IRONMAN World Championship third place finisher says Kona success still means the most

Magnus Ditlev says Kona success still means the most.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Despite the IRONMAN World Championship moving away from Kona to Nice for the men’s race last season, third place finisher Magnus Ditlev still sees Hawaii as the true home of Ironman.

The Danish star, speaking to TRI247 ahead of the upcoming season, shared his plans to peak for a shot at the world title in October and revealed why a win on the Big Island would mean so much.

A fan of the course and atmosphere in Nice, the 26-year-old supports the idea of a rotating world championship venue but called for the reunification of the men and women’s races.

“There is for sure something magical in Kona”

Having raced both the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona and Nice, Ditlev said both courses are very different, with the only real similarity the hot conditions.

Sam Laidlow, Patrick Lange, Magnus Ditlev - IRONMAN World Championship 2023 podium Nice, France
Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“They’re very different so it’s quite difficult to compare. The courses are so different and there are probably not many similarities, other than the fact that they were both pretty hot, but Kona in a different way.

“I actually really liked racing in Nice and the idea of having the World Championship rotating. I still haven’t settled on if it should go back to Kona.

“There’s for sure something magical about Hawaii and if you ask me in this moment if I would rather win in Nice or Kona, I would say Kona for sure. It still has this status in the sport, so I would still love for it to come back to Kona regularly.”


Separate days but same location

Discussing the split which saw the women and men race in separate locations, Ditlev said he is all for each race having their own day, but doesn’t like that they are not held in the same venue.

Magnus Ditlev at the men's IRONMAN World Championships.
[Photo Credit – Donald Miralle for IRONMAN]

“What I really didn’t like that much was the split of the men and women. I think it worked really well in Kona when men and women had their own day, but if I could I would prefer to have both races in the same place.

“I think that was a good thing for the sport and both for the men and women, so women could also get the attention they deserve.

“But actually splitting it up over two very different like locations, I think for instance from an age group perspective, a lot of the age groupers are doing it as a family project.

“So if one partner is going to do Nice and the other will then do Kona, then they have to decide where to go and it can get very expensive very quickly.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.


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