Tulsa wins bid to host newest Ironman triathlon

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Ray Hoyt, president of the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau & Tulsa Sports Commission, announces Wednesday, June 12, 2019, that Tulsa has won a bid to host an IRONMAN triathlon. (KTUL photo)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) – Tulsa has been selected to host a new Ironman triathlon in May 2020.

“I am pleased to share, that our city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been selected as the newest host city for a brand-new Ironman triathlon,” said an excited Ray Hoyt, president of the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau & Tulsa Sports Commission. “The first edition in May 31, 2020!”

“Proud day for all of us in Tulsa and the Tulsa region,” he continued.

Tulsa was one of four finalists, along with Des Moines, Fayetteville and Memphis.

Founded in 1978, the Ironman triathlon is said to be one of the world's most challenging endurance events.

Full-distance races include swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles.

Ironman said the Tulsa event will feature a swim in Keystone Lake, a bike ride through parts of Osage, Creek and Tulsa counties, and a running course starting at the Oklahoma State University-Tulsa campus and ending at Guthrie Green.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber said other cities have seen an economic impact of around $13 million from hosting an Ironman event.

Andrew Messick, the president and CEO of Ironman, said in a video posted to social media that they’ve been eyeing a new event in the central portion of the country, and they got a lot of great feedback from athletes and people in each of the contending communities.

“We felt that Tulsa was the best venue and the best community to be able to host the next North American Ironman,” Messick said.