Guam group also seeks refund for postponed Ironman Subic race
A group of athletes from Guam has joined the clamor for a refund of registration fees for the postponed Ironman Philippines race in Subic, saying almost a month’s worth of salary is at stake for each member if the only option is to fly to the Philippines and join the rescheduled race in October.
The group, Siklista-Guam Multi Sport, said through a spokesperson that strict quarantine measures brought about by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic would mean adjusting travel dates to make sure they pass health protocols to join the race.
“If by October there’s still [COVID-19], once we land at the airport we already have a problem because we have to be quarantined for 14 days. And then after the event when we return to Guam that will be another 14 days for us because here the Philippines is considered as a [COVID-19] hot spot,” the group said in a message to the Inquirer on Saturday.
“That would mean for [almost] one month we wouldn’t have work or we could possibly lose our job,” the group added.
Earlier, another group called the Ironman Philippines 2020 (One Voice of the Filipinos) told the Inquirer on Friday it was pressing the race organizer, Sunrise Events, to refund registration fees due to the postponement, saying the “money can be used for more urgent and pressing matters” related to the pandemic.
Sunrise Events responded late Friday night that it is only offering berths to the rescheduled race in October or spots in a race either in Taiwan or Malaysia to participants who paid the registration fee worth at least P35,000.
“Once a race is postponed, athletes are given options—to move to another race or to the new date. This is a worldwide policy being implemented for every postponed race,” Sunrise general manager Princess Galura said in a message to the Inquirer.
The rising issue is complicated because the postponement will cause added financial strain on participants already burdened by a limited economic environment because of the pandemic, thus their preference for a refund over vouchers for a race still shrouded with the uncertainty of a health crisis.
Even Sunrise Events admitted that it was dealing with a unique situation.
“In the 12 year of continued growth of the sport we have not experienced anything like this among participants. But then again, the virus changed a lot of lives. We love the sport we love the camaraderie so we hope we can look beyond this and go back to the sport we all love,” Galura said.
A total of seven registered participants form the Guam group, a number it said was expected to grow as it reached out to more participants. Ironman Philippines 2020 (One Voice of the Filipinos) counts close to 300 members.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.