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Vaccine passports have arrived at Ironman

Ironman Lake Placid to go ahead as long as all involved in the event provide proof of vaccination

It seemed like it was just a matter of time, and now we appear to be there – vaccination will be a requirement for at least one Ironman event this summer. According a post on the Lake Placid Regional Office of Sustainability Tourism (ROOST) website, Jay Rand, the Town of North Elba Supervisor, says that Ironman Lake Placid will go ahead this summer as long as there is “a reduction of athletes by 20% and that eligible athletes, coaches, officials, vendors, staff, volunteers and spectators in designated event areas will be required to provide proof of vaccination.”

The Ironman Lake Placid event is scheduled to take place on July 25, 2021. The American vaccine rollout has been considerably quicker than Canada’s – right now 37 per cent of Americans are fully vaccinated and 48 per cent have had at least one shot. Here in Canada just under 39 per cent of our population have received one dose while only 3.3 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated. To get as many people at least one dose of the vaccine as soon as possible, Canada has been spreading out the doses, so those who received their vaccines in April or May aren’t likely to receive their second doses until July at the earliest.

Which could make Ironman’s life a bit easier when it comes to trimming the field down by 20 per cent. It’s not hard to imagine that at least a fifth of the field entered in Lake Placid are Canadian. Those athletes probably wouldn’t have been able to attend, anyway – it doesn’t seem likely that border restrictions would have been lifted in time for Canadians to race. (Well, maybe some real keeners would be willing to endure two weeks of quarantine on return.)

We reached out to Ironman a few weeks ago to ask about vaccine passports and, at that point,  they didn’t have much to say on the subject.

“We are continuing to monitor the various travel requirements on a global basis and are aware there will be some ongoing impact to our athletes,” Ironman responded in an email. “We recommend that athletes educate themselves with local travel requirements, including travel from or to their destination. We will continue to work with athletes that are impacted by these various travel restrictions and find alternative racing solutions for them.”

“From the event side, we continue to work with local government entities and will communicate to athletes any specific requirements needed to attend one of our events.”

At this point there hasn’t been any word from Ironman around the Lake Placid event, but based on quotes from local politicians, this appears to be a done deal. In addition to the Ironaman event, the Summit Lacrosse Tournament will also go ahead in late July and early August.

“Both organizations have done a great job of complying with State, County, and Local requirements. This, along with their willingness to reduce their fields and require proof of vaccinations for their athletes, staff, officials, volunteers, vendors, and spectators, has allowed both the Town and the Village to welcome Ironman and Summit Lacrosse back to Lake Placid,” said Art Devlin, Lake Placid Mayor.

According to ROOST, “the event organizers agree that all requisite athletes, staff, officials, volunteers, vendors, and spectators, who are eligible for the vaccine will show proof of vaccination in designated event areas / venues. All event organizers are responsible for providing a system to ensure proof of vaccination at all entry points to designated event areas / venues. Specifics on this procedure will be approved by Town and Village officials prior to the event.”