Race is on for last few Staffordshire Ironman places
Places are filling up quickly for Staffordshire's Ironman triathlon race – set to return to a new base this summer.
Last year, plans for the popular IRONMAN 70.3 event's finish line and race village to move into the of Stafford's town centre were announced.
The move into the town centre saw further changes to the course with improvements to the bike course and an all-new run course through Stafford, culminating with an electric finish in Market Square.
Since the changes were announced, interest in the event on June 10 has peaked with limited places now remaining.
Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet member for Leisure at Stafford Borough Council, said: “If you don’t want to miss out on competing in this exciting event – especially with the new run course being staged in the heart of the county town – then make sure you sign up quickly.
“We are delighted that the transition from bike to run is now at the town’s Riverway with the event finishing in the Market Square and I’m sure this will be welcomed by both spectators and competitors who will have great support around the course.”
The 56-mile bike leg remains a one lap course through the heart of the Staffordshire countryside with the most notable change the removal of a loop section at Six Roads End and Hanbury.
The course continues to take athletes through the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but on the approach back to the second transition area, athletes will continue towards Stafford town centre through Great Haywood and Tixall where the second transition area will be located at Riverway.
Athletes will take on the all-new 13.1 mile run course beginning at Riverway, which consists of three laps, taking athletes over and alongside the River Sow before heading into Stafford.
From here athletes will complete a spectator intensive three lap course which will take in the beautiful Victoria Park and weave through the town centre before finishing in Market Square.
While the changes to the bike and run courses provide an exciting new dimension to the race, the swim course remains at Chasewater Country Park and is ranked as one of the best swim courses in Europe. IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire was voted by athletes in the 2017 Athletes’ Choice Awards to have the third best Overall Swim across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Dan James, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire race director, said: “We are truly excited for this year’s race, the first to finish in Stafford town centre bringing the race closer to the spectators than ever before.
"The changes to the course along with the event’s already strong reputation all points to a much anticipated race day. We encourage anyone who is still thinking of entering to make sure that their name is on the start list."
Local triathlon clubs have started training on the new route and the profile of the new run course in particular, will have all the makings of a fast course, ideal for athletes looking for a personal best time or for first-time triathletes looking for a great course to start their triathlon journeys.
County Councillor Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economic growth added: “IRONMAN 70.3 has always proved popular in Staffordshire, and with the announcement of the new run course, it’s the perfect opportunity for people to take on the challenge and sign themselves up. Every year we see athletes of all abilities take part, so if you’re considering giving it a go, make sure you sign up.”
The 2018 edition of the race will see close to 2500 athletes from over 35 countries visiting Staffordshire for the world-renowned triathlon. The town will be expecting thousands of visitors over the event period bringing with them a considerable financial injection in terms of spend during the course of their stay in the region.
Limited entries are still available on the event website at www.ironman.com/staffordshire70.3.