PORT Macquarie's Ironman event remains locked in for September 13 despite the premier world championship events in both Kona, Hawai`i and Taupo, New Zealand being postponed until 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Ironman World Championship will now take place on February 6, 2021 returning to its historic original race month and marking 40 years since it first took place in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawai`i.
While a new date for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship has not yet been determined, teams are working diligently with local and national officials and authorities to secure a date for early 2021, an Ironman spokesperson said.
"Ironman has been closely monitoring the situation and guidance by the Hawaiian and New Zealand governments regarding mass gatherings, border and travel restrictions and other COVID-19 related issues to assess the feasibility of hosting the 2020 Ironman World Championship and 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
"Additionally, as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact events around the world, both world championship events have seen a majority of their respective qualifying events postponed or unable to take place in 2020, impeding the ability to produce and host truly competitive world championship events.
"Based on these factors and circumstances beyond our control, coupled with a mission to give athletes and communities as much preparation time as possible, it is clear the world championship events cannot proceed as planned in October and November, respectively."
Similar to 1982, there will be two editions of the Ironman World Championship in a single year (February and October) to accommodate athletes who qualify during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
As a result of the continued impact of COVID-19, the qualifying window for the 2020 edition of the Ironman World Championship has been extended to provide further qualification opportunities.
The Ironman World Championship is the pinnacle of endurance sports with athletes from all over the world coming to Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i after qualifying at events on six continents. One of those includes the race in Port Macquarie.
Originally set down for May 3, the Port Macquarie event has been postponed to Sunday, September 13.
Each year more than 94,000 athletes vie for coveted slots to the Ironman World Championship with approximately 2,500 athletes making it to the starting line on race day.