No “postponed” or “rescheduled” messaging for this one – Ironman Australia and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie are cancelled for 2020, according to the Ironman update page:
When we postponed Ironman Australia and 70.3 Port Macquarie from the original date of 3 May to 13 September 2020, we felt very confident we would still be able to deliver an exceptional event as planned.
Unfortunately, due to reasons related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including the uncertainty over the duration and extent of international and domestic border restrictions and the potential impact on local community resources, we regret to advise that Ironman Australia cannot take place as planned on 13 September 2020.
We share in the disappointment of this news as we love producing IRONMAN Australia as much as you love racing in it.
All currently registered athletes have been sent an email from us today, and will receive a second email with more details on their options later this week.
While we are prevented from holding the event in 2020, we are already looking forward to coming back stronger in 2021.
The Ironman Australia team would like to thank you for your patience and support of the event in this challenging time.
While Australia appeared to be amongst the world’s leading countries for containing the coronavirus COVID-19, a recent outbreak in the country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, will see the city and the surrounding area “locked down again from Wednesday night under tougher restrictions than were imposed during the first shutdown that started in March,” according to Associated Press.
According to race organizers community safety and government regulations made it impossible to put Ironman Australia on later this year.
“We had to have that in the back of our mind that the community would be safe and with events these days with a 500 person limit, it’s almost impossible for an Ironman to run that way,” local organizing committee chairman Mike Reed told the Port Macquarie News. “You can get exemptions, but the time frame for that didn’t allow us because we had to make up our mind today.”
Cancelling the event means the region will take a financial hit, but local authorities were already preparing for a scaled back race if it was able to take place in September.
“On a typical year, Ironman would bring around $16 million to our local community, but we knew in recent months this would be a significantly different event if it were to go ahead with border restrictions and closures,” Liesa Davies, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s group manager for economic and cultural development told the Port Macquarie News.
Before it was rescheduled to September, the Canberra Times reported that Ironman Australia and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie were on track for a banner year – “the 70.3 race was a sell-out for the fourth straight year, while the full event was close to setting a participation record.” the paper reported in March.