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Ironman triathlon returns to Des Moines Sunday; extension through 2025 announced


The Ironman triathlon will return to Des Moines on Sunday. Ironman announced Wednesday that it has extended its agreement to return to Des Moines through 2025. Photo from the 2021 Ironman contributed by Catch Des Moines.

The Ironman Group and Catch Des Moines announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a three-year extension to bring Ironman events to Des Moines through 2025.

The announcement came as the city finishes preparations to host the Ironman North American Championship in Des Moines on Sunday. It will rotate back to a half-distance Ironman 70.3 triathlon in June 2023.

Des Moines first hosted an Ironman triathlon last year after a two-year delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elizabeth O’Brien, North American managing director for the Ironman Group, said the community has rallied around Ironman athletes and the event since it first came to Des Moines in 2019.

“We are excited about today’s announcement that Ironman will be in Des Moines for the next three years and we’re also looking forward to celebrating all the accomplishments of this weekend’s North American Championship at the 2022 Certified Piedmontese Beef Ironman North American Championship Des Moines,” O’Brien said.

Greg Edwards, CEO and president of Catch Des Moines, said the organization is “pumped to host back-to-back Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events and show that Des Moines stacks up with the best.”

“This announcement of a three-year extension shows the commitment of all our communities, whether it’s Des Moines and West Des Moines or our passionate triathlon community, to bring world-class events like this one to the metro,” he said.

This weekend’s event will include swimming, bicycling and a run.

Swimming will be at Gray’s Lake. Bicycling will begin at Water Works Park and weave its way through West Des Moines, Dallas County, Madison County, Winterset and Warren County before ending back in Water Works Park.

Runners will run through Gray’s Lake park, the Court Avenue District, Water Works Park, the Lauridsen Amphitheater and the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The course will be three loops with the finish line on Court Avenue.

More than 1,500 competitors are expected to compete.

According to Catch Des Moines, the Ironman event is expected to generate $8 million in revenue for the community this weekend.

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