COUNTY Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy has raised the Ironman flag in Youghal. This summer’s race will attract 2,670 athletes from 62 countries.
The flag-raising was part of the official launch of Ireland’s first-ever full Ironman race, with preparations well underway.
It coincided with a visit to east Cork by a delegation from the town of Tenby, in Wales, who are in their ninth year of the Ironman event.
The Tenby delegation met with the local organising committee, and also with business interests in Youghal, to share their experiences of running the event. The inaugural race will take place on June 23.
2,670 athletes from 62 countries will compete, with 55% of all participants travelling from overseas.
The field will feature the highest contingent of USA athletes, at 550, for any 2019 Ironman European race thus far.
Athletes will also be coming from countries such as Spain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Barbados.
The event will give an estimated €8m boost to the local economy.
Mayor Murphy highlighted the tremendous community support for the event: “I am in no doubt that east Cork will give athletes and visitors to the event, in June, the cead mile failte welcome. With Cork centre stage at one of the most prestigious sporting competitions in the world, and Youghal at the heart of the action, we all want Ironman Cork to be an amazing spectacle.”