Using carefully worded language that avoids using the word “cancelled,” Ironman has announced that Ironman Ireland, Cork and Ironman 70.3 Ireland, Cork “will take a hiatus in 2024.”
“This pause will allow for further healing while we spend the next year assessing the best path forward to deliver an exceptional weekend of racing once again for our athletes in one of the most passionate host communities in the world,” the statement continues.
Two athletes, Canadian Ivan Chittenden and Ireland’s Brendan Wall died during the swim at Ironman 70.3 Ireland in August.
The events of the day remain in dispute and under an independent investigation after Ironman and Triathlon Ireland disagreed over the timing and actions of officials and race organizers. Triathlon Ireland says its officials said they could not sanction the event “before the start of the race.” Ironman contends it wasn’t until hours after the swim was completed that Triathlon Ireland officials “communicated to the onsite Ironman Ireland officials that they would not approve the sanctioning of the event.”
According to a story posted in the Irish Times, Cork County Council remains “committed to continuing its relationship with Ironman.
“It isn’t that it is gone for good, it is a hiatus,” councillor Mary Linehan Foley told the paper, adding that the race is a “massive event” for the community.
The decision to “to put the event on hiatus in 2024” is unrelated to the investigation being conducted, according to a spokesperson from Ironman.
“The decision to take a break from next year’s Ironman weekend in Youghal, County Cork is to allow further healing while we spend the next year assessing the best path forward to deliver an exceptional weekend of racing once again for our athletes and the community in future years,” the spokesperson continued.
Ironman had not opened registration to next year’s races, but has reached out to athletes who had deferred entries to 2024 to provide other options including refunds and other races, including entries to Ironman Wales, which is close to filling up.
We’ve reached out to Triathlon Ireland for comment and will update this story if we hear back from the organization.