I’m about as old-school as they come, and have spent most of my triathlon career dreaming bout racing in Hawaii, but a conversation with my coach on the latest Crushing Iron podcast just changed my mind on the World Championship.  Is it time Ironman moved KONA off the Island?

At first I thought it was preposterous, but the more I listened, the more it made sense.  Not only could it be a huge financial win for Ironman, but so many more people could actually experience it, both as a racer, and spectator.

One of the points is obviously the expense of going to Hawaii for a week.  It limits family members and friends that can support you, plus it likely forces some qualifiers to turn down the slot.

The size of the island comes into play as well.  It would make it very difficult to have a separate woman’s and men’s race on different days, which Ironman is now doing for the 70.3 Championships.

There is also the question of: Does Kona really decide who is the best, or is it simply who is best in heat and wind?  Moving to different climates with more challenging terrain would open the door for different triathletes and give a better overall sense for who are the best racers in the world.

I’m personally a huge fan of Ironman Wisconsin and thinking about Madison hosting a World Championship sounds incredible.  The crowd support is already off the charts and the thought of how electric that city would be for an event of that magnitude gives me chills.

We discuss this starting the 25 minute mark of the Crushing Iron podcast, but also talk about a lot of other stuff regarding the broadcast.  The men’s battle between Frodeno and Kienle, Ryf vs. Rinny.  We also talk about how the broadcast, and specifically women are making this sport so popular.  We talk about the human interest stories, the advertising, and the 83 year old who is the oldest man to finish.

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Ironman Should Move The World Championship



2 thoughts on “Ironman Should Move The World Championship

  • December 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Have you been to kona and watched the race? If not, I suggest you go before deciding whether it should be moved or not. A huge part of the allure and “magic” of the race is because it is in the same place every year. It is part of the culture in kona. There is something to be said for tradition. Ironman already has a North American/European/African/etc. championship race. Golf has multiple majors but the Masters is always in Augusta. Tradition is important. Just because it might be easier for you to get to Wisconsin doesn’t mean more people would go if the race was there. Do you think they should move the Boston marathon each year too so it is easier for you to get there? Part of the reason people dream about qualifying for kona is because of the tradition and the destination. It isn’t supposed to be easy and it isn’t for everyone. I really don’t think most age groupers would be as excited about qualifying for the world champs if the location rotated. It isn’t about qualifying for the world champs, it’s about qualifying for kona. Ask yourself if you’d really be as excited if, in 3 years you qualify for the world champs and the race is in California. I bet you would be disappointed.

    • December 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Josh… You bring up some good points. There is definitely magic surrounding Kona and it’s always been a dream to go. True, the Masters is always in Augusta, but the other majors move around and it creates different tests for the best golfers. A big part of why I sort of feel like it would be cool to move the IM World Championship is for the fans. I would personally love to see the best in the world race. Maybe I just need to suck it up and save 10 grand to go watch KONA. Thanks for the input…I totally see where you’re coming from.

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