Last-minute postponement of Ironman New Zealand, new date to be announced soon

(Photo: Ukraine13, Pixabay)

Ironman New Zealand found itself in a very unfortunate situation. While most events on the island were allowed to go ahead over the last few weeks – Challenge Wanaka for instance – Ironman New Zealand has had some bad luck with their date. The event that was supposed to be taking place on Mar. 6, is cancelled due to a flare-up of the coronavirus in the Taupo area. The region went into semi-lockdown (Alert Level 2) until Sunday Mar. 7, the day after the event.

On Saturday, Ironman New Zealand expressed their uncertainty about being able to put on the race next weekend, but it’s official now that the event won’t be taking place and the organization has informed participants that it is busy looking for a new date. “We hope you’re all hanging in there and finding ways to stay positive despite the continued uncertainty we are all facing,” they communicated on social media.

“Thanks to the unbelievable support we have received over the past 48 hours from Taupo District Council Tuwharetoa, our suppliers, stakeholders, volunteers and the local Taupō community we are making great progress on a postponement date,” Ironman said.

Ironman is working on a postponement date, but it is “highly contingent on multiple pieces of the puzzle aligning” in their favor, the organization continues. “While a postponement date is looking promising; we are still not in a position where we can announce this today,” the message ends, promising to update athletes by tomorrow morning (Mar. 2).

Positive comments

Ironman has received a lot of negative comments around its refund policy and timing of postponments – which reached a peak two weeks ago when Andrew Messick shared a video message – things have been much more positive this time around. On Facebook, Ironman New Zealand seems to be making an effort to keep athletes updated as much as possible, which has been rewarded with many positive comments.

“Awesome work Ironman New Zealand! Thanks for the regular updates and fingers and toes crossed for tomorrow’s update,” reads one of the many upbeat responses.

Team Challenge Wanaka: “It is gut-wrenching”

Athletes aren’t the only ones chiming in, Sophie Luther from the team at Challenge Wanaka also expressed their support. “From the team at Challenge Wanaka we want to say we are thinking of the Ironman New Zealand team and all the passionate athletes who have been affected. It is gut-wrenching. We know it must have been an incredibly hard 24 hours for you all. Kia Kaha (stay strong),” they replied to one of Ironman’s posts.