The current New Zealand weather forcast calls for Saturday calls "severe gale with gusts of 120km/h between 7 and 11 a.m. Saturday."
The forecast has forced race organizers to reschedule and shorten the race.
"We recognize the hard work, determination and sacrifices required by our athletes and want to give them every opportunity to fulfill their race goals," said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman.
"Disappointed that the weather won't allow for us to have @IMNZ tomorrow. Safety trumps all. We'll do a 70.3 on Sunday if weather cooperates," he added in a recent tweet.
According to Ironman.com
"The Ironman team is committed to giving participants the race experience that they deserve. Sunday's event will offer the same number of qualifying slots to the Ironman World Championship, taking place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i, on Oct. 13, 2012, as well as the same prize purse and number of KPR points for professional athletes."
"This is an incredible event with such a rich history, and I know our athletes look forward to this race all year long," said Jane Patterson, Ironman New Zealand Race Director. "I am confident in the decision to postpone the event to keep athletes protected from these unexpected weather conditions and excited we are able to offer them the opportunity to claim their spots on the starting line the following day. Our athletes are the heart of Ironman and it is our job to ensure we provide the safest and most enjoyable race experience possible."
Ironman New Zealand is the second oldest Ironman on the annual race schedule second only in age to the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Hawaii.
Cold and rainy weather are not an unusual factor in the race which takes place just before the start of New Zealand's fall season.