Ironman release statement on Covid-19
“We know that both our athletes and our communities want to be racing; we do too.
While The IRONMAN Group’s mission is to provide exceptional, life-changing race experiences for athletes of all levels, from their first step to the finish line, we can only accomplish this by providing the safest possible environment, and safeguarding the citizens of our host communities.
COVID-19 has substantially altered the global sports landscape and will have material impact on the mass participation industry in the immediate term. We want to reassure you that the health and well-being of our community is our primary concern. To this end, we are doing our part to communicate effectively and follow public health agencies and governmental authorities’ recommendations.
We expect that there are going to be substantial and widespread event postponements in the coming weeks and months. The decision to proceed, restrict, modify or postpone an event will be based on availability of community resources and ongoing event-specific risk assessment in coordination with the relevant healthcare and government authorities and the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board, an independent medical advisory board focused on health and safety.
For events that will continue, The IRONMAN Group, along with the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board, has outlined a series of pragmatic and practical actions designed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 or any other infectious agent to athletes and to members of our host communities. These steps will help athletes achieve their goals while allowing communities to secure the benefits of hosting mass participation sporting events. They will be implemented worldwide at all IRONMAN Group events beginning March 19 and will continue indefinitely.
Self-care and Risk Minimisation
Athletes who are sick or have been potentially exposed to an infectious agent must not compete or attend events, as this puts others at risk. As a community, we each have a personal responsibility to protect each other by complying with this rule.
We ask that all athletes, volunteers and partners follow the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for basic protective measures against the new coronavirus:
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Regularly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash your hands with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of used tissues immediately and appropriately in a bin.
Providing Flexibility to Athletes
Certain races will be postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak and we will communicate these as soon as practical. Our goal will be to move the race to a date later in the year. We work in close partnership with the relevant public health authorities in the territories where the races take place and err on the side of safety for our athletes and the host community. If an event cannot occur on the scheduled date, we will take the following actions:
Postponement: Registered athletes for events that are postponed due to COVID-19 by the local health authorities are automatically transferred to the rescheduled date. For those that the new date does not work, we will allow deferrals into the same event the next year.
Cancellation: Registered athletes for events that are cancelled due to COVID-19 by the local health authorities are automatically deferred to the same race in 2021.
Other options: We are vetting other options to allow displaced athletes to race in 2020 and will communicate those in due course.
Athletes in Quarantined/Restricted Territories: For athletes in certain designated quarantine or restricted territories who have registered for races that take place before June 1, 2020 and have NOT been postponed or cancelled, we will aid in finding alternative races later in the season.
For those who are sick, feel unwell, or have been potentially exposed to an infectious agent in advance of a race that will take place, do not come to the race; instead seek medical care. Once you have done so, contact the relevant Athlete Services representative for your race and we will attempt to find you another solution.