Ironman triathlon coming to Roanoke Valley in 2020

Event sponsored by Carilion Clinic

ROANOKE, Va. – The Ironman Triathlon is coming to the Roanoke Valley in 2020 and for years to come.

On Tuesday morning, officials with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, Carilion Clinic and Ironman announced that the international sporting event will be coming to the region. 

The Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge triathlon will take place on June 7, 2020. 

Roanoke will host the triathlon for several years, taking the place of the previous host city, Williamsburg. 

Officials say Virginia’s Blue Ridge has staked its claim as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital and is the perfect setting for a half Ironman.

“Becoming part of Ironman's elite global race series further establishes our region as a premier sports destination on a national and international level," said Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Registration for the event will open on Aug. 13. 

The Ironman triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. The 70.3 race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run done in that order without a break.

The Western Virginia Water Authority is partnering with Ironman to hold the 1.2-mile swimming portion of the event in Carvins Cove Reservoir.

Once out of the water, athletes will bike the 56-mile bike course that weaves through Botetourt County before returning to downtown Roanoke.

Participants will then switch to running at River’s Edge Park and be able to experience the Roanoke River Greenway.

Carilion Clinic will serve as the title sponsor of the event.

The triathlon will offer 40 age-group qualifying slots to the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Taupõ, New Zealand.

Beginning as a single race, Ironman has grown to more than 230 events across 53 countries. A full Ironman race includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.