UPDATE 8/5/2020 - The first St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon is being postponed until 2021.
The following statement was released Wednesday:
"With the health and safety of our community being an utmost priority, and after further evaluation with local authorities in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to advise that the inaugural St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon cannot take place in 2020 and will now debut on October 2, 2021. In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we thank our athletes for their commitment and look forward to providing them with an exceptional race experience in the future."
11/19/2020 - Big news in the world of Mid-South sports and tourism events. Tuesday morning, IRONMAN announced that Memphis will serve as a multi-year host venue for an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon.
Most of the events will happen at or around Shelby Farms Park.
The first St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will take place Saturday, October 3, 2020 with general registration beginning Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at www.ironman.com/im703-memphis.
“We are extremely proud to welcome Memphis to the IRONMAN `Ohana,” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for The IRONMAN Group. “Memphis will allow IRONMAN to deliver a world-class experience for athletes and their families.”
St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital leaders hope the event will bring in $500,000 for their mission in the first event next year.
The triathlon involves swimming, biking, and running. A 1.2-mile swim will take place at Hyde Lake in Shelby Farms Park. Athletes will then complete a 56-mile bike course in both Shelby and Fayette Counties, before returning to Shelby Farms Park, through the paved and packed gravel trails of the park.
Memphis Tourism leaders believe the event will bring in $9-to-$10 million, based on similar events in other markets in recent years.
Memphis-area athletes said they are thrilled to have the competition in their backyard.
“We have various clubs around the city that help that momentum and to get involved in things and help make a difference,” Mitchell Lansky said.
“There’s just some energy around IRONMAN events, the finish line is really amazing, that’s what I really do it for,” Lawrence Elliott added.
Read the full news release below:
IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Group company, announced today that Memphis, Tenn. will serve as a multi-year host venue for an IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlon. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, will serve as the title partner of the event. The inaugural St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020 with general registration and the accommodation platform opening on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at www.ironman.com/im703-memphis.
“We are extremely proud to welcome Memphis to the IRONMAN `Ohana,” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for The IRONMAN Group. “Memphis will allow IRONMAN to deliver a world-class experience for athletes and their families. Memphis thrives as a tourism destination along with renowned medical care services for children through St. Jude and now we get to show it off as a triathlon destination.”
Located in the southwest corner of Tennessee, the city of Memphis is nestled on the Mississippi River and is a city that can’t be duplicated. It is the realm of music icons, where streets rock and the Mississippi River flows; it is a city that can feed your soul with its Southern hospitality and original flavors. Memphis is more than a place — it’s an experience. In the home of the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, visitors can chase music legends at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Catch live music on Beale Street every night of the week. Sample the diverse food-and-drink scene that features ample barbecue and soul food — and experience Memphis’s new generation of chefs that like to riff on tradition — as well as the craft brewers and distillers who make sure you have the perfect pairing. Memphis has received numerous accolades including being listed as one of “America’s Friendliest Cities” by Travel + Leisure, as well as “The Best Affordable Destinations in the U.S.” by US News and World Report.
“We are looking forward to showing off our hospitality, culture, and history as we open our home and hearts to our guests. There is no better venue for the triathletes than one of Shelby County’s greatest assets, Shelby Farms Park,” says Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “We welcome athletes and their families to experience the rumblings of the mighty Mississippi, the musical nightlife of Beale Street, and the southern smoke of barbeque at the newest IRONMAN 70.3 destination.”
Beyond the historic music scene, Shelby Farms Park will be at the center of it all. As one of the largest urban parks in the country, the 4,500-acre park will host the swim and run portions of the event, while the bike course traverses east into Shelby and Fayette Counties.
“Through the hard work of the Memphis Sports Council, Memphis continues to grow as a major player on the global sports stage and the St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon complements the variety of year-round athletic events that draw hundreds of thousands to our city annually, including the World Golf Championships FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Southern Heritage Classic, AutoZone Liberty Bowl and St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of Memphis Tourism. “Memphis is not only the home of blues, soul & rock ‘n’ roll, it is also home to a variety of outdoor assets that combine with our world class leisure visitor offerings to create the ideal fit for athletes and their traveling cheer sections.”
Individuals can also participate in the event as St. Jude Heroes®, or those who fundraise for St. Jude through an athletic event. Registration is now open for a limited number of St. Jude Hero fundraising entries. Funds raised through events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
“As we enter the 20th year of the St. Jude Heroes program, we are excited to embark on this new opportunity for our generous fundraisers alongside our partners at IRONMAN and bring this prestigious event to our beloved city of Memphis,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We are honored to partner with an organization whose athletes exemplify some of the same fundamental values displayed daily in our patients, families and staff at St. Jude: endurance, perseverance and fortitude.”
The 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will begin with a rolling start format. The 1.2-mile swim will take place in the clear man-made waters of Hyde Lake in Shelby Farms Park. Hyde Lake offers a welcoming environment to new athletes as the shoreline is easily accessible from anywhere in the lake. Spectators can follow their athletes by walking the perimeter of the lake on paved paths.
Once out of the water, athletes will take on the 56-mile bike course that traverses the rolling hills of Shelby and Fayette Counties, before returning to Shelby Farms Park. The spectator friendly run course weaves through the paved and packed gravel trails of the park. Athletes will likely get a view of the buffalo herd that resides at the park while on the run course.
General registration for 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon will open on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. Athletes will be vying for slots to compete at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in St. George, Utah.
Individuals can also participate in the event as St. Jude Heroes®, or those who fundraise for the hospital through an athletic event. Registration is now open for a limited number of St. Jude Hero fundraising entries. Funds raised through events like this help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
For more information on the 2020 St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon, visit www.ironman.com/im703-memphis and follow the social media hashtag #IM703Memphis. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries can be directed to email@example.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.