The Ironman World Championship, the pinnacle for long-distance triathletes, will not be held this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally scheduled for Oct. 10, the race is now slated to be held Feb. 6, 2021, parent company World Triathlon Corporation announced in a statement.
Each year 2,500 athletes come to Hawaii Island to compete in the Ironman, which also draws teams of volunteers and gaggles of spectators who cheer on the participants as they cover a total of 140 miles: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon. The Ironman World Championship has been held in Hawaii since 1978. The race has been held in the Kailua-Kona area of Hawaii Island since 1981, and generates a total annual economic impact of $72 million, according to race organizers.
"The Ironman World Championship has been a cornerstone in showcasing our island's attributes to the world for decades. We fully support their decision to postpone these races, and we feel that it is the right thing to do to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our community," Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said in a statement. "It also allows supporting industries to prepare the resources necessary to maintain the high standard the event has created over the years. We look forward to welcoming them back when the time is right and will do our best to assist with the transition."