First the #NJ #Marathon got cancelled.
Now the #Hawaii #Ironman. Well, it was postponed until February next year.
I'll give you 3:1 odds that it will be cancelled on that date also, considering it's in the middle of winter, or the middle of "germ season" to more accurately put it.
I wasn't surprised at this at all. Officials there in Hawaii are of the authoritarian type, and I knew there was going to be issues with this race going off.
Now I know there will be people saying, "well, it's for overall health of the island." If that was the case the island would have been perpetually shut down up to this point because of the flu.
But, I'm not going to get into the politics of this; if they want to shut down, that's for the island's residents to decide.
The goal here is to predict which races will happen, and which will not so that one can plan during these uncertain times.
The rules on this as far as I can tell is this...
Small races are more likely to be run than large races.
Races outside of cities are more likely to be run than big city races.
Races in red states will more likely to be run than blue states.
When Ironman Maryland cancelled last year, they fortunately gave me options to defer to Ironman races other than Ironman Maryland. The five races were Ironman Texas, Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Maryland, Ironman Coeur D'Alene, and Ironman Chattanooga.
Going by the itinerary above, Ironman Maryland and Ironman Lake Placid were out. This left Texas, Chattanooga, and Coeur D'Alene. I decided on Coeur D'Alene because it was in one of the reddest states of the union and is in a small town as well.
Despite the 100 degree heat, the race happened, and I finished.
I've been reading some comments on the Ironman Maryland page. The race is supposed to happen next month, in September, and they are sweating bullets on whether this race is going to happen. The Ironman Hawaii cancellation spooked them even more.
Considering what has been going on with this virus thing recently, I don't think the race is going off as planned. I hope, for the sake of the athletes registered for the race, that it does, but there are some major headwinds that are blowing with this race.
I'm happy I made the right choice.
As for planning races, at this point choose the smaller, more rural races over races in the big cities. And take a look at their refund policies before registering. If they don't supply one, email the RD and get an official policy. If the refund policy is to your liking (maybe a full refund or a deferral to next year's race), then go ahead and register. Even if there is no refund or deferrals, if the race is cheap enough to enter and you're not going to get hurt if you lose money in case it cancels, then go ahead.
As for traveling for a race, this can also be done. Hotels and airlines know about the uncertainty and have instituted new policies that allows people to cancel out without penalty. This amazingly applies to airlines too. When planning my Coeur D'Alene trip, Delta's policy was that I can get a refund without any penalties, no questions asked. With my car rental and my hotels the same way, I could have cancelled the trip without costing me a cent! Just remember to read the fine print (and print it out) before making the purchase so you have everything covered.
This post is not in anyway to get you down. You can still plan your race season despite the restrictions. This blog is here to help you be more aware and more educated on your choices so that your season (and your wallet) doesn't suffer.
For advice on travel, and on races that might be more or less likely to cancel, drop me an email and I'll help you out on that front. I've been planning race trips for a long time and have adapted to the changes, even in the face of this tough spot we're going through.