The Ironman Brand has finally come to Ireland with the Ironman 70.3 Galway race taking place on the 4th of September 2011!
First timers at this distance will line up alongside half-Ironman veterans for what should prove to be an exciting and challenging day amongst the stunning scenery of Galway. The race route will challenge athletes to a 1.9K swim in “the crystal clear waters of Galway Bay” followed by a challenging 90Km bike route which will pass through such iconic landscapes as the Burren and the Connemara countryside. Finally athletes will face the last portion of the race, a 21Km or half-marathon run which should take athletes through some of the fabled streets of Galway town.
The Galway Half Ironman race course certainly promises to be captivating and beautiful for those athletes who can spare a moment during their efforts to take it in, but at least we can be sure the spectators will have plenty to enjoy!
This may be the first time that the Ironman Brand has come to Ireland but is not the first Half-Iron Distance Triathlon to be held here. Races such as ‘IreMan’ in Groomsport – Northern Ireland and ‘Kenmare’ in County Kerry have been attracting loyal Triathetes to their 70.3 races for many years now.
As one Triathlete recounts “I’ve done several Half Iron distance races in Ireland and abroad and Kenmare is still my favourite race. The scenery and support are both unbelievable!”
Does this mean then that Ironman Galway 70.3 has arrived in an already saturated Irish Triathlon market?
Over just the past 5 years several races at the Half Iron Distance have appeared on the island of Ireland including not only the above mentioned races, but also several others such as ‘Eireman’ (different from IreMan) and the Sperrin Half Iron Distance Triathlon. This surge in event numbers has occured in order to meet the demand from the rapidly growing popularity of Triathlon in Ireland.
One differentiaiting factor between these events seems to be ‘Price’. Taking a straw poll of Half Iron Distance events around Ireland it appears the average registration fee is approximately €110 -€120 in comparison to the Ironman Galway 70.3 fee of approximately €150 – €190 depending on when you enter. But despite the higher cost, Galways Half Ironman is already sold out with 6 months still to go until race day!
“It’s about the brand” says Conor an entrant from Dublin “You might pay less for other races but with Galway you know that it’s an Ironman branded race and therefore there’ll be a high level or organisation on the day. Athletes wont have to suffer because of bad event management”
Galways Ironman branded event also promises to be a boost to the local economy with an estimated 6,000 visitors being drawn to the city on the big day and thousands more expected to line portions of the race route.
As with any event which takes place in Ireland, the weather will undoubtably play a significant roll in Septembers race. We at NewToTri.com have our fingers crossed on behalf of the participants that the sun will be shining, so that they can enjoy the Galway scenery in all of it’s glory!
The very best of luck to all athletes preparing for their first Half Ironman!
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