A NUMBER of Youghal businesses opened their doors from as early as 4am this morning to compensate for overwhelming demand generated by the weekend’s Ironman events.
Ironmen, women and children from all walks of life and countries showed they had nerves of steel with a series of long-distance triathlon races completed on foot, bikes and in water.
Nonetheless, it was the businesses who were the real winners on this occasion. A number of eateries were reported to have been serving breakfasts from 4am this morning as business showed no signs of wavering.
Petrol stations also opened early to make the most of what has been an extremely profitable few days for the town.
Chairman of Youghal Business Alliance, Ger Flanagan, who also owns Boardwalk Coffee, said he expects the town to continue to benefit from Ironman-driven business for months to come.
“The Ironman has been a huge success story financially. People have been coming here during the year to train and view the course. Windmill Hill is becoming an iconic location with people coming just to have their photo taken with it.”
He described the scenes in Youghal this morning.
“We’re seeing people serving breakfasts and tea and scones from 4am in the morning. Filling stations are open. It’s not just the athletes who need the services. There are 800 volunteers who also need to be looked after.”
The so-called Ironmen and women are leaving their mark on the area both figuratively and literally.
He confessed that businesses came under pressure at times from the overwhelming demand as special allowances were made for urgent stock replenishment.
“Business owners had to get more stock in as demand dictated. Liam O’Brien who is the local agent from Avonmore came in with an extra delivery of milk on Saturday evening. Both the Gardaí and Ironman organisers facilitated him with access to different locations around town that would otherwise have been closed. Seeing how everybody worked together was very positive. Nobody could have estimated the numbers of people who turned out for the event.”
He spoke of how the Ironman has offered local businesses a new lease of life during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He described the event as a phenomenal economic boost.
“This time we had three days of racing rather than one. The numbers of spectators were huge. We had three times as many people to view it yesterday as we did on Saturday.”