Ironman cancels IM Israel, athletes upset about alternative

Patrick Lange wins Ironman Israel. (Picture: Instagram Lange)

Due to the war between Israel and Hamas, Ironman has logically decided not to organize Ironman Israel / Ironman 70.3 Tiberias. The race was scheduled for Nov. 3. Registered athletes may either return next year or must compete this Saturday, during Ironman Cascais.

Ironman’s official statement

“Like so many throughout the world, IRONMAN has been stunned and deeply saddened by the horrific atrocities taking place in Israel leading to mass destruction and the senseless loss of civilian life.

“Over the last months, we had been looking forward to our return to Israel to celebrate community and the power of sport as we prepared for the 2023 IRONMAN Israel Middle East Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Tiberias triathlons scheduled for Friday 3 November. Unfortunately, it is clear that with the current situation and safety concerns, it would not be responsible to host the race at this time and we will therefore be cancelling the 2023 Israel Middle East Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 Tiberias triathlons.

“The shocking events have created extremely challenging and worrying conditions, and it is important for athletes residing in Israel and nearby countries to be able to spend their time and energy on their own safety and security. It is equally important that we made as quick of a decision as possible, to give those planning to travel an opportunity to alter their plans, as to not put themselves at risk by continuing with their travels.

“We will be reaching out to all registered athletes with more information about the options available to them. Our thoughts and prayers are with our athletes and all others who are impacted.”

Angry comments

Despite the fact that obviously everyone understands that Ironman is canceling the race, angry comments are dropping in on the alternatives offered by Ironman. The two options presented to registered athletes: compete in Ironman Israel in 2024 or compete in Ironman Cascais as early as this Saturday. According to many athletes, that race is much too early and so it would be incomprehensible that Ironman does not offer other/better alternatives