Dún Laoghaire replaces Dublin on 70.3 European calendar

Set in one of Ireland's most scenic seaside towns, Ironman 70.3 Dún Laoghaire will be held next August 19, replacing Ironman 70.3 Dublin.

| November 9, 2017 | NEWS

Dun Laoghaire lighthouse near Dublin, Ireland.

Dun Laoghaire lighthouse near Dublin, Ireland.

Photo >Daniel M. Cisilino | Dreamstime

Dublin is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations (just under nine million people visited Ireland last year and one has to suspect a lot of them spent at least a bit of time in the capital), so it's not hard to envision an Ironman 70.3 race there serving as a great race-cation. 

Next year the race is being moved to Dun Laoghaire, which is a seaside town that's renowned for its beautiful coastline and rich maritime history. It's just 20 km away from Dublin airport and was the site of the swim course for Ironman 70.3 Dublin, so it's not a dramatic change to the race dynamics.

Set for August 19, 2018, Ironman is hoping the event will attract 2,000+ competitors - no doubt Dun Laoghaire's tourism bureau is hoping many of those will be tourists. In 2015, the first year of Ironman 70.3 Dublin, the race attracted 1,500 Irish athletes and 1,000 international athletes from 40 countries according to published reports. (Which must have been based on registration numbers - in the end the race had just under 2,000 finishers.) In 2016 the race had just under 1,600 finishers, this year there were just under 1,500 athletes who finished the race.

The race will feature one transition area, which will no-doubt enhance the spectator experience. The 1.9 km swim will take place at Sandycove, home of the famous Martello Tower (which houses a James Joyce museum and was featured in his book Ulysses - he spent six nights there in 1904). The 90 km bike heads through Wicklow Mountains National Park, while the run goes through the streets in town before finishing "with Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dublin Bay as the backdrop."

The race will offer 50 age-group qualifying slots for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France.