For the first time in the 40-plus year history of triathlon’s pinnacle event, professional and age-group women will have their own edition of the VinFast Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kailua-Kona on Oct. 14.
This will be the first time in history that the professional and age-group women are racing in a different location to the men, who raced earlier this month in Nice, France.
Defending Ironman World Champion, USA’s Chelsea Sodaro will headline the field in a bid for back-to-back titles. More than 50 of the world’s top professional female triathletes will fight for a piece of the $375,000 female professional prize purse and the title of Ironman World Champion. Along with the professional field, over 2,000 age group athletes are registered for this historic event.
Other pro challengers include last year’s runners-up, Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay and Germany’s Anne Haug. Also competing are five-time Ironman World Champion Daniela Ryf, of Switzerland, and Ironman European Champion Laura Philipp, of Germany.
“The Ironman World Championship triathlon has a long and storied history in Hawai`i and we welcome the world’s best female triathletes to Kailua-Kona for this edition of Ironman World Championship race that begins a new chapter,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The Ironman Group. “The spotlight will be on women’s racing in Hawai‘i to witness the crowning of the 2023 Ironman World Champion and we are looking forward to a great day of racing.”
The full list of competing athletes has not yet been released.
Beginning in the blue waters of Kailua Bay athletes will start the course on the 2.4-mile swim. Competitors will swim out and back in a clockwise direction facing small swells but otherwise mild and warm swim conditions.
After the swim, athletes will hop on their bikes for the 112-mile bicycle course. Starting at Kailua Pier, they will pedal on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway and turn around in Hawī. The course carries with it potential cross winds and elevation gains of up to 5,814 feet.
The final leg of the race will be the 26.2-mile run with elevation gains up to 1,009 ft then brings athletes up Palani Road to the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway. This leads them to the long-awaited Hawaii Ocean Science Technology Park at the National Energy Laboratory Hawai‘i Authority in Kona.
From there the course contains rolling hills with intermittent steep stretches, followed by a triumphant return along the highway. The grand finale for athletes includes a victorious lap through downtown Kona on Ali‘i Drive, crossing the finish line where they started by Kailua Pier.
Live race day coverage of the women’s 2023 VinFast Ironman World Championship triathlon can be viewed by visiting, www.ironman.com/live.