Sacramento To Host City’s First Ironman Triathlon

Athletes run down Ali’i Drive during the Ironman World Championship Triathlon, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Athletes looking to challenge their endurance will have the opportunity to take part in the first Ironman competition to be hosted in Sacramento next year.

The race will be held Oct. 24, 2021, with general registration opening July 2020.

The Ironman races have made a handful of appearances throughout California but Mike Testa, president and CEO of Visit Sacramento and the Sacramento sports commission, said this is the first Ironman competition to be held in Sacramento. The full-distance race with a total distance of 140.62 miles is to be completed within 17 hours. 

“The goal is to make this the largest Ironman in the country,” said Testa. “Very exciting news for our city, certainly welcoming thousands of athletes to our community is a great thing economically.” 

The economic impact to the community as result of Ironman is estimated to be around $15 million on an annual basis according to Testa.

“If you are participating in an event like Ironman you will often times bring your spouse and your family and friends, so this becomes much more of a happening,” said Testa. “The longer duration of stay in Sacramento benefits those of us who live here just from the economics that it delivers.”

Testa said the Ironman race “is not for the faint of heart.”

“It starts with a swim that’s just over 2 miles followed by a bike ride which is 112 miles and it concludes with a full marathon of 26 miles,” said Testa. “The most fit people in the world participate in Ironman competitions, [it’s] a big deal for Sacramento to be able to host this.”

The official triathlon course has yet to be determined, but participants can expect a down-river swim, a scenic bike ride through the surrounding Sacramento area and a run along the river trail.

“With a lot of these events they want to get into the market and look at what the best challenge for the athletes will be,” said Testa. “Because we have a year and a half before this event convenes here we have some time to map that out.”        

Testa said the news of this event being hosted in Sacramento is a testament to the city’s “rising star” that Sacramento is attracting events of this size. 

“Ironman is an internationally recognized brand, it brings with it a cache to the cities it goes to,” said Testa. “The fact that Sacramento is now on that list I think says a lot about where we are as a city.”

Originally published at

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