STAFFORDSHIRE County Council and Stafford Borough Council have announced that IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire’s stay in the county has been renewed for a further three years, and will be back on 10 June 2018.
Established in 2015, the event quickly grew to become the biggest IRONMAN 70.3 race in the UK. After three years, the event has seen nearly 8000 athletes competing, also attracting some of the UK and the world’s best professional athletes. It also became the fastest selling IRONMAN 70.3 race in the UK selling out within minutes in 2015.
Since it was announced earlier this year that the 2017 edition would be the last to finish at Shugborough Estate, anticipation for the new venue announcement has been high. From 2018 onwards Stafford Town Centre will be the host venue for the athlete village, expo, second transition area, run course and finish line, bringing the festive race atmosphere right into the heart of the town.
Logistically, this makes it easier for athletes, their supporters and spectators to make their way to the athlete village as well as allowing supporters to get closer to the race than ever before.
The move will also see a change to the run course with the second transition area located at Riverway and the run course consisting of three laps in and around the town centre, finishing in Market Square. The bike course for the most part retains all the elements that have made it an attraction over the last three years with the exception of some improvements. The swim will remain at Chasewater Country Park.
“Having seen the event grow, we are excited that IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire will be ongoing for another three years. The race has become one of the UK’s biggest and most popular events and we are confident that the changes will improve the experience of the athletes while also truly incorporating the town of Stafford,” said Lisa Dent, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire Race Director. “We are intent on working closely with Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council to ensure that we maintain the high standards previously set and create a world class race experience for our athletes.”
County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:
“IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire has fast become one of the county’s major sporting events, so we’re really pleased to be able to continue this and showcase what a fantastic county Staffordshire is to live, work and visit. By bringing the race to Stafford Town Centre we can ensure even more people will have the opportunity to get involved, and more local businesses will benefit.”
Patrick Farrington, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said:
“We are very pleased to have helped bring IRONMAN 70.3 into the heart of our county town and we look forward to welcoming the athletes, their families and supporters.
“We already stage fantastic events in the centre of Stafford – including the half marathon and Stafford 10k – and, with the final leg of the IRONMAN 70.3 now finishing in the town, this is a great addition to our sporting calendar as well as helping provide a boost for the local economy.”
“We have great places to stay, visit, shop, and eat, and there will be large and enthusiastic crowds to cheer you on with a fantastic setting for the finish of the race.”
The 2018 edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire will take place Sunday 10 June 2018 and general entries will open 13 September 2017. For more details, visit the event website, www.ironman.com/staffordshire70.3. Detailed course maps and descriptions will be released at a later date.