Ironman New Zealand, due to take place in Taupo tomorrow, has been postponed to Sunday after severe weather warnings. In addition, organisers have decided that the race will be shortened to a 70.3.
The Civil Defence and New Zealand Met Service have advised that Taupo will be hit by heavy rain tomorrow, with a near zero chill factor and winds gusting up to 140kph.
"If we proceeded based on the weather information we have received, then we would be putting at serious risk the health and welfare of the athletes, our 2000 volunteers and the public. Accordingly we have agreed to postpone the event on the Saturday," said the event director, Jane Patterson.
"Ironman have agreed that this [the shortened race] will carry all of the benefits as if it were a full distance Ironman in terms of qualifying spots for the World Championships for age groupers and prize money and qualifying points for professionals."
Additionally, Ironman has offered all athletes an opportunity to compete in another full distance Ironman anywhere in the world at a significantly reduced entry.
The revised plan is to start the race on Sunday at 7.45am for the professionals and 8am for age groupers with the winner expected by 11am.