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The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA
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Some of this was taken and updated from a post I made a couple of weeks ago.

There are 28 IM or 70.3 races in the USA remaining on the calendar in 2020.

14 of the 28 races are in CA, FL, TX, and AZ. The four states that have dominated the COVID news cycle the past few weeks. Folks, those races are not happening. I'm not sure what planet you live on if you think there is even an infinitesimal chance those races happen. There isn't going to be anything different from a COVID perspective in the next two to five months to allow for racing. It's just as likely to be worse than it will be better.

Then there are three races in very cautious states -- HI, NJ, and WA. Those also have zero chance of happening. HI is being ultra cautious, NJ is being very cautious and has quarantine policies in place for visitors from many states, and WA is being cautious given its early COVID problems and are now seeing numbers rise again as WA reopens.

North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia host five races left on the calendar. All three states have seen marked increases in cases, positivity rates, and while currently manageable, hospitalization rates. The two areas in Tennessee where the races are located (two in Chatt, one in Memphis) have been hit particularly hard lately. I cannot see anyway those races will be allowed to continue.

That leaves six races left in Utah, Idaho, Maryland (2), Wisconsin, and Iowa. Doesn’t look like the officials in WI are going to allow IM Moo to happen (already canceled the 70.3). So it's safe to say that's not happening. Host cities being St. George, UT, Coeur d’Alene, ID, Cambridge, MD, and Des Moines, IA. Places with small to very small populations. Are they going to risk holding mass gatherings of out of towners in their small area that might not have a COVID problem? So they can make a few bucks? Is it worth it? The county health officer in Muncie explicitly stated this was a concern in their decision to not allow Muncie 70.3 to happen:

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"Well, I'm just concerned about all the people that come from different states and you're really not going to be able to wear a mask or do social distancing," Wilkins told The Star Press. "And since other states are having an increase in numbers I'm just very concerned that we may see in an uptick if we held that here. Other states have canceled also."


Just not seeing how either of those five races can continue either.

I also cannot see how any races remaining for 2020 in Mexico, South America, or Central America happen. Most (all) of the countries have travel restrictions. Is that going to change in the coming months? Those races are reliant on foreign athletes. There are a few races left on the 2020 calendar in South America but almost all are in Brazil. Zero chance those races happen.

This is going to hit WTC really hard in the wallet but how hard? Will there be some racing in Europe, Asia, Aus/NZ that can soften the blow? I'm not sure how those races can continue either but I don't pay much attention to how things are going on that side of the world. Cash flow is going to be an issue. Given WTC's "no refund" policy they will likely defer just about every 2020 Western Hemisphere registration to 2021. That means very little 2021 registration money coming in. Refunds probably would make an even worse problem since at least right now they’re holding onto some cash. WTC has certainly eaten some expenses and fixed costs for canceled 2020 races but probably not a huge amount. Most races were or will be canceled well in advance of the race date. My guess is that WTC has seen very little registration revenue since Feb/March. It's likely they won't see much registration revenue again until maybe a year from now when some 2021 races finish (if they happen) and 2022 races open for registration. So a 15+ month gap in significant revenue/cash flow from registrations related to Western Hemisphere races.

That's going to leave a mark.

Favorite Gear: Dimond | TriRig | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
Last edited by: The GMAN: Jul 7, 20 8:47
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I share the same concern and forecast as you; 2020 is through and (in my most optimistic opinion) first half of 2021 is over too
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, if you are planning on any of these races happening, you are deluding yourself. Get out now of any travel related costs, and I can tell you, that is not an easy thing anymore. My guess the only reason they are still on the calendar is that there is some insurance policy that says the locals have to cancel the permits to collect, so WTC just has to wait it out. And I cant blame them on this, it is why you buy such insurance in the first place, so they have to keep mum until that happens.

