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Status of Ironman New Zealand now up in the air due to COVID alert

Just a few weeks after Ironman CEO Andrew Messick acknowledged how frustrated athletes were about getting late notice for cancellation or postponement of events, it looks like that’s going to happen again in a spot most thought that wouldn’t be an issue.

New Zealand has been lauded around the world as “an emblematic champion of proper prevention and response to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” according to the ContagionLive website. The country implemented a country-wide lockdown for five weeks on March 26, relaxing the rules only slightly for two more weeks. That meant that, basically, the country was under stay-at-home orders for seven weeks. After 103 days New Zealand declared the pandemic over and residents have enjoyed much closer to normal life than we’ve experienced here in Canada.

New positive cases, though, have led to the implementation of new alert levels. Auckland, the country’s largest city, is now at Alert Level 3 while the rest of the country is at Alert Level 2.

At Alert Level 2 events of over 100 people cannot be held, which puts the Ironman race in jeopardy.

With a week to go before the race, race organizers posted a warning on the event’s Facebook page warning that “At this point it looks like Ironman New Zealand cannot go ahead next Saturday 6 March.”

The post advises that more details on the status of the race will be available tomorrow.