Australia’s Tim van Berkel unsure whether he can get to Kona: “Uncertain of what is coming next”

(Photo: Korupt Vision, Instagram Tim van Berkel)

“Dreaming of Kona and the Ironman World Championship,” Tim van Berkel wrote under a photo of himself at the Ironman World Championship in 2018, when he finished in 12th place. Whether he will return to the big island after his last race there in 2019 remains in question. The pro triathlete, who lives in Australia, is struggling to figure out how he can get to Kona. “I feel in the best physical and mental condition of my career, and there is nothing more deflating than having more races cancelled and the uncertainty of what is coming next.”

“After hours of trying to work out how to get to Hawaii…it is clear that the border restrictions, cost of limited flights, hotel quarantine which is booked out and ultimately the risk of being stuck overseas away from my family, are all making this goal seemingly hard to achieve,” he continued. “Ironman is something I have dedicated the past fifteen years of my life to. Thanks to all my sponsors for the continuing support, and hopefully we can join the rest of the world in learning to live with this,” he states, referring to that fact that Australia remains one of the few countries with strict measurements in place. “This isn’t the end,” he said, trying to remain positive. “I will keep looking for ways to get there, but for now it’s head down bum up and continue building my form.”

Van Berkel definitely won’t be the only (pro) athlete that struggles to make it to Hawaii this year. With only 2.5 months to go until the Ironman World Championship, athletes are starting to figure out their trips. What used to be a matter of booking a flight and a hotel has turned into a lot of work, given the many rules that apply. For some countries that even means quarantine, meaning you need to head to Kona well ahead of the race. Adding to all of those challenges are the issues around flights – few are available.

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