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Ironman World Championships split between Kona and France

Ironman Kona World Championship

KAILUA KONA, HAWAII - OCTOBER 08: An aerial view as age groupers cross the finish line of the IRONMAN World Championships on October 08, 2022 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Getty Images for IRONMAN

The Ironman World Championships for men and women will be split between Nice, France, and the traditional home of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for the next four years.

Back in November, Ironman organizers announced that the event, founded in Hawaii in 1978, would be split into different hosts for men and women starting in 2023 so that the two fields can “have a focused” race experience.

On Thursday, Nice was named this year’s men’s venue, holding the 140.6-mile triathlon on Sept. 10. The women were previously announced as racing in Kona on Oct. 14.

In 2024, the men will move to Kona and the women in Nice. The rotation will continue in 2025 and 2026.

Nice held the half Ironman world championship (70.3 miles) in 2019.

It’s the latest in a string of changes for the Ironman, which combines a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile marathon run.

The world championships were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The 2021 race was rescheduled for this past May 7 and held in St. George, Utah. This past October, the men and women were split up to race on different days as worlds moved back to Kona.

Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the women’s title, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, then a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996. She was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Norwegians Kristian Blummenfelt (Tokyo Olympic gold medalist) and Gustav Iden won the men’s races in St. George and Kona, respectively, last year.

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