The trend for racing Ironman, comprising a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run has seen a sharp rise in participation of the sport both in the UK and abroad.
Ironman Wales, whilst reputedly one of the toughest on the European circuit, is also a key attraction for international athletes with over 44 countries represented. The reason being that Pembrokeshire not only provides a spectacular setting for this ultimate challenge, but also its phenomenal atmosphere that rivals any other Ironman world wide. Whilst the course may push the boundaries for the athletes, the support of the crowds and electric atmosphere is what the event has become renowned for.
2013 Champion Lucy Gossage on crossing the line said “That was hands down the best race experience ever. The bike, it was amazing. Going up the (heartbreak) hill I was crying, the support was fantastic.”
Ironman Wales is proving that it’s not only popular with international athletes, but also with local residents; Entries from Pembrokeshire are continually breaking the record books with 175 entered from the county compared with 92 last year.
Local involvement in the event isn’t limited to taking part either, with 600 local volunteers helping athletes achieve their goal marshalling the course and cheering them on.
Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, said: “I’m delighted to hear that Ironman is proving to be such a success that the places for 2014 have already sold out and that there’s such a high entry level from within Pembrokeshire which shows that the event has inspired so many to take part next year. This is further evidence that Wales is making a name for itself as a host of major sporting and cultural events.
The event also helps raise over £400,000 for Official Charities Scope and Macmillan Cancer Support. Athletes may still be able to secure a place on their Ironman Wales teams, whilst also raising money for a great cause. For further information please contact them via [email protected] or [email protected]
For further information on Ironman and all events please visit www.ironman.com.