Although surprising to no one, many are disappointed with Friday's cancellation of Ironman Canada.
More than 3,000 participants were registered for the triathlon, scheduled for Aug. 30 in Penticton. The event originated in 1983, but ended in 2012 as the City of Penticton partnered with different triathlon operators. When it was announced last year that Ironman was returning after an eight-year absence, the event was sold-out within days.
"It was not unexpected, but quite obvious that we were heading that way," said David Prystay, general manager of the Penticton Lakeside Resort where many of the athletes stayed for the week leading up to the race.
"It's quite sad that all the events, including Ironman, are cancelled for this summer," Prystay said in reference to festivals, including Peachfest. "But, let's all move on and let's all look forward to having a great event in 2021."
In a statement released Friday, Ironman Canada officials said, "In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that this may come as a disappointment but look forward to providing athletes with an exceptional race experience in the future."
Ironman spokesperson Colby Gorniewicz said registered athletes for postponed Ironman events are automatically moved to the new race date. Should the new date not work with individual athletes, Ironman's staff will work to develop additional options for athletes including a transfer to a number of other events.
“We are very disappointed for the athletes, volunteers and our community to miss out on such an important and exciting event, but we must prioritize the health and safety of all those involved,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Ironman Canada home to Penticton in 2021.”