The Ironman World Championship will be held outside Hawaii for the first time in four decades because of uncertainty over whether the Big Island will be able to host the triathlon as scheduled in February during the coronavirus pandemic.
Competitors will head to St. George, Utah, on May 7 instead, race organizers announced. Organizers plan to return the contest back to the islands in October 2022.
Ironman competitors swim 2.4 miles, ride bikes for 112 miles and run a marathon, which goes for 26.2 miles.
The first race was held in Honolulu in the 1970s. The competition moved to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island in 1981.
Organizers canceled last year's race because of coronavirus concerns and the risks of international travel. It was the first time in the triathlon's history that the event wasn't held.
In August, as the Delta variant fueled a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, organizers decided to postpone this year's race to February.
Organizers plan to return the competition to the Big Island later next year with a two-day race format slated for Oct. 6 and 8, 2022.
"We expect the races in October of 2022 to be unique and historic," said Andrew Messick, president and CEO for The IRONMAN Group. "Two days of racing in Kailua-Kona addresses the overwhelming demand from athletes to race in a World Championship and will allow us to host our deferred athletes and place more emphasis on showcasing our women's and men's professional races."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.