But unfortunately it only happens days before the race like we have just seen, and that traps a lot of folks into the travel and they have to eat all the expenses related to having actually gone there. Time to punt folks and start thinking about one off things you can do to stay motivated. Check out Dan's thread on this exact subject, might get some inspiration and ideas...
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I agree that 2020 is done. I also feel that 2021 will be a no go. And I'm uncertain how WTC will weather the storm.

I've done 10 WTC races in the last 10 years (5 IM & 5 70.3). I'm a believer in the value you get from the IM experience, but I also agree they are not perfect.

If this finally does WTC in, it will be interesting to see how haters feel about racing options in a world without WTC.

Pink? Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.
Last edited by: japarker24: Jul 7, 20 9:06
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [japarker24] [ In reply to ]
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japarker24 wrote:
I agree that 2020 is done. I also feel that 2021 will be a no go. And I'm uncertain how WTC will weather the storm.

I've done 10 WTC in the last 10 years (5 IM & 5 70.3). I'm a believer in the value you get from the IM experience, but I also agree they are not perfect.

If this finally does WTC in, it will be interesting to see how haters feel about racing options in a world without WTC.


I share those concerns as well. I hope WTC’s new owners had contingency planning in mind for this since they did finalize the deal with COVID in full swing. If you and I can see this problem certainly they saw it as well and have a plan to weather this storm for 2020-2021. If not they deserve to go out of business.

Favorite Gear: Dimond | TriRig | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
Last edited by: The GMAN: Jul 7, 20 8:52
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think it's necessary to ask "what planet" people are living on if they have hope that races will happen. I agree that the chances are not good at all, but i don't think it's bad for people to have an optimistic viewpoint for how the world will be on X date. I'm registered for IMAZ. I haven't given up all hope. I'm going to train as if it's happening until the day I find out it isn't. It's 4+ months from now. So much can happen in 4 months. That doesn't make me stupid (I know you didn't say that, but it was sorta implied). It just means I have a different viewpoint and an optimistic hope that good things will happen soon.

My personal view is that events/racing, and by extension other types of activities, can't wait for COVID to "end" in order to happen again. Yes, there must be a NEW NORMAL recognizing COVID and having appropriate measures in place, but we cannot just wait for a vaccine and count on everything ending the next day. because it won't, for many reasons discussed at length and by smarter people, elsewhere.

I believe we need to find a way to conduct activities such as races (but also concerts, mainstream sports events, school, etc.) in ways that are as safe as possible and minimize risk. This can be boiled down to wearing masks and social distancing. We can race with masks on and socially distanced transitions. we can go to concerts wearing masks with two seats between all attendees. etc etc.

Point being, we have to find a way to figure out how to do things safetly DESPITE COVID, not stop doing them because of COVID. Let's embrace what we have to do, and not pretend it doesn't exist/will magically go away. Because this isn't just going to go away even when there's a vaccine(s) available. If WTC waits for COVID to be "over", there will never be another IM race, ever. There are still cases of bubonic plague in our world, in 2020. and many other scary diseases that people either thought don't exist anymore or we have vaccines for. but we have ways to treat and manage those now - it's not "gone". COVID will be the same.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [PBT_2009] [ In reply to ]
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What is the point? Is it really a race in masks? It seems like going through the motions for the sake of “normality”. This is a pandemic, a novel virus, and there will be repercussions. It is great that the death rate is decreasing but millions are infected, millions are unemployed, the economy is on the brink, we cannot even figure out how to continue with essential institutions like schools. Racing is not a priority.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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Two things:

1. According to the majority of scientists, scholars, immunologists, and experts in the field of pandemics -- this virus will impact us for the next few years. As long as the virus is a threat, there will be no Ironman racing as we have grown accustomed to knowing it. Perhaps there will be some some Professional-only field "bubble racing". Perhaps there will be some small local-only racing for Age Groupers. But by in large, Ironman Racing as we know it will not resume till late 2022 -- is my guess based on conjecture from the experts. * This prediction sucks, but it's a very possible and probable reality, unfortunately.

