Athlone gears up for seventh annual triAthlone event
Some 15,000 spectators expected to line the streets as over 2,000 people participate in the event
By Maria Daly
Athlone’s largest annual sporting event, triAthlone, was launched yesterday, Thursday June 14 with the help of Irish Olympic 2012 triathlete Gavin Noble, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, and TV personality Kathryn Thomas.
Now it’s in its seventh year, the event will take place on Saturday June 30 in the town and will see thousands of atheletes, supporters, and sports fans descend on the town for the weekend.
CEO of triAthlone, Liam Heavin, said that the continued success of the event was down to the help he continues to receieve from traders, councillors, Waterways Ireland, the Army, and the many volunteers that help out each year.
“This is more a partnership than anything,” Mr Heavin told the Advertiser. “We are very grateful for all the help the Defence Forces has given us. We wouldn’t be able to run it without them.
“We’ve been in talks with local traders since Christmas and we hope having the event in the afternoon will help everyone,” he added.
So far Athlone has played host to 14,000 participants, including three 2012 Irish Olympic triathletes. And over €10 million has been generated for local businesses through the seven years.
Ireland’s longest running and largest triathlon event has an event for everyone this year: Try-A-Tri, sprint, and Olympic distance. Relay teams are also welcome and can consist of either two or three members splitting the disciplines of swim, bike, and run between them. Waterways Ireland triAthlone will also host the first ever Irish Paratriathlon Championships. Limited places are still available on the newly updated event website.
The hosting of Ireland’s first ever para-triathlon championships and will see athletes from all across Ireland battle it out for the inaugural title para-triathlon champion. Triathlon Ireland is confident many of the athletes competing will develop and represent Ireland in the Rio 2016 Para Olympic Games.
“Waterways Ireland TriAthlone is gearing up for yet another huge event this year and we want to encourage people of all abilities to take part. We are delighted to be hosting the Irish National Olympic Distance Championships in this, the 2012 Olympic year. We are thrilled to have former competitor and Irish 2012 Olympic TriAthlete Gavin Nobel here today to support our event; and wish both him and Aileen Morrison the very best of luck in London 2012,” Mr Heavin added.
Waterways Ireland triAthlone begins with a swim in the river Shannon, from which the competitors will then take to their bikes for a cycle through south County Roscommon before the exciting town centre run which will see the event finish in the heart of Athlone.
With over 2,000 people expected at the annual event and 15,000 spectators expected to line the streets, Athlone is gearing up for yet another great spectacle.