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Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene “cannot take place” in 2020

2021 event in Coeur d'Alene is scheduled to be a full-distance race on June 27

Photo by: Getty Images

Ironman has officially, well, not “cancelled,” but at least confirmed that Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene won’t be happening this year.

“When we postponed the Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene triathlon from its original date of June 28 to September 6, 2020, we felt confident we would still be able to deliver an exceptional event at the later date,” the release stated. “Unfortunately, based on further conversations with and direction from local authorities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the health and safety of our community being an utmost priority, the Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene triathlon cannot take place in 2020.  All registered athletes of the 2020 Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene triathlon will be receiving an email with further information.”

In November Ironman announced that Ironman Coeur d’Alene would return next year as part of a rotating race series, with the 70.3 race returning in 2022 and 2023.

Based on social media postings, athletes are being given a number of options: transfer to a select list of races that remain on the schedule in 2020, transfer to one of two 70.3 events in 2021, or use their entry fee towards a spot in next year’s full distance race.

Heather Wurtele wins Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2013. Photo: Nils Nilsen

The picturesque city of Coeur d’Alene first hosted an Ironman race in 2003. The full-distance event ran until 2017. In 2016 and 2017 the city hosted both a full and half-distance race – likely to try and increase numbers when attendance started to drop in 2016. (In 2013, almost 2,300 athletes finished the race. In 2017 that number was down to less than 1,700.)  That year the race was moved to August from its traditional June time frame, which might have been a factor in the decline. The close proximity to the Canadian border might also have been a factor – around that time the Canadian dollar dropped in value compared to the US dollar, making the event a more expensive option for Canadian athletes.