IRONMAN announced Wednesday that the 2020 Core Power IRONMAN 70.3 Lubbock triathlon will not take place this Sunday because of a rapid increase of coronavirus infections in Texas.
The Lubbock event would have been the first IRONMAN race to take place since all events were postponed in March, and also the first using IRONMAN's new COVID-19 precautions. In a press release, IRONMAN stated: “In accordance with our IRONMAN Safe Return to Racing protocol, the health and safety of our community is of utmost priority and in alignment with remarks made by Governor Abbott on Tuesday, June 23, it would not be responsible to host the event at this time.”
Governor Greg Abbott told Kbtx.com reporters that “because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home.”
Before Wednesday's cancellation, a statewide spike of COVID-19 increased total cases to 5,551.
Andrew Messick, IRONMAN President and CEO, said, “We are grateful to Mayor Pope of The City of Lubbock and his fine team of professionals, along with our long-time [IRONMAN] partners Mike and Marti Greer, for their outstanding work to do everything possible to host this race...But ultimately the COVID-19 headwinds in Texas right now are just too strong for the race to happen.”
IRONMAN stated that a rough total of 1,000 registrants would soon get an email offering more details, and that the race will return next year.
Messick added: “In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that the change at this late juncture will come as a disappointment but look forward to providing athletes with an exceptional race experience in the future.”