After the Ironman World Championship in St. George a number of athletes reported that they had been pulled off the run course despite making the cut off times for the run. Ironman has done an investigation into the incident, with Diana Bertsch, Ironman’s Vice President of World Championship events, and other race officials, reaching out to the athletes. The end result has left many of those athletes impressed with Ironman’s handling of the issue.
“I have had a few great conversations with Diana,” said Sam Page, one of the athletes who was pulled off the course at around the 32 km point of the marathon, even though she had made the official cut off times. “Her sincerity and devotion to the athlete, the sport and Ironman have shined through this PR mess.”
“Some race officials/volunteers were pulling athletes off the course when they shouldn’t have,” another athlete, who has asked not to be identified, reported after the race. “The last checkpoint for the race was at mile 17.9. According to the athlete guide, the checkpoint must have been met by 11:03 (which was later adjusted to 10:53 based on the last swimmer entering the water). Instead, race officials were pulling athletes off the course at mile 20 at 10:53 instead.”
While there has been no official word from Ironman (we’ve reached out multiple times), Page reports that “Ironman has extended a free race of choice to the athletes incorrectly pulled from the run course.” That choice appears to include entry to the 2022 or 2023 Ironman World Championship.
It is still unclear how many athletes were affected by the mistake. We will provide more updates if those become available.