Following the five-week-long IRONMAN® VR Kona® Series hosted on the IRONMAN® Virtual Club platform, IRONMAN will commemorate the magic of its pinnacle event, the IRONMAN World Championship®, with a week-long celebration that includes the first-ever offering of a virtual full-distance IRONMAN triathlon with IRONMAN VR27 Kona. The 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration will commence on Sunday, 4th October at 5pm GMT offering a global audience over 14 hours of programming through the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page. The hosted Kona Celebration Daily Show will bring the hallmarks of world championship week to life virtually for fans across the world, including the E Komo Mai Welcome Ceremony, Ho‘ala Swim celebration, Underpants Run and Heroes of Hawai`i.
Each broadcast of the Kona Celebration Daily Show will celebrate the greatest athletes and achievements over the event’s 40-plus-year history, presenting the most inspiring storylines to ever emerge from this iconic race with a binding theme of E Ola Mau, meaning ‘Keep on Living.’ The show will celebrate Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i and the IRONMAN World Championship through athletic participation, storytelling and community moments. The audience will have access to exclusive interviews and interactions with Kona pros and legends, a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the race production, new course insights, and original content that immerses viewers in the race-week experience and energy. Viewers will re-live some of the most epic rivalries and most memorable finish line moments, and celebrate the fiercest competitors and the biggest personalities of the big race. Hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer with reporting by Greg Welch and Matt Lieto, the program will also feature special guests including IRONMAN legends, Master Coaches and professional athletes.
“Despite the challenging year for all, we have been determined to find a way to celebrate and honor the traditions and achievements that make the IRONMAN World Championship event so special for so many. Our goal was to give everyone a chance to experience the uniqueness that encapsulates the IRONMAN World Championship Week,” said Andrew Messick, President & CEO for The IRONMAN Group. “I am proud of the work our team has done to bring the excitement of race week in Kona to life though our 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration and newest virtual race offering of a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon through IRONMAN VR27 Kona. We invite the global endurance community to come together for what will be a fun, festive, and activity rich celebration of one of the world’s most prestigious athletic events.”
“While we all wish the world was once again joining us here on the Island of Hawai`i for the IRONMAN World Championship, we are grateful to still be able to put together an inside look full of the spirit and culture that makes this event truly one of a kind,” said Diana Bertsch, Senior Vice President of World Championship Events for The IRONMAN Group. “The entire Hawai`i IRONMAN `ohana, including our Kona-based staff, and the incredible community of volunteers and directors are thinking about the athletes we are so inspired by, and can’t wait to welcome the world back in 2021. Until then, we hope everyone can feel the Aloha shared with you during the IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration.
In addition, a special 2.5-hour Facebook Watch Live Broadcast of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship will air on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 5pm GMT with live interviews offering insight into the action and thought process at key moments of the race. Viewers will get to see the perspectives of the pros and hear their retrospective reflections. Plus, special guests will offer their vantage point while celebrating the Hawaiian tradition that has defined the iconic race for over 40 years.
IRONMAN VR27 Kona & Race Week Virtual Challenges:
IRONMAN VR27 Kona
Beginning on Monday, 5th October, for the first time, athletes will have the ability to virtually complete 140.6-miles in either seven-day, three-day or competitive 17-hour formats during the IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration. Athletes can register for IRONMAN VR27 on the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/. The 17-hour format will also be available through the more competitive Challenger division format. Through the Race Honorably campaign, IRONMAN’s goal is to provide an exceptional virtual racing experience with credible results that requires athletes to do their part by entering accurate data. IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series offers athletes multiple tangible IRONMAN VR27 Finisher Bundles. One Finisher Buddle will include a limited-edition IRONMAN VR World Championship HOKA ONE ONE shoes, IRONMAN VR27 finisher medal and hat for $200. A second Finisher Bundle will include IRONMAN VR27 finisher medal and hat through www.ironmanstore.com/ironman-vr
ROKA Ho`ala IRONMAN Training Swim
An iconic part of the week leading into the IRONMAN World Championship each year, the ROKA Ho`ala IRONMAN Training Swim comes to the virtual community offering athletes a training swim. The 2.4 mile/3.8km open water swim is an opportunity for athletes to use all their race swim gear and make sure everything from goggles to swim skins are working properly. Five lucky finishers will win the ROKA Swim Essentials Pack (ROKA F1 Goggles, ROKA Silicone Swim Cap, ROKA Swim Paddles, and ROKA Mesh Backpack). Registration is currently open through Sunday, 4th October on the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform.
HOKA ONE ONE ProAm 5K Fun Run
Bringing another iconic part of the race-week to the virtual community, the HOKA ONE ONE ProAm 5K Fun Run offers athletes a chance to warm up the legs. This 3.1-miles/5K run will also be featured during Sunday’s live broadcast. Five lucky finishers of this virtual run will win a pair of the all-new, IRONMAN World Championship HOKA ONE ONE Carbon X shoe. Registration is currently open through Sunday, 4th October on the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform.
The Road to Hawi on ROUVY
This mid-week group ride has become a tradition for athletes preparing to take on the big race. The Road to Hawi on ROUVY will offer athletes a chance hit the virtual course by joining in the group ride on Wednesday, Oct 7. This 24.2-miles/39km ride starts at the base of the climb to Hawi and rolls up to the turnaround and back down to just before Kawaihae. The ride will also be featured during Wednesday’s live broadcast. Five lucky finishers of this virtual ride will win a three-month subscription to ROUVY. Registration is currently open through Wednesday, 7th October on the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform.
TriClub Ride on ROUVY
Athletes are invited to join their clubmates and spin out their legs on the trainer on Friday, Oct 9. This virtual ride will cover the first 18.6-miles/30km of the IRONMAN World Championship bike course. The ride will also be featured during Friday’s live broadcast and participants undertaking the three day or seven-day virtual races can count towards their 140.6-miles total. Five lucky finishers of this virtual ride will win a three-month subscription to ROUVY. Registration is currently open through Wednesday, 7th October on the IRONMAN Virtual Club platform.
Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN Virtual Club continues to grow and has now reached over 120,000 members across 170 nations and all U.S. States on the platform with tens of thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its launch in April. In addition, through the Race Honorably campaign, IRONMAN’s goal is to provide an exceptional virtual racing experience with credible results that requires athletes to do their part by entering accurate data. Additional details can be found on the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/.