It is no secret that IRONMAN® athletes love to travel. Whether it is for the thrill of a new challenge abroad or the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being welcomed to a new racing community on a different continent. International travel, however, is hard right now. Enter the IRONMAN® VR® World Tour, launched by IRONMAN today.
Built on the success of the IRONMAN® VR® Series which has seen tens of thousands of athletes compete against each other on the virtual platform, participants now have the unique opportunity to virtually travel to 20 stunning race locations around the globe (5 through IRONMAN VR events and 15 through IRONMAN VR workouts) and enjoy some of the most coveted races the sport has to offer.
The IRONMAN VR World Tour will run over five weeks between October 19 and November 22. Each race week will focus on a specific region and also feature three weekday workouts based on popular race locations leading up to the main IRONMAN VR event. Athletes will compete against their peers on the original racecourses powered by ROUVY with competition running from 10 a.m. GMT on Thursday’s to 11:59 p.m. GMT on Sunday’s. Participants can opt to complete a swim/bike/run or /run/bike/run format and results will be split accordingly.
“The IRONMAN VR World Tour is our way to showcase the uniqueness of our race locations from around the world and allowing athletes to safely race these amazing courses from the comfort of their home locations,” said Andrew Messick, President & CEO for the IRONMAN Group. “While many of our live races have not been able to take place in 2020 and international travel greatly impacted due to the pandemic, we are pleased to still highlight and focus attention on some of the fantastic race locations we have globally and look forward to once again in 2021.”
The IRONMAN VR World Tour kicks off on October 19 with Europe Week featuring IRONMAN VR29 Austria-Kärnten in Klagenfurt. Located at the stunning Wörthersee lake, athletes can expect a technical course on ROUVY in the heart of the Austrian Alps. Participants will be required to complete a 2 km swim/run, 20 km ride, and 5 km run.
Between October 29 and November 1, athletes travel to the Americas and will compete in IRONMAN VR30 Chattanooga. Athletes shouldn’t let the legendary Southern hospitality deceive them: This race features rolling hills and a course that has tested the world’s best athletes at the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Participants will be required to complete a 2000-meter swim (workout), 80 km ride, and 8 km run.
There won’t be a lot of time to pack those bags again for the long trip to Asia, host of IRONMAN VR31 Malaysia in Langkawi between November 5 and November 8. Sure, those beaches look pretty and have drawn athletes from all around the world, but “hot and humid” is the name of the game when it comes to conquering the two-loop bike course on this paradise island. Participants will be required to complete a 2000-meter swim (drills), 40 km ride, and 15 km run.
From November 12 to November 15 IRONMAN VR then takes competitors from the tropical climate of Malaysia to Africa’s Southern tip in Port Elizabeth and IRONMAN VR32 South Africa, featuring the IRONMAN African Championship’s bike course, arguably one of the most breath-taking in the world. However, in South Africa, near the cradle of mankind, present day man almost always gets tested by a slight breeze on the bike course – that can quickly turn into a gusting headwind on the way back to transition. Participants will be required to complete a 1500- meter swim, bike 20 km, and run 5 km.
The IRONMAN VR World Tour culminates in Oceania for IRONMAN VR33 Taupō held between November 16 and November 22. Taupō, New Zealand and its stunning scenery was originally scheduled to host the 2020 Edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship but will now host the event in 2022. Participants will be required to complete a virtual half-distance IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and 13.1-mile run.
Also, the first-ever IRONMAN VR Global TriClub Championship is set to take place during the IRONMAN VR Oceania week where the top 3 IRONMAN TriClubs will win custom on-site club race experience packages. Points may be earned from the weekday workouts as well as IRONMAN VR33 Taupō. When the final test of the IRONMAN VR World Tour is over, athletes may feel tempted to take a virtual dip in one of the natural hot pools nearby.
Athletes can register for the IRONMAN VR World Tour or find additional details regarding the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com