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The IRONMAN Group's Response to COVID-19

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To our global community,

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 Minimization
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.

Safe Event Experience
In order to provide the safest experience for our athletes, we are instituting the following at our races, effective March 19.

Reinforcing Social Distancing in all elements of the event

  • The hours of on-site event registration will be expanded.
  • Athletes will be allowed to pick up their athlete race kit/race bib and immediately exit expo area.
  • Athlete density will be decreased by increasing individual race space staging, corrals, etc.
  • No-handshake behavior will be encouraged for the duration of the event.
  • Athlete briefing information will be available digitally only.
  • Non-core, high-contact services (e.g. wetsuit peeling) will be suspended.


Hygiene First

  • Staff and volunteers who are interacting with participants pre-race, on race day and post-race will be provided gloves.
  • Hand-washing stations and sanitation stations around the venue for athletes, volunteers and spectators will be increased
  • No-touch waste disposal stations and receptacles will be rolled out as available.
  • Frequently touched surfaces at race venue locations such as workstations, product distribution areas, tables and electronic devices will be cleaned regularly.
  • When possible, on-course food and fluid supplies will be single use/single serving closed packaging
  • Athletes planning to return home by airplane or rail are encouraged to avoid travel post-event for 24 hours allowing their immune system time to recover post-race.
  • No onsite interviews or press conference with professional athletes.
  • No handshake/contact on the race podium.
  • Printed document distribution will be eliminated.

Medical Service

  • Education and awareness training regarding signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be provided to all medical and volunteer staff.
  • Frequent communication with health authorities and healthcare facilities will be implemented to assist in assessment, referral and initial management of suspected COVID-19 illness of staff, participants, volunteers, and spectators.

This is a highly dynamic situation and we will continue to adapt and adjust as appropriate. We appreciate your patience in the coming days and weeks.

We recognize that this is a challenging time but our community will endure. We are inspired by your ambition, and endeavor to be worthy of your commitment.

As further updates are available, they will be posted at www.ironman.com/updates and www.runrocknroll.com/updates in addition to our individual event sites and social media pages.

Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you the best in health and wellness.

Andrew Messick
President & Chief Executive Officer
The IRONMAN Group

 

 

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14 minutes ago, xblane said:

 

 

So in refunds at all.  Transfer for a race to next year which you may not being able.  No one can predict 12 months ahead. Life circumstances change.  

Even deferring to another race venue may not be an option for some.  

If the athlete has a genuine medical reason for not being able to compete or the race is cancelled refunds the athletes.  It like gyms charging members after they have already cancelled their memberships

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If large scale event companies simply start refunding all participants entry fees for events cancelled due to COVIC-19, we will have no large scale event companies left when we come out the other side of this.

Postponement or transfer are preferable to that outcome.

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They might struggle with the no refund policy under Australian Consumer Law.
Depending on the conditions on entry, generally if an event is completely cancelled and the customer requests a refund then it must be paid.

Hopefully most athletes will accept a deferred entry to next years event but I'm for some that won't be practical.
Tricky area!

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They might struggle with getting volunteers trying to avoid contact with lots of people. If all these races get pushed back I wonder if Kona could be moved back to get the slots in line for 2020, maybe December after Taupo.

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5 minutes ago, Gilliga said:

They might struggle with getting volunteers trying to avoid contact with lots of people. If all these races get pushed back I wonder if Kona could be moved back to get the slots in line for 2020, maybe December after Taupo.

Aid stations can just be like Costco where you take what you need from palates.

FOP will probably take all the bottled water and the toilet paper for the portaloos. Not so good if you're BOP.

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2 hours ago, ScubaSteve said:

They might struggle with the no refund policy under Australian Consumer Law.
Depending on the conditions on entry, generally if an event is completely cancelled and the customer requests a refund then it must be paid.

Hopefully most athletes will accept a deferred entry to next years event but I'm for some that won't be practical.
Tricky area!

