Technology / 03.10.21
When COVID Canceled Live Events, Ironman Built the Next Best Thing Virtually
Fortune (03/06/21) Newcomb, Alyssa
The Ironman group established alternatives to its famed races as the COVID pandemic forced the mass cancellation of live events, founding the Ironman Virtual Club and Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Running Club. Ironman's solution is a testament to its adaptability, and the group was already discussing a hypothetical virtual racing platform when the pandemic struck. After Ironman's corporate team opted to double down on its virtual racing platforms for triathletes and runners, the core team began speculating on virtual race concepts. "We recognize that we have to do something to help [athletes] out and to give them something to do," explained Ironman global director of training and coaching Earl Walton. Ironman based its virtual clubs on software from Sport Heroes, which specializes in connected racing. By April, the first versions of the clubs were accessible to athletes, including a lineup of digital challenges anyone was welcome to participate in. Anyone can enroll using their email account, name, age and even their triathlon club association; after that, they can connect with the community, update followers on training and opt into challenges. Since launching, 68,028 new athletes who have never participated in an in-person Ironman have joined, constituting 53.4% of people on the platform.
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Tags: News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus