For the first time since 1978, there will be no 2020 IRONMAN World Championships. Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRONMAN today announced the cancellation of both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships for 2020.
Both races will return in 2021. The 2021 70.3 World Championships will tentatively move forward in St. George, Utah. IRONMAN is coordinating with local authorities in Taupo to have New Zealand host the 2022 70.3 race.
IRONMAN acknowledged that one of the many reasons for cancelling was the fact that so many qualifying events had not taken place, as well as the extension of travel restrictions worldwide.
"It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 editions of the IRONMAN World Championship and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. While we were hopeful that we could welcome our athletes, their families, and supporters to these events in early 2021, the continued impact of the pandemic makes this impossible. It is tough to make this decision in July, but it will provide the necessary clarity for our athletes, host cities and partners,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group.
Athletes who had qualified and registered for the respective 2020 World Championship events will be contacted directly and given the opportunity to race in either the 2021 or 2022 World Championships. Athletes who had earned World Championship slots through the VR Championship series will also transfer to the 2021 event.