Waterways Ireland triAthlone, Ireland’s biggest triathlon, was launched in the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre Grand Canal Dock by Liam Heavin, Chairman triAthlone, Matt McKerrow, CEO Triathlon Ireland and Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Director Chris Jones. The event kicked off with a splash as Bryan Keane and Aileen Morrison joined representatives from the Defence Forces and model Nadia Ford.
Waterways Ireland triAthlone encompasses events for participants across all levels of competition; from charity and fun entrants, to those competing at the highest Irish amateur level. For 2010, and for the first time ever in the history of the country, the event is proud to host the 2010 ETU European Triathlon Championships.
A planned festival will take place over four days of multisport from 1-4 July 2010. With over 4,000 national and international competitors taking part, it will be providing a major boost to the local economy, valued in excess of €9 million.
Ireland’s 2009 hero Bryan Keane will return to Athlone in 2010 after claiming first place last year. Aileen Morrision from the Irish elite team will also be racing this year following her second place at last year’s event. The Irish team’s first ever Olympic triathlete, Emma Davis, will be racing as she draws closer to competing in the London Games. Fellow Irish triathlete, Gavin Noble, who was recently victorious at the Fuente Alamo Triathlon in Spain (beating former Spanish World Champion Ivan Raña in the process), will also be competing for silverware in Athlone in July.
Liam Heavin, Chairman triAthlone said; “This is the biggest year yet for Waterways Ireland triAthlone with over 4,000 competitors taking part over the four days. We are thrilled to be hosting the 2010 Athlone ETU European Triathlon Championships; it is testament to the growing popularity of the sport in Ireland. The year on year success we have seen with this event is outstanding and we are certain it will continue. We look forward to welcoming athletes from across Europe and beyond to take part in this year’s event, and of course we’re looking forward to welcoming all the spectators who travel from far and wide to witness the incredible dedication of the athletes.”
For a full triAthlone preview, check out the next issue of 220 Triathlon, one sale 1 June.