2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs to return to the USA

The 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will either return to Chattanooga or see another new venue in St. George, Utah. Full details here...

Chief Correspondent
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Potential return to Tennessee for IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs

Chattanooga and St. George on final shortlist

2019 = Nice, France
2020 = Taupo, New Zealand
2021 = Chattanooga, Tennessee OR St. George, Utah.

Just in, news of the final two venues on the shortlist to hold the 2021 IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship.

Will it be a return to Chattanooga after just four years or a new venue in St. George, Utah?


Global rotation brings event back to the United States in 2021 with over 5,000 athletes from around the world expected to compete over two days of world class competition

IRONMAN, A Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that Chattanooga, Tennessee and St. George, Utah have been named finalists to host the 2021 IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship triathlon, which will rotate back to the United States of America after last playing host to the event in 2017. The 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, a format that was first adopted in 2017 when the event was held in Chattanooga – with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.

“Of the many fine cities that vied for consideration to host the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, both Chattanooga and St. George stood out,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “We are excited to move forward with these two finalists as year after year each city shines by providing world championship caliber venues and events for their athletes. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship showcases world-class competition at outstanding venues from around the globe. We look forward to our upcoming site visits as we determine who will be selected as the host city for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon.”

The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began in Clearwater, Florida in 2006 and since that time, has toured incredible destinations around the world with stops in Henderson, Nevada (2011-13); Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (2014); Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria (2015); Queensland, Australia (2016); Chattanooga, Tennessee (2017); and Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (2018). This year, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will move to Nice, France before shifting back to the Oceania region in 2020 with Taupõ, New Zealand playing host.

These two world-class cities have a great deal to offer athletes and spectators alike in their bid for 2021. Here is a look at each host city finalist in more detail.

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA – Known throughout the Southeastern U.S. as the Scenic City with a vibrant downtown, Chattanooga lures athletes with its dramatic backdrop, idyllic weather and low-key southern charm. Host to IRONMAN® events beginning in 2014, Chattanooga provides a fast course with a swim in the Tennessee River. Four bridges cross the river over the swim and a pedestrian Riverwalk runs along the entire swim course making it ideal for spectators. Chattanooga is just a 90 minute drive from Atlanta and is full of attractions, eclectic dining spots and great places to stay. Having played host to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, Chattanooga continually delivers a world championship caliber course for each of their events and is currently looking at a new and improved bike course. Chattanooga was recently recognized by the 2018 IRONMAN Athlete Choice Awards, for the IRONMAN 70.3 and IRONMAN triathlons which ranked in the top 10 in multiple categories. Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga presented by McKee, A Family Bakery was tied for 1st for Will Recommend to a Friend and 5th in Overall Host City Experience. Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga presented by McKee, A Family Bakery also tied for 8th for Best Overall Bike and tied for 9th for Best Overall Venue Experience.

“The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship brought nearly 15,000 world-class athletes, families, and friends to Chattanooga for the largest IRONMAN 70.3 event ever produced at the time,” said Barry White, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It is an honour to be selected as a finalist and we look forward to the opportunity of sharing the Chattanooga experience with competitors and fans for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.”

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“We are incredibly thankful to be chosen as a finalist and potentially once again showcase Chattanooga to the IRONMAN international community,” said Tim Morgan, President, Chattanooga Sports Committee. “Our community provided an unparalleled experience in 2017 and we are excited with the opportunity to elevate our efforts – we are ready!”

  • St. George, Utah, USA – This striking Southwestern community currently hosts the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship and has been a host city of IRONMAN since 2010. St. George offers breathtaking scenery and views of the surrounding red rock canyons. The city’s walkable downtown area features great local fare and boutique shopping. St. George is also only a two-hour drive from the nightlife of Las Vegas, with its never-ending entertainment options. The course has historically begun in the beautiful Sand Hollow Reservoir. Athletes then embark on a bike course through picturesque Snow Canyon State Park prior to a run through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. The IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship St. George also earned accolades in the 2018 IRONMAN Athlete Choice awards, ranking in the Top 10 for two categories – 5th in Best Overall Bike and 9th in Overall Host City Experience.

“The St. George community is thrilled to be considered for such a significant event. The best athletes in the world have competed here over the past 10 years and their feedback confirms what an unbelievable experience St. George provides,” said Kevin Lewis, Director of Washington County Tourism. “As a destination we offer a powerful combination of scenery and terrain – including some of the most talked about course features in IRONMAN circles. We back that up with an energetic community full of people who want to make a difference. It’s the kind of experience you want in a world championship and we’re excited for what lies ahead.”

“The St. George area is a place of striking contrasts. Visitors from around the globe are drawn here to experience world treasures like Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, along with thousands of acres of untamed desert terrain just beckoning to be conquered,” Lewis continued. “The colours here will astound you. The perspective will humble you. The immensity will leave you in awe.”

ST GEORGE, UT - MAY 05: Sebastien Kienle of Germany chases Lionel Sanders of Canada on the bike during the IRONMAN 70.3 St George Utah on May 5, 2018 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Athletes can compete on these finalist venues in advance of having an opportunity to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship as registration for 2019 events in Chattanooga, Tennessee and St. George, Utah are open now. The IRONMAN 70.3 St. George North American Pro Championship triathlon takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2019 with further details available at The Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga presented by McKee, A Family Bakery race is scheduled for Sunday, May 19, 2019 with details available at; and the Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga presented by McKee – A Family Bakery will take place on Sunday, September 29, 2019 with further details available at

Qualification for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will begin in July of 2020. IRONMAN expects approximately 200,000 registered athletes from around the world to compete at any of the more than 115 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series in locations such as Australia, Brazil, Africa, Malaysia and China to earn a coveted slot. In addition, each age-group winner at the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupõ, New Zealand will automatically qualify for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

For more information about the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, please visit For more information on IRONMAN and the series of events and to register for open events, visit

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.


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