Dublin to host Ironman endurance races

Government expects tourism boost when capital holds triathlons in 2015 and 2016

Dublin is to be the location for an Ironman 70.3 event which will take place in August 2015, it was announced today by Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn and Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar. Video: Bryan O'Brien


Dublin will host stages of the Ironman endurance race next year and in 2016, the city’s outgoing Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn has announced.

The city will be the venue for a half-distance triathlon, or Ironman 70.3, in August 2015 and will host a full-distance (3.8km swim, 180km cycle, 42.2km run) event in 2016.

Speaking at the announcement in the Mansion House today, Mr Quinn said the race was “a perfect fit” for the Dublin’s picturesque coastline, mountains and historic city centre.

Although organisers are yet to finalise the route, Mr Quinn said “we’re planning a swim in the bay, probably somewhere down in Dún Laoghaire. Then it’s a 90km cycle that will probably take the cyclists through the Wicklow Mountains and back into the city… finishing with a half marathon in the city centre”.

Minister for Sport Leo Varadkar said the event could provide a boost for tourism in the capital.

“It’s a great sporting event, it will add to the sporting calendar here in the city, but as well as that it will add to a boost for tourism because it’s going to allow us to showcase Dublin, not just the city centre but the mountains and the bay.”

The chief executive of Ironman Europe, Thomas Dieckhoff, said Dublin was “the perfect place” for accommodating athletes and their entourages, who are expected to spend about three to five days in the city.

Mr Dieckhoff praised Dublin for its cultural activities, saying “people who usually accompany the athletes will have a great time in the city”.

The Ironman championship consists of 31 races worldwide, while the half-distance Ironman 70.3 involves 58 races. The 70.3 has previously taken place in Galway but next year will be the first time it comes to the capital. Some 3,000 entrants are expected to compete.