2. I love the sport of Triathlon, the lifestyle, history of the sport and and I'm also a huge fan of WTC the company. I think the best thing that could possibly have happened to save WTC was the acquisition from Wanda Sports Group by Advance Publications, Inc. Advance Pub was the 4th largest privately held company in New York and one of the top 200 largest privately held companies in the US. They rake in around 2.4 billion in revenue annually and they're an 'old world company' by US standards having been established 98 years ago. I firmly believe they purchased WTC for the long haul gain and access to WTC's premier client base -- customers who are educated/ top earners who buy lots of expensive items which is focus for advertisers. Advance may be forced to trim down the employee count considerably, but the Ironman brand and attached customer base is what they purchased. I think they knew from the get-go of acquisition this would be a long play of 5 to 10 years, so believe it or not this pandemic just delays their return on investment. All of this, I believe, bodes extremely well for WTC surviving the pandemic.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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You are speaking from a logically angle. There is a political element there that may bypass your logic. The governors of FL and TX seem to be very resistant to shutting things down and very trigger happy to bring things back up, regardless of what the medical folks say. If health was the number 1 priority, the entire country would have been shut down by now, like what most of the EU countries have done.


__________________________________________________________________________
My marathon PR is "under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [BT_DreamChaser] [ In reply to ]
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BT_DreamChaser wrote:
Two things:

1. According to the majority of scientists, scholars, immunologists, and experts in the field of pandemics -- this virus will impact us for the next few years. As long as the virus is a threat, there will be no Ironman racing as we have grown accustomed to knowing it. Perhaps there will be some some Professional-only field "bubble racing". Perhaps there will be some small local-only racing for Age Groupers. But by in large, Ironman Racing as we know it will not resume till late 2022 -- is my guess based on conjecture from the experts. * This prediction sucks, but it's a very possible and probable reality, unfortunately.

2. I love the sport of Triathlon, the lifestyle, history of the sport and and I'm also a huge fan of WTC the company. I think the best thing that could possibly have happened to save WTC was the acquisition from Wanda Sports Group by Advance Publications, Inc. Advance Pub was the 4th largest privately held company in New York and one of the top 200 largest privately held companies in the US. They rake in around 2.4 billion in revenue annually and they're an 'old world company' by US standards having been established 98 years ago. I firmly believe they purchased WTC for the long haul gain and access to WTC's premier client base -- customers who are educated/ top earners who buy lots of expensive items which is focus for advertisers. Advance may be forced to trim down the employee count considerably, but the Ironman brand and attached customer base is what they purchased. I think they knew from the get-go of acquisition this would be a long play of 5 to 10 years, so believe it or not this pandemic just delays their return on investment. All of this, I believe, bodes extremely well for WTC surviving the pandemic.

Very much agree with #1, and very much hope you are correct with #2. I was kinda thinking the same thing about WTC, I assume they can pretty much operate on a skeleton crew for the time being, and when racing does start again some day, it is still a profitable business for them to step back into.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I would be surprised if racing doesn’t resume in 2021 regardless of the coronavirus situation. The willingness of large numbers to basically accept any health risk will nullify any coordinated shutdowns. The legislature will probably pass a coronavirus liability law protecting organizations, so it’s game on. There were many angry responses on the IM Muncie Facebook page from those wanting to race even in this current environment, not many will have the patience or fortitude to skip 2021.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [lyla] [ In reply to ]
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lyla wrote:
What is the point? Is it really a race in masks? It seems like going through the motions for the sake of “normality”. This is a pandemic, a novel virus, and there will be repercussions. It is great that the death rate is decreasing but millions are infected, millions are unemployed, the economy is on the brink, we cannot even figure out how to continue with essential institutions like schools. Racing is not a priority.

This is a fair point. While I agree with much of you said, this pandemic has (speaking from USA resident perspective) really challenged the idea of what "essential" actually means. I am not going to argue that a race itself is essential for the participants. But, from a certain perspective, races big and small generate streams of revenue which are essential to many people (tourism $ to hosting towns, the swim/bike/running equipment industries, the professional racers of course, people who work for race organizers/sponsors/etc.). Everyone who makes their living through these streams of revenue I think would argue that races are somewhat essential.

