IRONMAN announces creation of new and modified athlete divisions and further rule alignment with World Triathlon

Intellectual Disability (ID) to be added to Physically Challenged (PC) division to create PC/ID Open, an updated participatory division that formalizes inclusivity for athletes with an intellectual disability

New Open division created to further inclusion opportunities for athletes, including those who wish to race outside of a gender or age group

2023 Global IRONMAN Competition Rules to be in effect starting March 1, 2023

IRONMAN today announced their updated 2023 global competition rules forIRONMAN® and IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series including new and modified athlete divisions focused on broadening inclusivity, as well as further rule alignment with World Triathlon. The PC Open/Exhibition division has been expanded to now include athletes with an intellectual disability, creating the Physically Challenged/Intellectual Disability (PC/ID) Open division. Additionally, a brand-new Open division has been created to provide further inclusion opportunities, enabling participation for all able-bodied athletes who wish to race in an event without a gender or age-based peer comparison. Divisions under the 2023 IRONMAN Competition Rules include Age Group, Relay (where offered), Handcycle, Open, and PC/ID Open. The 2023 Competition Rules, including new and updated athlete divisions, will go into effect March 1, 2023, and can be found here.

Expanded to include athletes with an intellectual disability, the newly modified PC/ID Open division is a participatory division which includes PC Open athletes, Special Teams, and ID Open athletes. Athletes in the PC/ID Open division will also be eligible for the PC/ID Open World Championship Drawing for slots to compete in the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

“Inclusion in IRONMAN changed my life because it helped me get my dreams by giving me a big crazy goal,” said Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete an IRONMAN. “Now I also have a purpose to help others enjoy this amazing opportunity. A huge thanks to IRONMAN for being first and inspiring all the major running races around the world to follow.”

IRONMAN has also introduced a new Open division for IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon Series events. This participatory division provides a welcoming and inclusive field for able-bodied athletes that cannot or do not wish to race in a competitive age or gender group. With no approval process necessary for participation in the Open division, athletes can self-select to register for the Open division during an event registration process. Athletes in the Open division will still be bound by the Competition Rules and are not eligible for IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship qualifying slots.

IRONMAN will also be further aligning with World Triathlon rules and policies in a number of areas as part of its updated global Competition Rules. Notably, IRONMAN will be applying World Triathlon’s eligibility regulations for Transgender Athletes which requires transitioning Male to Female athletes to maintain less than a 2.5 nMol/L testosterone level for two sequential years prior to receiving approval to compete as a Female. Further, transitioning Male to Female athletes may not have competed as a Male in an official competition of triathlon or its related multisport or an allied sport of swimming, cycling, athletics (including all track and field events) and cross-country skiing for a minimum four-years preceding approval to compete as a Female. Transitioning Male to Female athletes can participate in the Open division during this four-year period until they are formally approved under the new policy. Eligibility requirements for transitioning Female to Male athletes remain consistent with the previous Transgender Policy.  The updated IRONMAN Transgender Policy can be found here.

Further alignment with World Triathlon will be applied in other areas of the IRONMAN Competition Rules as well, including the Run Conduct section regarding approved running shoes for all IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 Events. The updated policy can be found in Section 6.02 of the IRONMAN Competition Rules. Athletes are encouraged to check out the 2023 IRONMAN Competition Rules well in advance of their upcoming events to view these updates as well as other updates to the Competition Rules for this season. Any event specific questions can be directed to the corresponding event contact email.

In addition to federation alignment, athlete experience enhancement and feedback was, and continues to be, an extremely important consideration when determining the evolution of IRONMAN rules, policies, and resources. The expanded athlete divisions for 2023 build on recent policies and programs instilled by IRONMAN in years past, including the global pregnancy policy for IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events and Flex90, an enhanced first 90 days registration benefit providing athletes with flexible registration and race adjustment options up to 7-days before an event. 

For more information on the 2023 IRONMAN Competition Rules, visit www.ironman.com/competition-rules.For more information on IRONMAN and events in The IRONMAN Group portfolio, visit www.ironman.com

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