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Ironman 70.3 Calgary adds bike – run option for 2021 race

Aug. 1 event offers an option to allay concerns over lack of swim training opportunities

Photo by: Brad Reiter

After it was announced that Ironman events in Europe would be offering “bike & run” options for athletes who want to skip the swim in 2021, race organizers of the Ironman 70.3 Calgary race have announced that the race scheduled for Aug. 1 will also give athletes the “option to not participate in the swim portion and simply bike then run to complete their race.”

Like the events in Europe, the move is designed to allay concerns of athletes who haven’t had access to pools during the pandemic. Athletes who choose this option will not be eligible for awards or qualifying slots for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand.

Ironman 70.3 Calgary race director Tom Bamford says he’s also included a similar provision for all of the Platinum Racing events that he also organizes.

While the initial “bike & run” option was unique to the EMEA region “due to the restrictive COVID measures here that have locked people out of pools and swimming halls for almost a year,” but Ironman officials did acknowledge that “the concept could be utilized in other regions in the future based on local conditions and access to swim training facilities.” Ironman has already offered a number of events in the United States where skipping the swim was not an option, including last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in St. George, Utah that had 2,800 participants, but lockdowns in many parts of the United States have not been as restrictive as those seen in Europe and here in Canada.