Ironman 70.3 Scotland has been announced as the eighth event in the UK and Ireland’s Ironman calendar today, which include Ironman UK, Ironman Wales, Ironman 70.3 UK, Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, Ironman 70.3 Dublin, Ironman 70.3 Weymouth as well as Velothon Wales. The race will take place on 2nd July 2017.
“The UK has seen a perpetual growth in athlete participation and there is clear demand for more races,” said Kevin Stewart, Regional Director of Northern Europe for Ironman. “We are excited to be expanding to Scotland for the first time and to now be able to offer events in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, giving thousands of athletes the opportunity to cross an Ironman finish line in the UK and Ireland.”
Approximately 2,000 athletes are anticipated to head to Edinburgh, the country’s capital, and the surrounding East Lothian and Midlothian countryside for this inaugural race.
The Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh will start at the historic Gosford House and feature a 1.2-mile (1.9km) sea swim from Gosford Sands on the Firth of Forth. Upon exiting the swim, athletes will then embark on a 56-mile (90.1km), one-loop bike ride on closed roads through the rolling countryside of East Lothian, Midlothian, and through the outskirts of the city centre of Edinburgh and Dalkeith country park. The athletes will then arrive in the transition area at the spectacular setting of Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano, in Holyrood Park. The athletes will head off on a beautiful multi lap 13.1-mile (21.2km) run within Holyrood Park before crossing the finish line.
David McNamee is ‘excited’ about IM 70.3 Scotland, and says the race is firmly in his plans.
“As Ironman continues to grow in stature, attracting the attention of serious athletes and media worldwide, we are delighted to be supporting their first visit north of the border through EventScotland’s International Programme,” said Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events. “We expect the Edinburgh stage to be one of the best supported on the IRONMAN 70.3 calendar, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of competitors and spectators in summer next year.”
The UK’s fastest Kona finisher and Scotsman David McNamee also confirmed to 220 that IM 70.3 Edinburgh is firmly in his own racing plans for 2017, and is looking forward to an M-Dot event on home soil: “It’s really exciting news and will help showcase long course racing in Scotland. I did my first ever triathlon in Edinburgh so it’s great to have the opportunity now to go back to where it all began.”
Fellow Scottish long course pro Fraser Cartmell also said: “Having lived and trained in Scotland throughout my career and having to always travel afar to compete in Ironman events, I was absolutely delighted to hear that Ironman 70.3 is coming to Edinburgh, a city that I am extremely fond of, where I studied at University and have spent so much time through life. I know all fellow Scottish triathletes will be equally thrilled at the prospect of a home Ironman 70.3 event. I cannot wait to stand on the start line!”
General registration for IM 70.3 Edinburgh will open at 1pm GMT on Monday 19th December. A $25,000 USD professional prize purse will also be up for grabs, plus 35 age-group qualifying slots for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee on the 9th and 10th September 2017.