Salem to host Ironman triathlon in July

People gathered on the gravel bar below Wallace Marine Park to cool off in the Willamette River on Thursday, July 30. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Expect to see swimmers in the Willamette River, runners near downtown and cyclists riding through wine country in July as Salem hosts it’s first Ironman triathlon.

It will be the first such event hosted in Oregon and will offer qualifying slots to the 2021 Ironman World Championship in St George, Utah.

The triathlon takes place on Sunday, July 25 with course announcements soon to come. Registration for the event opens on April 12.  

Dave Christen, regional director for The IRONMAN Group, said Salem offers the perfect destination for the first Ironman in Oregon.

“We’ve had hopes of bringing an Ironman branded event to this region for a while now. Offering the race in July during the prime season for racing in the Pacific Northwest, creates an incredible opportunity for people to #exploregon. We are thrilled to call Salem home for this new event for years to come,” he said in a statement.

Angie Onyewuchi, Travel Salem CEO, said in a statement, “Hosting one of the world’s most prestigious and respected sporting events helps solidify Salem as the Sports Capital of Oregon. We look forward to breathing life back into the tourism economy post COVID with the infusion of more than $11 million in estimated economic impact while showcasing our region’s natural beauty and premier recreational assets to the visiting athletes and their families.”

-Saphara Harrell