Geelong to Become Australian Home of Snap Ironman 70.3
More than 1000 triathletes are expected to converge on the scenic bayside city to contest the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run - covering a total of 112.9km or 70.3 miles. The Geelong event, which will be one of 18 held around the world, will have 75 qualifying slots on offer to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship held in November in Clearwater, Florida, USA.
IMG Director of Triathlon, Dallas O’Brien, says that Geelong is a perfect combination of location and infrastructure for the Ironman 70.3 to be a success.
“We are excited to be launching Ironman 70.3 Geelong to be held in February next year. The City of Greater Geelong has been very supportive in helping us bring an event of this calibre to Geelong and it is great for the sport of triathlon in Victoria. Geelong is the perfect location to be placed on the world stage of triathlon.” said O’Brien.
Ironman 70.3 only comes to Australia once a year, so it is a great opportunity for Australian athletes to qualify for the world championships without having to travel overseas.
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Cr Bruce Harwood welcomed today’s announcement.
“We are thrilled to be the only Australian city to be part of the international Ironman 70.3 series,” Cr Harwood said, “Our stunning Waterfront provides the perfect location to host world class events such as this.”
“Ironman 70.3 will join a number of major sporting events held in our region and will play a huge part in raising the profile of Geelong on the international scene.”
Ironman champions Chris Legh (fourth place at last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship) and Geelong’s own Jo King are also lending their support to Ironman 70.3 Geelong. Legh, a multiple winner of Ironman 70.3 events around the world, had his Ironman career cut short due to health issues but has quickly built a reputation as this sport’s premier athlete.
“The world wide Ironman 70.3 series couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Last year at Port Macquarie (Ironman Australia) I realised my health issues weren’t going to allow me to compete at the level I wanted to over the Ironman distance. However, my health is not compromised racing over half the distance and with the huge success of Ironman 70.3 my career has been extend for several more years.
“Having a leg of the Ironman 70.3 series in my home state, just down the road from Melbourne, is exciting and I look forward to racing a truly world class event in Australia,” commented Legh.
Jo King is currently on a comeback trail after having a break from the sport three seasons ago. King recently won the Tasmanian Half Ironman and while she is focussing on Ironman Australia in April, King can’t help but have Ironman 70.3 Geelong in the back of her mind.
“My goal is to get back to the level I was at three years ago (King is a junior and senior ITU World Champion and winner of Ironman Germany) and to do this I need to race the best. Having a world class event in my home town allows me to race the best on my terms and next February’s race is an important part of my plan,” said King from her home in Torquay.
The Snap Ironman 70.3 Geelong will take place on February 10, 2008
Ironman 70.3 is the world championship branding of the half Ironman distance
The location will be at Eastern Beach, Geelong
More than 1000 athletes are expected to enter the event
There are 75 qualifying slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida
$US10,000 is the prize pool for the Snap Ironman 70.3 Geelong
Over 1.5 million people will tune into Ironmanlive.com for updates on the Snap Ironman 70.3 Geelong
The world’s best Ironman 70.3 athletes are expected in Geelong including Chris Legh and Jo King
Chris Legh is the most recognisable triathlete in the USA due to the launching of the Gatorade advertisement featuring his struggle to the finish in Hawaii, played during Superbowl 2005
Jo King is the only athlete to win both a junior and senior ITU world championship
Jo King currently lives just outside of Geelong in Torquay
Sydney’s Craig Alexander is the current Ironman 70.3 world champion
Ironman 70.3 covers the distances of 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run (which equals 70.3 miles)
For more information on the Snap Ironman 70.3 Geelong contact:
Shane Smith 0433 148 734 firstname.lastname@example.org