Saturday 12th July 2008 is going to be an exciting year for the Waterways Ireland triAthlone event – Ireland’s biggest triathlon!
The format for this year’s race has changed. We have a New Course, and we are joining the International Triathlon Union race circuit by hosting the 1st ever European Cup race to be held in the Republic of Ireland. This race will serve as the final Olympic warm-up triathlon in Europe and will feature Ireland’s sole Olympic Hopeful and reigning Irish Champion, Gavin Noble. He will be joined on the streets of Athlone by some of the world’s top athletes.
This year’s Waterways Ireland TriAthlone, Ireland’s biggest triathlon, has a new swim, bike and run course. All part of our preparations for the European championships 2010.
The triathlon, which takes place in Athlone on Saturday the 12th of July, will attract 1,500 competitors across all competitors, sprint and elite and will also be host to an event on this year’s prestigious European Cup, it’s first time in Ireland.
Waterways Ireland triAthlone has a race for everyone; from Beginners, to Intermediates and Advanced. We’ve added a new event to the timetable for 2008 – an Olympic-Distance event. This event forms part of our build up to the Athlone 2010 ITU European Championships. Following a review of the course, and technical feedback from the European Triathlon Union we also have a brand new swim and run course.
Our new swim starts on the Connaught side of the River Shannon, beside transition area at the Athlone Boat Club (last years exit point). The spectacular 35m Inland & Coastal Marina Systems Pontoon will again form the focal point of swim entry. For the Sprint-Distance race, athletes will swim 350m down and then back up stream. For the Olympic-Distance ITU race, athletes will do the course twice. tryAthletes however will enter the water 200m upstream from the swim exit. Should the river current be strong in 2008 we have an alternate downstream swim.
The new course this year will be held on fully closed roads. We have made a slight change in the route to take into account the new motorway works. But don’t worry, the course still sets off from Transition on Grace Road, and continues out the rolling Roscommon roads to the picturesque village of Brideswell and then back. Elite athletes will complete a fast tight shorter 8 lapped course taking in the castle and west side of the town.
Our most exciting change is the run route. The narrow town centre streets of Old-Athlone’s “”West-Bank”” plays host to the event for the first time. Athletes will complete 2 laps (sprint) and 4 laps (Olympic) of a 2.5k route that starts in the province of Connaught. Athletes run past Athlone’s historical Castle, down and back up Grace Road along the banks of the River Shannon, before crossing into Leinster and onto Church Street where the new Finish, Recuperation and Baggage-Drop area is at the Civic Centre Plaza in the shadow of the stunning new Athlone Town Centre. This route will create a fantastic atmosphere as spectators will see athletes a total of 3 times every lap.
triAthlone 2008 launches in Dublin
This year’s Waterways Ireland TriAthlone, Ireland’s biggest triathlon, was launched today in Dublin by Seamus Brennan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. The triathlon, which takes place in Athlone on Saturday the 12th of July, will attract 1,500 competitors across all competitors, sprint and elite and will also be host to an event on this year’s prestigious European Cup, it’s first time in Ireland.
TriAthlone was first run in 2006 and has quickly established itself as one of the Europe’s great races. This was confirmed when TriAthlone was named as the host venue of the European Triathlon Championships in 2010. This will be the first time that Ireland will host such an event and it will attract a number of competitors from across the continent.
This will be one of the final opportunities for some of the world’s top triathletes to compete ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. It will also be a chance for Ireland’s top triathlete and Olympic hopeful Gavin Noble to compete on home soil ahead of a possible appearance in Beijing.
Three major charities will also benefit from this year’s race. These are Respect, the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation and Debra Ireland, while local charity the Midlands Simon Community will also benefit from this year’s event. Several celebrities will also be competing in this year’s event to raise money for their chosen charities. These include; Kathryn Thomas, Ray Shah, Eamon Keane and Craig Doyle.
Liam Heavin, CEO of TriAthlone, sees this as a vital year for the event. “This promises to be our biggest year yet for TriAthlone. We will have a field of over 1,500 this year and looking towards 2010 that will potentially see 4,000 competing in Athlone. We hope to keep growing at the rate we have been over the past two years with the aim of possibly hosting the World Triathlon Championships in 2015. With Gavin Noble looking at Olympic qualification the profile of the sport is getting higher and higher in Ireland.
It is great to have the support of Waterways Ireland on this. Their title sponsorship of the event and massive contribution to the running of the swimming section is a huge help and we could not do it without them”, Heavin said at the launch.
This year’s event will be supported by premium sponsor Waterways Ireland, while there will also be several associate sponsors including; Athlone Town Centre, Snap Printing, Russell Brennan Keane and DBC Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine.
Martin Dennany, Director of Marketing and Communications for Waterways Ireland, is delighted to be associated again this year. “TriAthlone is a sporting occasion which has developed over a very short time to encompass a European Cup event. Waterways Ireland is delighted to be the premium sponsor and we hope that the continued success of TriAthlone will create an even greater awareness of the unique recreational resource that is the inland waterway system and will also provide an added benefit to the local economy,” Dennany said.
The main race will begin with a 750m swim in the River Shannon and from there the competitors will then take to their bikes for a 20km cycle before a 5km run will see the event finish in the heart of Athlone town. The Waterways Ireland TriAthlone will take place on Saturday the 12th of July.