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The threat of severe weather has caused organizers to push Ironman New Zealand back to Sunday and covert it to the half-Ironman distance.
See the complete announcement below:
Due to an unprecedented and severe weather forecast by the New Zealand Meteorological Service (NZMS), Saturday’s Ironman New Zealand has been postponed for safety reasons. The forecast calls for a “severe gale with gusts of 120km/h between 7 and 11 a.m. Saturday.” The NZMS anticipates the weather to clear Saturday afternoon and an Ironman 70.3 race is scheduled for Ironman New Zealand athletes on Sunday starting at 8:00 a.m.
“We recognize the hard work, determination and sacrifices required by our athletes and want to give them every opportunity to fulfill their race goals,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman. “Organizing an event in less than a day’s time is no small feat and this is a true testament to the passion of those involved with this race.”
The Ironman team is committed to giving participants the race experience that they deserve. Sunday’s event will offer the same number of qualifying slots to the Ironman World Championship, taking place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, on Oct. 13, 2012, as well as the same prize purse and number of KPR points for professional athletes.
“This is an incredible event with such a rich history, and I know our athletes look forward to this race all year long,” said Jane Patterson, Ironman New Zealand Race Director. “I am confident in the decision to postpone the event to keep athletes protected from these unexpected weather conditions and excited we are able to offer them the opportunity to claim their spots on the starting line the following day. Our athletes are the heart of Ironman and it is our job to ensure we provide the safest and most enjoyable race experience possible.”
Ironman New Zealand athletes will also have the opportunity to race an Ironman event of their choice at a discounted price between now and the end of June. Full details will be communicated via email within two weeks.