I would ask very simply - why not consider racing with masks? Because it looks weird and isn't what we're used to? Sounds like it would fit right in with how the whole planet is feeling right now.

I want to be clear I'm not advocating for races to take place because I think COVID isn't serious or I think races are more important than public health. My position is that I think there might be a way to have these events in a safe way instead of not having them at all. (or at least, they could be had in a way which is as safe as things are being conducted as of now).
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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Two things:

(1) I would love to see the insurance policy Ironman has, if any, regarding race cancellations, etc. Are they completely out, here? Or are they able to recoup at least some to maintain operations to weather the storm.

(2) What if Ironman folds? We will all still want to do triathlon, but what would our sport do, and how different would it look, to be dominated by local, grassroots events? That could be a world I would very much enjoy.

Instagram | floathammerholdon | BSC Multisport

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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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cloy wrote:
Two things:

(1) I would love to see the insurance policy Ironman has, if any, regarding race cancellations, etc. Are they completely out, here? Or are they able to recoup at least some to maintain operations to weather the storm.

(2) What if Ironman folds? We will all still want to do triathlon, but what would our sport do, and how different would it look, to be dominated by local, grassroots events? That could be a world I would very much enjoy.

If Ironman folds, the trademark will have value, will be auctioned / sold off and come back again as part of some other company.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I am not going to be all doom and gloom like a lot of folks in this thread. The news on the vaccine front are pretty encouraging. It is very likely that we will get some sort of a vaccine by early 2021. It is also very likely that the US will have substantial herd immunity (whether you like it or not) by the end of the year since the virus is likely to burn through at this point. A vaccine that is even 60% effective and reasonably safe will likely do the virus in.

I am optimistic that we will race in 2021, perhaps towards the latter half of the year

Next races on the schedule: lolwut?
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [alex_korr] [ In reply to ]
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I honestly think IMAZ will happen. I am not registered, but did it last year and have a lot of friends in AZ. They are all saying that anything that is called off is not good politically for the person or group that called it off.
The race is 4 months away, and as bad as it sounds I don't think that the counts will continue up for 4 more months. If we are at a 7 in AZ right now, and go up to a 9 in September, then back to a 7 in NOV, I think they will have the race because "things are trending down"
From what I understand from other race promoters, it costs the event a lot more money to cancel, then to be cancelled by the city state or federal government.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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Eroc43 wrote:
I honestly think IMAZ will happen. I am not registered, but did it last year and have a lot of friends in AZ. They are all saying that anything that is called off is not good politically for the person or group that called it off.
The race is 4 months away, and as bad as it sounds I don't think that the counts will continue up for 4 more months. If we are at a 7 in AZ right now, and go up to a 9 in September, then back to a 7 in NOV, I think they will have the race because "things are trending down"
From what I understand from other race promoters, it costs the event a lot more money to cancel, then to be cancelled by the city state or federal government.

All your comments are way off base.

Favorite Gear: Dimond | TriRig | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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Real talk, until China gets rid of wet markets (and probably other nations), the threat of Coronaviruses will remain in the future.

There will be racing in 2021, people will not be willing to do nothing. Sports are already back in Australia and New Zealand (with thousands and thousands of fans). Club, youth footy, school is all back on in New Zealand. Club footy is back in Australia as well.

How many people registered for Taupo WC are native New Zealanders? There's plenty of time to open up registration for that race and run it as a non-world championship.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I am not saying they are not. But how so?
Obviously the 10-15 people I know in AZ do not speak for the whole state
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [Jamison] [ In reply to ]
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Jamison wrote:
If Ironman folds, the trademark will have value, will be auctioned / sold off and come back again as part of some other company.