It is not that clear cut for refunds, if the government orders the event to be cancelled.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-13/coronavirus-event-cancellations-how-to-get-a-refund/12045680

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It is tough on the organisers of events, they have wages to pay also and costs so there needs to be some give and take both sides here if events cannot proceed. If everyone gets moved to next years events, basically they are taking one years income and spreading it over two years, no business can sustain that.

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57 minutes ago, Gilliga said:

It is tough on the organisers of events, they have wages to pay also and costs so there needs to be some give and take both sides here if events cannot proceed. If everyone gets moved to next years events, basically they are taking one years income and spreading it over two years, no business can sustain that.

So do all other business affected by closure etc. 

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14 minutes ago, Fitness Buddy said:

So do all other business affected by closure etc. 

Exactly. Restaurant patronage is well down, shopping centres have greatly reduced crowds, with some shops closing (hopefully) temporarily. It's going to take a lot to get back on track.

 

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1 hour ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Exactly. Restaurant patronage is well down, shopping centres have greatly reduced crowds, with some shops closing (hopefully) temporarily. It's going to take a lot to get back on track.

 

I have breakfast at a local cafe with a mate every Friday.  Usually busy and from 9am all the mums and kids roll,in to go to the playground they have out the back.  
 

today we were the only 2 eating and 3 came in for takeaway.  
 

its sad.  Meanwhile its a 2 hour line to get into Coles via security limiting people getting in.  

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4 hours ago, Gilliga said:

They might struggle with getting volunteers trying to avoid contact with lots of people. If all these races get pushed back I wonder if Kona could be moved back to get the slots in line for 2020, maybe December after Taupo.

I was just at Mooloolaba tri check in, overheard one of the vollies saying they were short of people as some had pulled out. 

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I'm hoping Cairns gets postponed, then I might actually be able to run 21km instead of having to change to a team again.  I have flights booked but I'm happy to still go for a holiday, I don't need a race to escape Melbourne winter.

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Edit - sorry, wrong event

Edited by -H-

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If it was my call i would cancel Port and cairns right now, reschedule for say October in cairns run one race, 200 kona slots or something like that, do same in europe and usa Just host one or two really big races over there to get it done for 2020 and run kona in dec.

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Sort of agree.  But do busso for 300 spots for aussies only. 
 

full disclosure I couldn’t and wouldn’t race. But what a dream for many on the cusp. 

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12 minutes ago, Peter said:

Sort of agree.  But do busso for 300 spots for aussies only. 
 

full disclosure I couldn’t and wouldn’t race. But what a dream for many on the cusp. 

I think cairns as it got loads of accom and easy for easy coast population to access. I like busso but costs a fortune to get there from east, Cairns even with flights costs from syd costs about the same as doing port as accom so much cheaper.

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57 minutes ago, Gilliga said:

If it was my call i would cancel Port and cairns right now.

At this stage it pretty much has to be with the governments 500 person cap. The feedback I had from work today is that they expect the Corona Virus peak will be in May.

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I'm confused you can run the NRL this week, have Hillsong services and panic buy where clearly lots of people including those who are infected but don't know it but we need to cancel Ironman Events?

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4 hours ago, BarryBevan said:

I'm confused you can run the NRL this week, have Hillsong services and panic buy where clearly lots of people including those who are infected but don't know it but we need to cancel Ironman Events?

Scomo doesn't do IM. Things would be different if we still had TA.

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10 hours ago, Surfer said:

Ive heard that UTA will be postponed. 

Wouldn't surprise me. 

They just got through (mostly) the course change issues due to the fires and possibility of tracks still being closed 

I'll still go for the holiday and a run. Just not the race. I've got to get even with those stairs .  

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20 hours ago, ScubaSteve said:

They might struggle with the no refund policy under Australian Consumer Law.
Depending on the conditions on entry, generally if an event is completely cancelled and the customer requests a refund then it must be paid.

