Disappointment for triathletes as Ironman Wales event cancelled
News, Sport | Gareth Axenderrie | Published: 09:45, Tuesday June 16th, 2020.
Last updated: 09:45, Tuesday June 16th, 2020
More than 50 Caerphilly-based triathletes have had their dreams of completing at this year’s Ironman Wales dashed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world-famous event in Tenby – which consists of a 2.4 mile sea swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run – was due to take place on Sunday, September 6.
Caerphilly Tri-ers, which was established in 2017, would have had more than 50 members taking part, making it one of the biggest clubs at the event.
More than 2,000 athletes from all over the world were due to take part, with thousands of spectators expected to gather in Tenby throughout the weekend.
Amy Jenner, Caerphilly Tri-ers’ chairwoman, said: “We have always been well represented in Ironman Wales.
“It’s such an iconic event and plenty of friends and family can get down there to support us, so it’s a real shame for the athletes and those supporting us.
“A lot of members have been training 15 hours a week for this, and that would have been even higher had swimming pools been open.
“We have had many other events cancelled and some athletes have lost six races this year already.
“We are just trying to keep people’s momentum going, even though we can’t have sessions in person. We are always trying new sessions like running bingo or Giro d’Caerphilly every Saturday from home just to keep people in shape and staying connected.”
This year’s event would have been Matthew Hutcherson-Jones’ third Ironman.
Matthew said: “Not being able to race and put your hard work to the test, is absolutely gutting. Triathlon is not just a sport, it’s a way of life and the events in the calendar keep me motivated, healthy and active as a result.
“For me, I’ve been consistently completing between 10-15 hours a week in readiness to start increasing the mileage when restrictions are relieved further.
“I think we all still held a glimmer of hope [the event would go ahead] despite the challenges we are all facing currently.”
Organisers have confirmed that this year’s entrants will be able to use their £400 registrations for next year’s race.
In a statement, they said: “In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that this decision due to unforeseen events may come as a disappointment.
“While we are prevented from holding the event on the original date, we are looking forward to providing athletes with an exceptional race experience at Ironman Wales in 2021.”
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