HONOLULU (AP) — Organizers of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii said Thursday this year’s contest will be postponed to February because of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.
A statement on the group’s website said COVID-19 in Hawaii is worse now than it has been at any point during the pandemic. The race had been scheduled for Oct. 9.
“After deep and careful consultation with county and state officials and other important constituents, we agree: the risks right now are too great to bear,” the statement said.
On Thursday, the state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases hit 713, up 56% from two weeks ago.
Multiple Hawaii hospitals have said their intensive care units are full and have started rescheduling elective surgeries.
The Ironman competition is considered one of the most important Ironman triathlon events. Participants swim 2.4 miles (3.9 kilometers), ride bikes for 112 miles (180.3 kilometers) and then run a marathon, which goes for 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers).
Organizers rescheduled the contest last year too, only to later cancel it completely because of ongoing coronavirus concerns and the risks of international travel. It was the first time in the triathlon’s four decade history that the event wasn’t held.
The Ironman World Championship is held in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.