Ironman announced today that the right to host the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon has been awarded to Taupo.

This will be the first time Ironman holds a world championship event in New Zealand and the second time this world-class event has been hosted in the Oceania region. The event will also move from its traditional late August-early September race date and will now take place on November 28-29, 2020 with the women racing on Saturday and the men racing on Sunday. This shift will take advantage of New Zealand’s peak time of year with mild temperatures in the late spring / early summer months.

With a strong Ironman history that spans 20 years, Taupo has been a host city to the Ironman New Zealand triathlon since 1999, and in 2017 received the Ironman Athletes' Choice Awards for Best Host City Experience, Best Race Venue, Best Overall Run, Will Attend Next Year; becoming one of Ironman’s most iconic and popular events. The city also plays host to the Ironman 70.3 Taupo triathlon which earned the Ironman 70.3 Athletes' Choice Award for Overall Satisfaction. The world championship is the pinnacle event in the Ironman 70.3 Series, and with the event’s global rotation that began in 2014, it showcases the best venues Ironman has to offer around the world.

“We are pleased to bring the Ironman 70.3 World Championship back to the Oceania region,” said Andrew Messick, CEO and President of Ironman. “Taupo is a unique and beautiful destination with a local community that has embraced Ironman events and the thousands of athletes for 20 years now. We are excited to welcome some of the world’s most elite triathletes to what will no doubt be a fantastic world championship event.”

Athletes will have the chance to qualify for the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon at over 110 global qualifying events in locations such as Austria, China, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the Americas.

“The two-day event attracts around 5,000 competitors, 13,500 supporters and media from all four corners of the globe,” said Taupo District Mayor David Trewavas. “This is as big as it is ever going to get. We are talking the best of the best. Winning the hosting rights for this event not only re-emphasises that our district is the Events Capital, but it also further cements Taupo as being the home of all things Ironman in New Zealand.”

The Great Lake Taupo District is rich in history and is one of the world’s most unique and picturesque areas. Located within a short drive of New Zealand’s main centres, the Great Lake Taupo district is at the epicenter of the North Island. Situated in the center of the North Island of New Zealand, you will find fascinating volcanic landscapes and a cultural heritage dating back to the arrival of Maori in New Zealand in the 14th century. The Great Lake Taupo District is one of the most pure, beautiful and unspoiled areas in the country and encompasses the lakeside towns of Taupo, Turangi, Kinloch and Mangakino. As a popular year-round destination, it houses the largest freshwater crater lake in Australasia, geothermal attractions, and the mountains and ski areas of Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage National Park.

“We are thrilled to announce Taupo, New Zealand as the host of the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship,” said Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championships for Ironman. “Taupo is an incredible location and natural fit. New Zealand’s historical, cultural and familial ties to Hawai’i are significant and further connect our Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 Championship events. This is an important milestone and we look forward to putting the scenic Great Lake Taupo district on the world stage.”

The swim portion will take place in the beautiful waters of Lake Taupo, followed by a single-loop bike course, and a run course that will entail two loops on Lake Terrace and the Lions Walk adjacent to Lake Taupo. Athletes will finish on Lake Terrace next to Colonel Roberts Reserve. The Ironman 70.3 World Championship is part of a week-long festival that will include a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.

“In Ironman circles, this is equivalent to the Rugby World Cup or Americas Cup so we have the opportunity to deliver something really special,” said District Events Manager Steve Giles. “This will give our community a chance to not only volunteer in an international event, but also to showcase our district like never before.”

Prior to the 2020 edition taking place in Taupo, the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship is taking place on September 7 and 8, 2019 in Nice, France; it will be the first time Ironman holds a world championship event in France.