Ironman World Championship rescheduled amid surge in COVID cases on Hawaii Island

The competition is being rescheduled to February 2022. Courtesy: IRONMAN
The competition is being rescheduled to February 2022. Courtesy: IRONMAN
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:06 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Ironman World Championship has been rescheduled amid a concerning rise in COVID cases on Hawaii Island, officials announced Thursday.

The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 9 after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but it’s scheduled to take place Feb. 5, 2022.

“The resurgence of the virus and new Delta strain has had significant impact on the island community of Hawaii. Combined with substantial border closures and travel restrictions for qualified athletes, there is not a viable pathway in October to host the Ironman World Championship,” said Andrew Messick, president and chief executive officer for The Ironman Group, in a statement.

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth told Hawaii News Now earlier this week that he wanted to reschedule this year’s event due to the rise in cases on the island.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t putting people in harm’s way and, you know, the Ironman people ... they love this community and they realized that at this time, when our hospitals are overcrowded, it wasn’t the right time to have the event,” Roth said.

As of Thursday, there were 163 new COVID cases on Hawaii Island.

Officials said, like 1982, there will also be a second edition of the Ironman World Championship in October 2022.

The event is one of the largest to take place in Kailua-Kona each year, drawing as many as 10,000 people ― including friends and relatives of the participants ― to the area.

The Ironman World Championship started in 1978 on Oahu, followed by a move to Kailua-Kona in 1981 — where the event has been held ever since.

This story may be updated.

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