Major coup for €8 million Cork Ironman as world star Brownlee signs up

Posted on: June 9th, 2019

Cork Ironman Alistair Brownlee: The triathlon superstar is set to make his long distance debut in the Rebel County in two weeks time.

Cork Ironman has received a major boost with news that Alistair Brownlee is to compete.

A double Olympic gold medal winner and one of the biggest names in world triathlon, Brownlee will be making his long distance debut at the Irish event after several false starts.

Two years ago injury kept him off the start line at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and delayed a possible long-distance debut.

But he came back by qualifying for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa where he finished second after an epic battle with Jan Frodeno and Javier Gomez.

The timing of his long-distance debut has been a hot topic since his 2016 Olympic triumph. And the fact he has chosen the inaugural Cork event is a major boost for it.

With the Ironman World Championships in Kona now in his sights, he has effectively chosen Ireland as the starting point for his long-distance career.

“We already knew the eyes of the triathlon world would be on Cork this June, but with Alistair Brownlee choosing to make his Ironman debut here, viewers and local supporters will be in for a treat,” said John Wallnutt, Cork race director.

“Ironman Cork was always going to be an historic event being Ireland’s first ever Ironman race.

“Now, it becomes the race where one of the greatest triathletes of our time takes the next step in his triathlon evolution. This is something we can’t wait to see.”

The race, based out of Youghal, takes place in two weeks time – June 23rd – and will involve 2,300 competitors.

It sold out last year and athletes have been flocking to the area to train on the cycling course.

Ironman Cork will begin with a 3.8km swim from Claycastle beach in Youghal Bay. The competitors will then take on a 180km bike course into Midleton with views of Youghal Bay, Ballycotton Island and Cork Harbour.

The concluding leg, a 42km run, will take the athletes on four laps of a course around the Youghal area which will offer an excellent chance to view competitors.

Cork County Mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy said Brownlee’s inclusion in Ironman Cork topped off what was always going to be a great event.

“Ironman Cork is going to be an amazing spectacle for both athletes and visitors,” he said.

“I would like to welcome Alastair together with all his fellow competitors, from at home and abroad, to Cork where we will play host to an incredible sporting event with Youghal centre stage.”

Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, said the event would also bring a financial and tourism windfall into the area.

“Fifty five per cent of all Ironman Cork participants will arrive to Cork from overseas,” he said.

“It is set to generate an estimated €8 million economic boost to the local economy.

“But this is only the beginning and I am confident that this is the start of many wins for Cork county.”