Hopefully most athletes will accept a deferred entry to next years event but I'm for some that won't be practical.
Tricky area!

That’s a nice sentiment, but no insurance company is covering businesses for a quarantinable disease, so as mentioned above, reschedule the race or find another sport 

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2 hours ago, Parkside said:

That’s a nice sentiment, but no insurance company is covering businesses for a quarantinable disease, so as mentioned above, reschedule the race or find another sport 

Or just don't enter races and enjoy the training 

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With the races overseas postponed this morning all at a similar time to Port Mac I cant see Port happening.

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3 hours ago, Fitness Buddy said:

Or just don't enter races and enjoy the training 

That’s like getting engaged and not getting married. 
 

you train your body to do a race in the end. 
 

Personally if you never race you need to see a professional medical support person because deep down you have mental issues and are actually scared to race. 
 

im not sayin race every weekend or even do long races. 
 

but if you do all types of run and intervals etc... you need to test yourself in a race situation.  Even if its a 5k park run. 
 

but to train and NEVER race is an issue deep down. 

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14 hours ago, Slunnie said:

At this stage it pretty much has to be with the governments 500 person cap. The feedback I had from work today is that they expect the Corona Virus peak will be in May.

I'm guessing what they mean is no large groups. It would be a bit moronic and unethical for sporting events to carry on running, but limit it to 499 competitors.  If that did happen, the govt would just amend the cap to 100 or something. 

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22 minutes ago, Peter said:


 

but to train and NEVER race is an issue deep down. 

depends on the type of training, but yeah if you were training hard for triathlon and not racing, you'd crack at some point.

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Just checked my accommodation booking. Basically no refunds now.

So, if IMOZ is not on, we have a nice 5 day holiday in Port. Bingo, seafood, beers, visiting friends. We have a two bedroom place for the missus & me. We can either sleep in different rooms, invite a few extras up or live on the edge - and sleep together by ourselves in the place and park our luggage in the other. We are staying in Hill Street near Flynns.

Suggest you all check the refund policy on your bookings. 

FM

Edited by Flanman

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Even smaller events are cancelling. 

I'd say it's basically arse covering. 

If the govt is banning large gatherings, then any smaller gathering that goes ahead could be opening themselves up for issues if someone gets sick, or transmits it around. 

It only takes one infected person giving it to one other, who takes it to the supermarket. 

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The bit that is pissing me off (and I work in the events industry) is that there is no timeline set for the restrictions.

I fully understand and support shutting down large scale events and support the reasons why. But there is currently no thought around what the events are, the frequency or risk of contact, or how the immediate responses will effect the medium term timeline.
 

let’s look at a standard week in the life - we would go to the shops at least once a week. Probably hit the servo up twice. We would go to work. Some to church, school, pick up the kids from daycare. Some would require the use of trains, busses and ferries for everyday transport needs. I went out last night to an rsl to watch the footy, etc etc. now look at that week in regards to risk factors, and how many potential points of contact you would have. There are currently no restrictions around any of that.

Now look at most people in here - how often a month do we all race? I’d say we would be lucky to race once a month max. I’d say we would have significantly more chance of picking something up visiting a shopping mall 4 times a month for groceries than entering a triathlon where we would have start line exposure and then we would be solo for the next 4-15 hours. 
 

I would shut it all down for April and reassess. It’s mind blowing seeing so many things being cancelled in May and June already in such a rapidly changing environment. People say that ‘at current trends’ the peak will be May, but by implementing social distancing and banning large groups in April, we have no idea what May will look like yet. As we have seen this week, it’s painful but simple to cancel and event on a weeks notice, it’s a hell of a lot harder to get to May and realise ‘hey, all those actions actually worked and the spread has died down, now let’s see if we can put on an Ironman with 2 weeks notice’.

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Kingy tri now cancelled.

Ironman's solution of postponement / deferral will not work for me at all, so I'll be trying to get a refund for certain. 

