As Challenge Taiwan gears up for a race with 6,000 participants this weekend, Ironman has announced that Ironman Taiwan “cannot take place in 2021 and is now scheduled to return on April 10, 2022.”
The event was originally scheduled for March 21, but in February Ironman announced that due to “continued guidelines and precautions mandated by the Penghu County Government in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” the race would have to be postponed. According to today’s announcement, “after evaluating all possible options with local authorities” the event would have to be rescheduled to next year.
After the inaugural event took place in 2015, Ironman Taiwan moved to Penghu, an archipelago in the southwest of the Taiwan Straight, in 2016, making it very much a destination race. Taiwan is still not open to tourists, which was likely a factor for canceling this year’s race. Race numbers have not traditionally been as high for the event in Penghu as other full-distance Ironman races around the world, either. In 2019 the race had 498 competitors, in 2018 there were 894, 2017 had 696 athletes and 2016 had 922 competitors.
Ironman will also be hosting an event this weekend – Ironman 70.3 Kenting, which appears to have just over 400 participants registered. Kenting, situated on the southern coast of the country, was the host city of the first Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events in Taiwan. This year marks the return to racing there after a five-year hiatus.
Ironman will host another 70.3 race in Taiwan in September in Taitung, the same city that hosts Challenge Taiwan.