Approximately 4,500 of the world’s top athletes are registered to compete in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on September 1 and 2 at the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship. IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, has produced this world-class 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 percent of the athletes registered to race in the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Following Europe, North America accounts for 23 percent, while South America accounts for 13 percent 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).
With breathtaking scenery, 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 an eight-and-a-half-hour cutoff 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.
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), and Mooloolaba, Queensland (AUS) (2016), Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) (2017).
- 64 percent of registered participants (2,908 athletes) are male
- 36 percent 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 event weekend
- 48 of the 50 U.S. 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 and each have 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.