-day format can look like with a focused women’s race day and a men’s race day.”
Changes for 2023
Because the 2023 race will feature dedicated men's and women's events, qualification for the 2023 race will change.
The number of slots on offer for all will change specifically at regional championship events. In addition, there will be increased opportunity for women at 17 races that have been identified as Women for Tri Events, which will offer a combined additional 1,200 slots. The list of those events are as follows:
IRONMAN Western Australia
IRONMAN New Zealand
IRONMAN South Africa (Regional Championship)
IRONMAN Hamburg (Regional Championship)
IRONMAN Cairns (Regional Championship)
IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene
IRONMAN United Kingdom
IRONMAN Lake Placid
According to IRONMAN, these events were specifically selected due to a range of criteria, including but not limited to: time of year; regional race calendars; propensity to grow female participation at the World Championships based on higher areas of female participation against the mean; and/or where further growth opportunities exist.
The two-day format was first introduced in 2017 as part of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships and has remained in place since, with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted 2021 race. Both this year's 2022 70.3 Worlds event in St. George, Utah and next year's race in Lahti, Finland will offer two-day events.
Large News Week for IRONMAN
Today's announcement regarding the 2023 event in Hawaii caps off a seven day whirlwind for The IRONMAN Group. Late last week, IRONMAN announced an exclusive partnership with VinFast, an electric car manufacturer, which will see VinFast as the title sponsor for this year's IRONMAN World Championships and next year's IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships and continuing through 2025.
VinFast will also hold title sponsor status for the U.S. IRONMAN race series, the first time those races have ever had a title sponsor. As part of the agreement, VinFast will provide electric vehicles (scooters, cars, and buses) for IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events in the United States.
When speaking with IRONMAN staff at Lake Placid, many were excited at the prospect of ditching internal combustion scooters and carts for race support for electric power.
IRONMAN also announced the extension of their contract with Lake Placid to host that event through its 25th anniversary in 2024.