Organisers of IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong have today confirmed that the 2021 event will take place on Sunday 21 February under an approved COVID Safe Event Plan, subject to any further changes in health orders.
In developing the COVID Safe Event Plan the IRONMAN Group Oceania has been working closely with stakeholders including several Victorian Government departments, City of Greater Geelong, Triathlon Australia and Triathlon Victoria, along with event contractors and suppliers.
The approved COVID Safe Event Plan has been developed to manage the risks associated with the transmission of the virus, and provide an opportunity for participants to take part in the popular event, named world’s best IRONMAN 70.3 in 2018.
Central to the event’s COVID Safe Event Plan is The IRONMAN Group’s COVID Safe Principles, which focus on tracing, education, enhanced hygiene, density reduction, touchpoint minimisation, athlete self-reliance and screening.
Dave Beeche, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The IRONMAN Group Oceania, thanked the relevant authorities for their collaboration on the approved COVID Safe Event Plan.
“In developing the COVID Safe Event Plan for IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong we looked at all elements of the event, ensuring that we can deliver a great event for all participants while also looking after the health of the community,” said Beeche. “I’d like to thank all of the groups that our team worked with during this process, their support has allowed us to get to the position we’re in today.
“Our team successfully staged IRONMAN events on the Sunshine Coast and in Cairns late last year with approved COVID Safe Event Plans and we’ve put the learnings from both those events into developing the IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong plan.
“IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong traditionally begins the year for our athletes and we’re thrilled that we’re going to be able to welcome them back to Geelong on 21 February,” he said. “Over the years this event has become a firm favourite with athletes, and won world’s best in 2018, and we can’t wait to see athletes on the start line again.”
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the return of IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong to the Geelong Waterfront was exciting news.
“We are so happy to be welcoming IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong back to Geelong Waterfront – the ideal destination for world-class major events,” Mayor Asher said.
“The challenges of COVID-19 meant our events calendar was all but wiped clean in 2020, but there are opportunities now to safely and responsibly welcome more major events back to our region.
“I congratulate The IRONMAN Group on putting together such a comprehensive COVID Safe Event Plan, ensuring this will be a fun, entertaining and safe event for all to enjoy,” said the Mayor.
The IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong COVID Safe Event Plan has looked at all elements of the event, and changes will be implemented to meet The IRONMAN Group’s COVID Safe Principles. Some of these changes include 1.5 metre marked spacings wherever queuing occurs, contactless check-in and the elimination of non-essential processes. All athletes will also take part in a pre-event screening with medical staff.
The event will feature a new swim start, with four athletes starting every five seconds, allowing for four square metres per person. Changes implemented for the bike leg include the locating of aid stations in low density areas, with athletes encouraged to be more self-reliant on course, carrying their own hydration and nutrition during competition.
A further change for this year’s event will be the absence of spectator areas on the course, with family and friends of athletes encouraged to follow the racing through the IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong event app.
At the event finish line athletes will now receive their medals and towels as a bundle, which is collected from a table, rather than being presented to them as in the past, allowing for contactless celebrations.
For more information on IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong click here.