The Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand, the oldest international event in the sport, is also officially the best in the world.
On the eve of the 33rd running of Ironman New Zealand in Taupō this Saturday, the event has been voted the best in the world, after the Ironman organisation announced its awards based on participant surveys from all 40 global Ironman races in 2016.
The New Zealand event came out the top rated event for 2016, which has delighted the organisation.
"We are driven by our desire to create the best possible athlete experiences at Ironman that result in changing people lives, and this award is recognition of that," said Ironman Oceania Managing Director, Dave Beeche.
"This award is well deserved from the hard work by our team led by Race Director Wayne Reardon, our sponsors, Taupō District Council and the Tuwharetoa Trust Board.
"Especially it celebrates the contribution by our volunteer directors, the incredible 2000-plus volunteers and the wonderful people of Taupō who continue to support and provide such a warm and welcoming experience for athletes and supporters who this year will come from nearly 50 nations."
The race was also voted best in terms of post-race post-race celebration, while on the course it was voted the sixth best swim and bike and fourth best run, along with the sixth best host city.
A number of international competitors endorsed the New Zealand event.
"It is important to emphasize that that this is one of the best races on the circuit," said five-time winner Meredith Kessler. "The most attractive part is the experience and the Kiwi culture. My husband and I both feel that Taupō is our second home and it is a very special place for us."
"The support of locals in Taupō for the whole race week is amazing. They seem to recognise that you're not a local and immediately make you feel welcome, and wish you luck for the big day. For a first timer, I cannot think of a better place than in Taupō," said Andrew Roberts of Brisbane
John Sidebottom from Melbourne, who has competed in Taupo every year since 1999, said:"We keep coming back to Taupō as it is such a beautiful place to do an Ironman. Also out of all the Ironman races I have competed in, I believe the New Zealand is the most well run event and a good challenging course."
American Dr Peggy McDowell-Cramer is a longtime supporter who said: "The one major reason to come to Taupō? The people. The Ironman people and the town people are so nice, they're glad you came, they wish you well in your race and time in New Zealand, and you wish to be their friend."
Fellow American Michael Meuli is attracted by the place, saying: "The scenery is epic - if ever you wanted to race paradise, this is it."
And Australian Peter Vaughan, who has completed 100 Ironman events around the globe, keeps returning to Taupō.
"New Zealand has the best swim course in the world. Where else can you see the bottom of the lake? Can you believe the number of local athletes from such a small community, they are fantastic. If anyone feels bad on race day just stick with a local athlete, you will feel the energy of the town behind you."
Ironman New Zealand organisers say the recognition will drive their team as they prepare for over 1200 participants into Taupō this week for the 33rd staging of the event which over that time has attracted over 60,000 participants, their families and supporters to the region and the country, bringing in $100 million of new revenue.