One of Penrith’s largest annual sporting events has been axed due to COVID-19.
Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney was due to be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Sunday, September 27, however organisers have informed participants that it won’t be going ahead this year due to the current Public Health Order.
Featuring the best triathletes from Australia and around the world, Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney has successfully been held in Penrith since 2014.
In recent months, organisers had remained positive of delivering the popular triathlon locally in 2020 but they ended up succumbing to the global health crisis last week.
“As you may know, the current Public Health Order regarding mass gatherings in NSW has been extended to September 29 2020 – meaning gatherings over 500 people cannot take place in NSW over our event weekend without an exemption,” an Ironman spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, given the current situation in NSW an exemption has not been granted.
“As a result, we regret to advise that Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney cannot take place as planned on September 27 2020.”
Ironman organisers said all registered athletes have been emailed explaining their options, and should contact them if they have any further questions regarding the process.
“Please know that we love Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney as much you love racing in it and we share in the disappointment of this news,” an Ironman spokesperson said.
“While we are prevented from holding the event in 2020, we are already looking forward to coming back stronger in 2021.”
Meanwhile, the popular Nepean Triathlon is still scheduled to go ahead just one month later on the weekend of October 24 and 25.
Organisers of Australia’s oldest triathlon have confirmed that the main race as well as the three lead up races will be capped at 400 entries per day to meet current NSW Health requirements.
“As the 500 capacity includes volunteers, officials and spectators, our kids races and adult enticer on Saturday as well as Sunday’s Nepean Triathlon will, at this stage, be limited to 400 entries per day,” Nepean Triathlon Race Director, Chris Joseph said.
“It’s all about keeping the race going in a safe way. Ensuring the oldest and longest continually run triathlon goes ahead.”
To register for the upcoming Nepean Triathlon weekend, visit www.nepeantriathlon.com.au.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.