The IRONMAN World Championship at Kona is the event every elite athlete wants to win, but first they have to make sure they are among the qualifiers.
Typically held in Kailua-Kona, on the west coast of Hawaii Island (‘The Big Island’), the race brings together the very best long-distance triathletes on the planet to compete for the coveted title.
The inaugural event back in 1978 was the brainchild of US Navy Commander John Collins and his wife Judy, with 15 competitors taking on the grueling course.
US Navy Communications Specialist Gordon Haller was crowned as the first-ever IRONMAN Champion, finishing in 11:46:58.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the last ‘Kona’ IRONMAN World Championship was held in October 2019. Following a series of postponements and date changes, there will actually be two IRONMAN World Championship events during 2022.
The postponed October 2021 edition took place in St George, Utah on May 7 2022 with Daniela Ryf and Kristian Blummenfelt taking the Pro titles.
The race is now scheduled to return – the subject of this particular feature – back to its spiritual home of Hawaii in October 2022.
Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser, Mark Allen and Natascha Badmann are among an array of athletes that have since etched their name into the event’s history by claiming multiple Ironman World Championship titles.
Jan Frodeno is the current course record holder for the men’s race, after his sensational 7:51:13 saw him clinch victory in 2019.
The year prior, Ryf clocked a course record for the women’s race, finishing in 8:26:18.
Kona 2022 qualifiers
There are still opportunities to come during 2022 for athletes to qualify for the return of the event to its spiritual home in early October.
Below is the list of names who have qualified already. We will update this during the season as the 2022 progresses. This list includes a total of 16 athletes (8 MPRO / 8 WPRO) who have earned qualification at the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship in St George in May.
PRO MEN (32)
- Josh Amberger (Australia)
- Florian Angert (Germany)
- Daniel Bækkegård (Denmark)
- Kristian Blummenfelt (Norway)
- Kyle Buckingham (South Africa)
- Matt Burton (Australia)
- Leon Chevalier (France)
- Denis Chevrot (France)
- Maurice Clavel (Germany)
- Braden Currie (New Zealand)
- Magnus Ditlev (Denmark)
- Jan Frodeno (Germany)
- Arnaud Guilloux (France)
- Matthew Hanson (USA)
- Ben Hoffman (United States)
- Gustav Iden (Norway)
- Robert Callin (Sweden)
- Sebastian Kienle (Germany)
- Sam Laidlow (France)
- Patrick Lange (Germany)
- Chris Leiferman (USA)
- Sam Long (USA)
- David McNamee (Great Britain)
- Lionel Sanders (Canada)
- Paul Schuster (Germany)
- Joe Skipper (United Kingdom)
- Kyle Smith (New Zealand)
- Jesper Svensson (Sweden)
- Matt Trautmann (South Africa)
- Jan Van Berkel (Switzerland)
- Tim Van Berkel (Australia)
- Bradley Weiss (South Africa)
PRO WOMEN (32)
- Ruth Astle (Great Britain)
- Nikki Bartlett (Great Britain)
- Daniela Bleymehl (Germany)
- Lauren Brandon (USA)
- Lucy Charles-Barclay (Great Britain)
- Rebecca Clarke (Australia)
- Sarah Crowley (Australia)
- Petra Eggenschwiler (Switzerland)
- Kelly Fillnow (USA)
- Gurutze Frades Larralde (Spain)
- Anne Haug (Germany)
- Elena Illeditsch (Germany)
- Heather Jackson (United States)
- Renee Kiley (Australia)
- Fenella Langridge (Great Britain)
- Kristin Liepold (Germany)
- Justine Mathieux (France)
- Kat Matthews (Great Britain)
- Jocelyn McCauley (USA)
- Skye Moench (USA)
- Magda Nieuwoudt (South Africa)
- Lisa Norden (Sweden)
- Laura Philipp (Germany)
- Jade Nicole Roberts (South Africa)
- Daniela Ryf (Switzerland)
- Joanna Ryter (Switzerland)
- Laura Siddall (Great Britain)
- Kylie Simpson (Australia)
- Maja Stage-Nielsen (Denmark)
- Sara Svensk (Sweden)
- Annah Watkinson (South Africa)
- Laura Zimmermann (Germany)
Kona 2022 qualifiers – upcoming races
The next full-distance IRONMAN events on the schedule, where professional athletes can earn qualification include IRONMAN Lanzarote (2 MPRO / 2 WPRO), IRONMAN Brazil (2 MPRO / 2 WPRO) and IRONMAN Hamburg (3 WPRO).
When is IRONMAN Kona 2022?
The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii will take place over two days in 2022. As announced in September 2021, the Pro women will race on Thursday October 6 and the Pro men on Saturday October 8.
The exact start times are to be confirmed nearer to race day, along with details of the live broadcast coverage.