DUBLIN will play host to the world-famous Ironman triathlon in 2016 after successful lobbying by Sports Minister Leo Varadkar.
The capital will first stage an Ironman 70.3 event – also known as the Half Ironman – in August 2015 as precursor to the full event the following year.
Mr Varadkar said: “Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland, and the Ironman brand is world-famous. Hosting this global event will boost Ireland’s reputation as an outdoor adventure destination, and showcase Dublin city and its mountains and scenic bay. It will also be a boost to our efforts to get more people involved in sport, and grow the profile of triathlon in Ireland.”
The events were announced this morning by Mr Varadkar and Dublin Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn.
Ironman has become the largest user-based endurance race series worldwide, with more than 200,000 athletes taking part every year. The race consists of 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride following by a 42.2km run. The Ironman 70.3 includes a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and 21.1km run.
The Lord Mayor said: “Today’s announcement is of tremendous importance to Dublin in terms of the economic value of an Ironman for the host city. Thousands of athletes from all over the world take part in these races and I am delighted to have been instrumental in bringing these two events to Dublin and realising one of my primary objectives during my term of office as Lord Mayor of Dublin.”
Thomas Dieckhoff, CEO of Ironman Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be expanding the Ironman European Tour to Ireland. Dublin has a heritage of hosting major sporting events and offers a perfect platform for Ironman.
“Full details of the race will be available later in the summer but with the popularity of Ironman events meaning athletes are committing to races now to secure a place in the most popular events for 2015, both parties wanted to announce the event early, to allow athletes to plan Dublin into their 2015 season. “