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Ironman CEO hints that world championship might be moved from Kona

Uncertainty around decisions due to COVID-19 pandemic mean "every option" is being explored

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

During today’s press conference for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah, Ironman CEO Andrew Messick (above left) hinted that the Ironman World Championship could be moved from Kona, Hawaii. While talking about the challenges the company has faced around the event in Hawaii during the COVID-19 pandemic, Messick said “We’re exploring every option. That includes potentially taking the race out of Kona.”

Last year Ironman announced that it would postpone the Kona event to February of this year, then had to announce that the race wouldn’t happen until it’s regular time frame in October. Then, in August, Ironman announced that this year’s race scheduled for October wouldn’t happen until next February because of a surge in cases on the island.

Messick said that it’s the uncertainty of when decisions would be made as to whether February’s event would be able to take place that is the big issue for Ironman. Due to that uncertainty Ironman is “exploring every option” – anything from hosting the 2021 worlds in February of 2022 to moving the event to a new location.

The Ironman World Championship was first held in Honolulu in 1978 and moved to the Big Island inĀ  1981, where it has been ever since.