Exactly. All this doom and gloom about Ironman never happening again because WTC is over-levered, etc. needs to stop. The true worst case scenario is either the company goes bankrupt and the various trademarks (Ironman, Rock n Roll, etc.) will be sold as Jamison suggest. More likely, the company will restructure and re-emerges once the COVID dust settles (and it will eventually settle). In both cases, some investors will lose their shirts, but that's not our concern.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [The GMAN] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with your assessment.

I do think you'd do well to adjust your tone however. You seem to be gloating in the fact that none of us will get to race this year (nor is 2021 looking great at the moment, sadly). I get it, you've had some epic battles on this forum defending this point of view since March and I suppose perhaps feel vindicated that you were right. Why celebrate the fact that many people's personal goals have been stripped away? Why celebrate the fact that race directors and race directors who make a living in multi-sport have lost their livelihoods?

I think what we could do with more of are threads about new ways to challenge ourselves, how to best to train through this period of darkness, etc. We don't need to be reminded that 2020 sucks on so many levels. We need to be reminded that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we need suggestions for how to get there.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [vonschnapps] [ In reply to ]
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vonschnapps wrote:
I would be surprised if racing doesn’t resume in 2021 regardless of the coronavirus situation. The willingness of large numbers to basically accept any health risk will nullify any coordinated shutdowns. The legislature will probably pass a coronavirus liability law protecting organizations, so it’s game on. There were many angry responses on the IM Muncie Facebook page from those wanting to race even in this current environment, not many will have the patience or fortitude to skip 2021.


There were/are a bunch of assholes on that Muncie FB page that think about nothing but themselves....................

Pink? Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [wintershade] [ In reply to ]
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Has the deal with the new investor closed? I found it very interesting that this deal was announced post Corona onset. Smart deal makers would include some kind of price mechanism, like a net worth test, to adjust the deal value before closing. Otherwise, they could have a material adverse effect clause and argue the business deteriorated significantly and they could try to abandon the deal.

For something that was valued in the hundreds of millions to go bankrupt would be a calamity of mismanagement. Someone is going to lose some money this year and next, no doubt, but I would expect this company to be valuable enough to come out the other side.

I would love to read some reporting around where WTC is with everything. Also would love it if someone like Slowman could interview Messick and get an honest download. WTC should use this forum to communicate with their customers more. I have been happy with their flexibility around things, so it wouldn’t have to be a complaint-fest.
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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [japarker24] [ In reply to ]
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japarker24 wrote:
vonschnapps wrote:
I would be surprised if racing doesn’t resume in 2021 regardless of the coronavirus situation. The willingness of large numbers to basically accept any health risk will nullify any coordinated shutdowns. The legislature will probably pass a coronavirus liability law protecting organizations, so it’s game on. There were many angry responses on the IM Muncie Facebook page from those wanting to race even in this current environment, not many will have the patience or fortitude to skip 2021.



There were/are a bunch of assholes on that Muncie FB page that think about nothing but themselves....................

Dude. I left because I couldn't stand seeing the opinions... There was one individual who, in so many words, said that if people die, people die--let's race!

SO self-centered.

Instagram | floathammerholdon | BSC Multisport

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Re: The state of Ironman racing 2020-2021 in the USA [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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cloy wrote:
japarker24 wrote:
vonschnapps wrote:
I would be surprised if racing doesn’t resume in 2021 regardless of the coronavirus situation. The willingness of large numbers to basically accept any health risk will nullify any coordinated shutdowns. The legislature will probably pass a coronavirus liability law protecting organizations, so it’s game on. There were many angry responses on the IM Muncie Facebook page from those wanting to race even in this current environment, not many will have the patience or fortitude to skip 2021.



There were/are a bunch of assholes on that Muncie FB page that think about nothing but themselves....................


Dude. I left because I couldn't stand seeing the opinions... There was one individual who, in so many words, said that if people die, people die--let's race!

SO self-centered.

In addition to the total self centered feel of that FB page, I left because I was tired of hearing about how those people weren't going to get their chance to be called an Ironman. It was a 70.3........don't they know any better?

Pink? Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.
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