4 hours ago, Peter said:

That’s like getting engaged and not getting married. 

This is the life I'm currently living :)

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1 hour ago, Flanman said:

So, if IMOZ is not on, we have a nice 5 day holiday in Port. Bingo, seafood, beers, visiting friends. We have a two bedroom place for the missus & me. We can either sleep in different rooms, invite a few extras up or live on the edge - and sleep together by ourselves in the place and park our luggage in the other. We are staying in Hill Street near Flynns.

Could turn into a great training week and Trannie get-together.

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2 hours ago, Turts said:

Even smaller events are cancelling. 

I'd say it's basically arse covering. 

If the govt is banning large gatherings, then any smaller gathering that goes ahead could be opening themselves up for issues if someone gets sick, or transmits it around. 

It only takes one infected person giving it to one other, who takes it to the supermarket. 

I'm running the Bloated Goat 30km trail run next weekend. The numbers for the 30km, 20km, 12km and 5km won't top 500 people, even with volunteers included. Yesterday the RD announced it will proceed.

Likewise Masters Athletics WA has announced their weekly races and track sessions will proceed, with the only the caveats being don't turn up if you have symptoms, no shaking hands, reminders about basic hygiene, etc. And that's a club with is centred on the most vulnerable demographics.

I don't think either organisers are "opening themselves up for issues if someone gets sick", essentially because as you say, a person could as easily contract it in the supermarket.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Flanman said:

Just checked my accommodation booking. Basically no refunds now.

So, if IMOZ is not on, we have a nice 5 day holiday in Port. Bingo, seafood, beers, visiting friends. We have a two bedroom place for the missus & me. We can either sleep in different rooms, invite a few extras up or live on the edge - and sleep together by ourselves in the place and park our luggage in the other. We are staying in Hill Street near Flynns.

Suggest you all check the refund policy on your bookings. 

FM

If Port is cancelled there will be a few of us that will still be racing in an unofficial capacity. Swim, Bike and run...all self catered.

Bring it On!

Edited by IronmanFoz
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2 hours ago, Paul Every said:

I'm running the Bloated Goat 30km trail run next weekend. The numbers for the 30km, 20km, 12km and 5km won't top 500 people, even with volunteers included. Yesterday the RD announced it will proceed.

Likewise Masters Athletics WA has announced their weekly races and track sessions will proceed, with the only the caveats being don't turn up if you have symptoms, no shaking hands, reminders about basic hygiene, etc. And that's a club with is centred on the most vulnerable demographics.

I don't think either organisers are "opening themselves up for issues if someone gets sick", essentially because as you say, a person could as easily contract it in the supermarket.

 

 

That's good then. 

We've had smaller events cancelled here on the weekend, and no spectators for local basketball games. No way 500 people. And before the Monday "start". I guess some event or game organisers are more risk averse than others. 

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49 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

If Port is cancelled there will be a few of us that will still be racing in an unofficial capacity. Swim, Bike and run...all self catered.

Bring it On!

Email the rd and ask for. The medals and towel.  I assume backpacks as well. 
 

if you are going to do it, do it properly 

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1 hour ago, IronmanFoz said:

If Port is cancelled there will be a few of us that will still be racing in an unofficial capacity. Swim, Bike and run...all self catered.

Bring it On!

At a minimum, we can do the Beer Mile - for a couple of miles at least.

FM

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1 hour ago, IronmanFoz said:

If Port is cancelled there will be a few of us that will still be racing in an unofficial capacity. Swim, Bike and run...all self catered.

Bring it On!

The weir crossing could be tricky.

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

Email the rd and ask for. The medals and towel.  I assume backpacks as well. 
 

if you are going to do it, do it properly 

Doing an ironman is a very personal thing for me (personal sense of achievement). Love the medal at the end of the day but don't need it. Its squirreled away in a cupboard anyway. 

And I have so many towels i could probably become a supplier :)

Edited by IronmanFoz

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