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Ironman triathlon to pump €19m into economy

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Triathlete Maire Triona Keane (left), model Roz Purcell and Sports Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin yesterday.

Triathlete Maire Triona Keane (left), model Roz Purcell and Sports Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin yesterday.

Triathlete Maire Triona Keane (left), model Roz Purcell and Sports Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin yesterday.

DUBLIN will play host to the world-famous Ironman triathlon in 2016 – delivering an €18.7m tourism boost to the capital.

But first the city will be the focal point for the shorter '70.3' version of the famed endurance test in August next year.

It is one of the toughest physical and mental challenges posed to mankind, and will provide an early opportunity for athletes to secure points for the 2016 World Championships.

Event organisers say the economic value of hosting this much sought-after event could be as much as €18.7m in direct spending into the local economy, as well as substantial benefit from worldwide TV coverage.

Oisin Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin, says the event will attract a flood of participants from around the world.

"Triathletes usually come for two or three bed nights and bring two or three supporters with them, so that will have a direct boost to the local economy," he added.

The exhausting '70.3' is a worldwide event over distances that are half those of an Ironman race.

It will begin with a 1.9km swim in Dun Laoghaire bay, followed by a 90km cycle traversing the highways and byways of Co Dublin, as well as the Wicklow mountains.

It is also expected that the final leg will culminate with a 21.1km run through the city centre, finishing in Merrion Square. The event is expected to attract up to 3,000 competitors and 20pc of entries will be reserved for foreign athletes.

Irish Independent