PLACES for Ireland's first Ironman in Youghal next June have now completely sold out.
The 2,650 places have been snapped up by athletes willing to undertake a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run as part of the event course.
Sixty-two countries will be represented with 55% of athletes coming from overseas – 21% are from the USA alone.
Mayor of the County of Cork Patrick Gerard Murphy said the event will bring Cork's name to the global long-distance event community. The event offers 40 qualifying places for the prestigious Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
“Ironman Ireland gives the opportunity to promote not just East Cork but all that Cork has to offer. Ironman will showcase all that is great about Cork, our beautiful beaches, historic towns and world-renowned hospitality to a world-wide audience.”
County Hall chief executive Tim Lucey said the decision by Ironman Ireland to stage the event shows how East Cork investment is set to grow.
Cork will be centre stage at one of the most prestigious worldwide sporting competitions with Youghal at the heart of the action. This is another example of how investment in East Cork is bringing real benefits to communities and businesses,” he added.
The race will get underway with a 3.8km swim from Claycastle beach in Youghal Bay, with a two-lap 180km (112-mile) bike course following this. Athletes will ascend Windmill Hill twice.
The athletes will then encounter a combination of flat country roads along Youghal Bay, Ballycotton Island and Cork Harbour. The course goes into Midleton and will rise to a maximum elevation of 190m above the town before turning back to Youghal.
After tackling the bike course, the participants will embark on the 42km (26.2-mile) run through the centre of Youghal, taking in Youghal Harbour and the Clock Gate Tower. Athletes will run under the arch of the Clock Gate Tower in the centre of town during each lap before finally running under the finishing arch at Green Park.