Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets as the Ironman 70.3 returns to Staffordshire this weekend.
The race culminates with a half marathon around Stafford after a 1.2 mile swim at Chasewater and 56-mile bike ride through the Staffordshire countryside.
A record number of entries have been received by organisers for the event on Sunday (12 June.) And Stafford Borough Council say they expect crowds to be lining the streets of the town and at the finish line in the Market Square to cheer competitors home.
A number of road closures are in place and for more details of times and access routes - as well as a guide of the course for spectators - go to IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire - Anything is Possible.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, the Cabinet Member for Leisure at the borough council, said the event puts the spotlight on the town. “This is a fantastic event which provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the county to the thousands who take part from around the globe or come to support the competitors.
“The atmosphere in the heart of the town is electric as these athletes make their way down the home stretch to the finish line with the deafening cheers of families, friends, residents and visitors urging them on.”
She added: “Ironman is one of the most popular events in the Staffordshire sporting calendar. I hope people will be able to join me on the day to celebrate the competition returning to the county and that local businesses will take advantage of the busy weekend.”
The event is a collaboration between Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
With around 3,000 registered to take part, this year’s event marks the first full capacity race since 2019, following disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic which led to event cancellation in 2020 and a smaller athlete field in 2021.
Event registration earlier this month showed a more than 6% increase from the 2019 edition of Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire with athletes from 55 countries including France, United States, Poland, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Athletes will undertake a 1.2-mile reservoir swim at Chasewater Country Park, a meandering 56-mile bike course through the heart of the Staffordshire countryside and Cannock Chase AONB, and a 13.1-mile run alongside the River Sow and into Stafford Town Centre.
Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills Philip White said: “We’re pleased to see IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire return to the county this year and with more athletes than ever before. It means we can once again showcase Staffordshire to visitors from across the UK and the world.
“We’re an outward looking county with fantastic natural assets, visitor attractions, and places to stay, and we work closely with our neighbours to provide an excellent visitor experience. We look forward to welcoming athletes, their families and friends to Staffordshire in June.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire marks the first IRONMAN race of the season in the UK, kicking off what is sure to be an outstanding summer of triathlon across England and Wales.
Press Release No 5908