Athlone to welcome 15,000 spectators for ninth triAthlone

Over 15,000 spectators are expected to line the river banks and streets of Athlone this Saturday July 5 as the Waterways Ireland triAthlone returns to the town for its ninth year.

With over 1,200 participants, Saturday sees the return of Ireland’s original town-centre triathlon for its ninth edition on the River Shannon in Athlone. It promises to be an exciting spectacle, with the stars of the future battling it out in the river and on the streets ofAthlone for national honours.

Waterways Ireland triAthlone begins with a swim in the River Shannon, after which competitors will 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.

The Vodafone Triathlon Ireland Sprint Series returns this year, alongside the Paratriathlon National Championship, which has found its home in Athlone since the hosting of a record-breaking European Championships in 2010.

First off the pontoon this Saturday will be the Super Sprint triathletes at 3pm.

2013 Athlone European Junior Cup champion and former World Junior Championships bronze medalist Con Doherty leads the field and is favourite to be crowned champion this year, but certainly not without a challenge.

The hosting of the Paratriathlon Championships places this fast-developing sport centre stage in Athlone. Para athletes from across Ireland and UK will take part and compete for the title of Paratriathlon Champion. Triathlon Ireland is confident many of the athletes competing will develop and represent Ireland in the 2016 Para Olympic Games in Rio.

Speaking about the event, chairman Liam Heavin said: “2014 promises to be another very exciting year in Athlone, and it’s a privilege for us to host the top national athletes as part of the Vodafone National Series. This has been a team effort and couldn’t be achieved without the support of Waterways Ireland and Westmeath County Council.”

Waterways Ireland TriAthlone have developed a free and downloadable app for the 2014 event. The goal is to give spectators, family members, and supporters live timing for users so they can track athletes as they make their way around the course.

For further information on Saturday’s event, see www.triathlone.com

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