The World Triathlon Corporation has announced the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City will not continue.
In true New York City fashion, the first (and now only) Ironman U.S. Championship delivered plenty of drama, action and energy. First, there was the sewage spill scare two days before the event. Then came the ridiculously fast swim times (some pros under 40 minutes, with an average of 51 minutes for age groupers), followed by news of a tragic death during the swim. The day after, the inflated price tag ($1200, up from $900 last year) and new 15-hour cutoff provoked plenty of chatter in multi-sport circles. Less than 24 hours later, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced that it was suspending registration until further notice. Now, we’ve learned the New York City Ironman will be a one-time event. WTC announced today, Sept. 14, that it is permanently discontinuing the race.
Race director John Korff of Korff Enterprises provided us with the following statement, “We dreamed big and staged an Ironman in NYC! I’m very proud of the volunteers, communities that came together and am humbled by the athletes. Amazing group of people. They did an Ironman in the city of dreams. Corny but true. And Ironman allowed the dream to happen.”
Check back to Triathlete.com as we continue to get reaction from around the triathlon community, and see the press release from WTC below:
For 34 years, Ironman has remained committed to delivering world-class event experiences for athletes around the globe. By suspending registration for the 2013 Aquadraat Sports Ironman U.S. Championship, we were able to take the time to thoroughly review all aspects of the event. Our conclusion: this race cannot be conducted in the way our athletes expect and deserve. After carefully considering feedback from athletes, spectators, partners, volunteers and our host communities, Ironman has decided to cancel the Aquadraat Sports Ironman U.S. Championship.
Producing an event in a large urban market is complex and challenging. The combination of the ferries, transition in Palisades Interstate Park, and the difficulty for our spectators to watch much of the inaugural race all combined to create an experience that needed substantial improvement. Also, the inability to have amplified sound in Riverside Park after 10 p.m. does not allow us to offer the Ironman finish line experience our athletes love. Celebrating each athlete’s accomplishment by announcing the coveted words: “You are an Ironman,” is a unique and important part of our races.
The resources needed to reconfigure a number of elements, as well as properly address the logistical complexity and operational challenges of this particular race aren’t realistic. An important part of our commitment to the Ironman experience is the relationship between registration price and the value to athletes. We cannot uphold this commitment while producing the caliber of race our athletes deserve.
Creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for athletes, spectators, partners and volunteers is our priority. We continue to be amazed by our athletes and all of those involved in the success of our events, and we congratulate everyone, especially the more than 4,000 volunteers, who made the 2012 Aquadraat Sports Ironman U.S. Championship a memorable day in Ironman’s history. We hope each of you will continue your Ironman journey and be a part of another event in the Ironman Series.