First landing in Illinois with the new IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford-Illinois

IRONMAN will host its first event in the state of Illinois, the IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford-Illinois Triathlon, scheduled for 2025-27. The triathlon is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 22, 2025, with a swim, bike and run course that will take athletes through Rockford and the countryside north of the city.

IRONMAN notes that Rockford, located in Northern Illinois, offers a unique blend of outdoor recreation, culture and history that makes it the perfect location for a new IRONMAN 70.3 event in the Midwest. General registration begins July 1, 2024.

“We are excited to bring this new IRONMAN 70.3 event to this unique and beautiful Northern Illinois city in 2025,” said Eric Atnip, IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford Illinois Triathlon Race Director.

“Rockford has proven itself to be an attractive Midwest destination with a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. We are pleased to partner with GoRockford to offer this exciting new option on the North American IRONMAN 70.3 Series to our many dedicated athletes and new athletes looking forward to racing in Illinois. We can't wait for athletes to experience this welcoming community and see what makes Rockford so special.”

John Groh, President/CEO of GoRockford, the city's destination marketing organization, said, “IRONMAN 70.3 athletes push themselves to constantly improve, to be better every day, and not to settle for anything less than their personal best. The City of Rockford does the same.”

“Rockford is a city on the move and getting faster and faster. We are very excited about the partnership with IRONMAN and look forward to welcoming the athletes and fans to our city.”

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara added, “I am thrilled that another internationally recognized company recognizes the value and appeal of Rockford. Companies like Hard Rock International, the Chicago Blackhawks and now IRONMAN choose our community for major events and investments. This speaks volumes about Rockford's strength, appeal and reputation as a premier destination. IRONMAN, welcome to Rockford.”

Rockford, also called the “Forest City,” is a mid-sized city on the banks of the Rock River in northern Illinois. Rockford offers a sports history, a cultural scene, and architecturally unique buildings and neighborhoods in a natural setting with numerous parks, nature preserves, and four rivers flowing through the area.

A 60-minute drive west of Chicago O'Hare International Airport, about 90 minutes from downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, and an hour south of Madison, Rockford offers an escape from city life for athletes looking for open roads to run and bike or open terrain to relax.

“The IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford-Illinois triathlon is a fantastic addition to our state’s sports tourism industry and brings a significant boost to the Rockford community and its local businesses,” said Daniel Thomas, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Tourism.

“This prestigious race was made possible through DCEO's Tourism Incentive Grant Program, which aims to attract new out-of-state events to Illinois to boost tourism and highlight the state as a top sporting destination. We look forward to welcoming athletes and visitors from around the world to experience the charm and outdoor recreation that Rockford has to offer.”

The IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford-Illinois triathlon begins with a quick 1.2-mile swim in the Rock River, which flows north to south through downtown Rockford. Athletes will enter the water near the Rock Guardians of Rockford, a popular public sculpture by Terese Agnew depicting four “Rockmen” watching over the city.

Once out of the water, athletes transition onto the 56-mile single loop that runs through Rockford and north of it. Athletes are treated to the rolling hills and scenic farmland in the area while also passing through the quaint village of Rockton.

The 13.1-mile course takes runners from the transition area at Davis Park on a two-loop course along the east and west banks of the Rock River. River views, parks and scenic neighborhoods await athletes on their way to the finish line in downtown Rockford, just a few blocks from the transition area.

The 2025 IRONMAN 70.3 Rockford Illinois Triathlon will offer qualifying spots for the 2025 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship race in Marbella, Spain.

Anna Harden

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