IRONMAN Asia Pacific has announced key changes to its annual calendar of endurance events in the New Zealand market. The Taupo Half triathlon will next year be rebranded as IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo, joining the IRONMAN Asia Pacific group in December 2015.
The announcement coincides with the company’s decision not to extend its contract to stage IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland at the conclusion of the initial three-year term. The final IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland is scheduled for Sunday January 18, 2015.
The move will allow IRONMAN Asia Pacific to consolidate its operations and event partnerships in New Zealand’s biggest city to focus on its recent acquisition the ASB Auckland Marathon, having purchased the event earlier this year.
While IRONMAN Asia Pacific is disappointed to move its IRONMAN 70.3 event from Auckland, it remains committed to the delivery and growth of the ASB Auckland Marathon festival as a major international event for Auckland.
The IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland has delivered exceptional athlete experiences over the past two years as the host of the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship on an exciting and iconic city course.
“Despite excellent support from the city of Auckland and fantastic athlete feedback, the event has been unable to attract athlete numbers needed to grow the event as hoped.” said IRONMAN Asia Pacific chief executive, Geoff Meyer.
The new IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo, which will be held annually in December, will complement the annual Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand also held in the tourist destination. The inaugural race is scheduled to take place December 12, 2015.
The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo will be the only New Zealand event carrying qualifying slots for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to be staged in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast in September 2016.
A new host destination of the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship event will be announced in due course.