One of the world’s oldest half-distance races, Ironman 70.3 Pucon, will be cancelled in 2020 due to unrest in Chile.
The first half-distance race in Pucon took place in 1984 with 150 athletes. The race became an Ironman 70.3 event in 2008. In 2019 there were over 1,600 competitors. Renowned for the spectacular course with the Villarica Volcono as a backdrop, the Pucon event has long been a popular bucket-list event for age-groupers and pros alike.
Since October there have been riots and protests in Chile over “economic inequality” and “political exclusion.” Media outlets have reported that at least 23 people were killed in the violence between protesters and government forces in October and November.
According to the Endurance Business website participants have been notified of the cancellation:
“After consulting with the respective authorities, local and main stakeholders, it was decided to postpone the 2020 edition of the Herbalife IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon triathlon, which was scheduled to take place on January 12.
The Carozzi Kids Challenge and Carozzi Promotional Race, which were scheduled for January 9 and 10, 2020, are also postponed.
Although a decision like this is never easy to make, it is clear that the current situation of the country and the community of Pucón does not allow the safety and quality standards that we require for our participants, volunteers, inhabitants and equipment to be guaranteed.
For more information, participants should check the event website and their email.”
Athletes can either get a refund, an entry for next the Jan. 10, 2021 race, or compete at another Ironman event in South America.
Canadian Lionel Sanders didn’t compete in the 2019 race, but won the event in 2017 and 2018.