2021 Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie cancelled due to ongoing COVID-19 health guidelines

See you next year: Ironman Australia organisers have been forced to cancel the 2021 event.
See you next year: Ironman Australia organisers have been forced to cancel the 2021 event.

Ironman Australia organisers have officially run out of runways to land the plane with the cancellation of the 2021 event.

The 35th anniversary was due to return to Port Macquarie on September 5 after being postponed three previous times due to COVID-19 and floods.

But current restrictions, public health orders and lockdowns surrounding Greater Sydney and Melbourne have forced their hand.

Ironman Australia regional director Chris Jarvis admitted it was frustrating and disappointing although in the end they were left with little choice.

"We've only got two weeks left until we're meant to come out of lockdown and now there's no runway left to land the plane," Mr Jarvis said.

"We've never had a clear runway and we also need to coordinate a whole community to be registered to this event.

"It's definitely frustrating; this is our fourth attempt at staging the 35th anniversary. We're not calling it a birthday, we're going to stay at 34 years old."

With 60 per cent of competitors travelling from around NSW - and the majority from Greater Sydney - organisers were already keeping a close eye on the ever-changing public health advice.

Constant changing of health advice made it impossible for Ironman Australia to keep up to speed with a "current rule book" which was required to run a COVID-safe event.

"Without a doubt the call needed to be made now," Mr Jarvis said.

"We're running the gauntlet because these events take months to plan and we've already had four evolutions.

"This event brings in new people and the new money that is brought into the town supports the community. It makes that community shine, so we couldn't guarantee we could coordinate and deliver the event to those people.

Over and out: Ironman Australia organisers have cancelled the 2021 event, originally scheduled for September 5. Photo: supplied/Ironman

Over and out: Ironman Australia organisers have cancelled the 2021 event, originally scheduled for September 5. Photo: supplied/Ironman

"We want to do the right thing and give as much notice as possible so the community can make the best out of a very tough situation."

Mr Jarvis said the decision to once again cancel the event was a tough one due to the history associated with Ironman in Port Macquarie.

"It hurts even more because this event is the pioneer event and our whole Ironman community is built on this one," he said.

"This was the original event in this country so the fact we can't deliver this one ... this is our flagship Ironman event so it really stinks."

If you get knocked down four times, you climb off the canvas five.

"The good thing is we're back on our traditional date and we've got more time again between now and then," Mr Jarvis said.

"We have delivered the event 34 times. We just need to get the 35th one off. Then history resets itself and we've got a new norm."

This story 'No runways left' as COVID crisis claims Ironman yet again first appeared on Port Macquarie News.