This is our preview of the men’s IRONMAN World Championship for 2022 at Kona in Hawaii – click here for report and results on how Gustav Iden reigned supreme.
Here is part two of our guide on how to watch the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship at Kona live.
We’ve split this into two parts of course because, for the first time ever, the return of the event to Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii will see racing over two days. Day one (which will feature the Pro Women) will take place on Thursday 6 October 2022, and you can click here for the full schedule, timings and broadcast details on that one.
Our focus here is for the second day of racing, the traditional ‘second Saturday in October’ time slot, which will feature the Pro Men.
We also highlight below which of the categories of age-group men will also be in action on Saturday.
Date, start times & live stream
For the first time in Hawaii, we have the Pro races taking place over two days. The subject of this feature, the Pro Men, will race on Saturday 8 October 2022.
The Pro Men will start at 0625 local time. The corresponds to 1725 in the UK, 1825 CET, 0925 Pacific and 1225 Eastern.
The race will be broadcast live via Facebook Watch on the IRONMAN Now channel, and also via IRONMAN Now on YouTube and Twitch. The stream is embedded above so you do not have to leave TRI247 to watch all the action. We also have a live blog.
There will be additional pre-race coverage (the body marking show) from around 0430 local time, in the build-up to the race with interviews and behind-the-scenes content. The IRONMAN commentary is set to be hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer, with Greg Welch, Matt Lieto and Mirinda Carfrae adding on-course reporting.
Perhaps more than ever, the IRONMAN Tracker app on your phone / mobile device, alongside the broadcast coverage, is your essential companion to keep up to date with all of the on-course action.
General consensus – ours included – is that Scandinavia will be featuring strongly towards the front of the race. Of course, Germany currently holds the historical power in the Men’s Pro race in Hawaii, winning the race on the last six editions on the big island. However, defending (and three-time) IRONMAN World Champion, Jan Frodeno, will be absent this year with injury.
The Bergen, Norway duo of Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden will likely be the most talked about names this year in the men’s race, being the current IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champions, respectively. The fastest two athletes at the Collins Cup, they were also the first across the line at the PTO Canadian Open. Debutants in Hawaii, they have the sort of back-up team that you imagine will have them as well prepared as possible for the challenges they will face.
Given that introduction to Team Norway, you’d likely assume that of course they must be the #1 and #2 ranked athletes, right? Not quite, as Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev actually splits the pair on the latest standings.
Still, outside of Big Blu’s mechanical-impacted race at the 70.3 World Champs last year, the tall Dane has never beaten Kristian or Gustav. That’s not to be dismissive of his chances however, as Ditlev’s arc of improvement is clearly on the rise, rapidly so. You can be absolutely certain that he will not be overlooked by the two favourites.
Patrick Lange (with two wins) is one of the German athletes who has dominated in Hawaii since 2014, while on his last start there, you can be sure there will be a lot of support for the 2014 champion, Sebastian Kienle. With four Kona podiums to his name already, can he exit this race in style?
British hopes – which are significant – lay with Joe Skipper and David McNamee. Skipper heads to Hawaii off the back of that impressive display at IRONMAN Wales. A totally different course, in completely different conditions, but he’s clearly in shape to challenge his previous Kona best of sixth in 2019.
Third in both 2017 and 2018, McNamee’s greatest performances have come at this race, in conditions which he seems to relish. Rarely in the spotlight, David tends to get his talking done on the course. By far his best performance of 2022 was when finishing ninth at the delayed 2021 IRONMAN World Championship in St George. He’s an athlete that is able to focus on the big days, and few will be happier to be back running on the Queen K than him.
Plenty more contenders too, including Lionel Sanders (second in 2017 in Hawaii, and earlier this year in St George), Daniel Bækkegård, Braden Currie, Leon Chevalier, Sam Laidlow, Cameron Wurf... the list is extensive. Don’t miss it.
Full Saturday 8 October 2022 Schedule
While the top Pro athletes will gain the lion’s share of the headlines, the IRONMAN World Championship of course is about a lot more than that.
With the IRONMAN World Championship having not taken place in Kona since 2019, there are a lot of athletes qualified over the that period who will be racing this year. In many cases the culmination of many years of effort, that may well be the first and last time that they ever get to experience the big island of Hawaii.
With more athletes in total racing, the Age-Group events will also take place over two days. Here is the schedule for Saturday’s event, which includes the remaining male amateurs who were not part of Thursday’s schedule.
Just as with the deferred 2021 IRONMAN World Championship held in St George, Utah in May, the total prize purse on offer in Kona is $750,000.
The race winners will earn $125,000 each, with the overall prize pot paying down to 15th position, allocated as follows:
1st – $125,000
2nd – $65,000
3rd – $45,000
4th – $25,000
5th – $20,000
6th – $18,000
7th – $15,000
8th – $13,000
9th – $12,000
10th – $11,000
11th – $8,000
12th – $6,000
13th – $5,000
14th – $4,000
15th – $3,000
Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.
As we move into the final quarter of the season, those positions are really starting to firm up, and so the opportunities to move up are becoming fewer. Expect some significant movers to be reflected in the rankings one the numbers have been crunched post-Kona.
The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.