Celebrity teams go head to head at the inaugural Ironman Ireland next month

Some of Ireland’s most popular celebrities will find themselves in unchartered water this September as they take part in the first IRONMAN IRELAND 70.3. Famous faces such as Today FM’s Ray D’Arcy and Jenny Kelly, singer Brian Kennedy, and TV presenters Gráinne Seoige and Katherine Thomas will all be seen participating in the IRONMAN 70.3 Team Relay. Roseanna Davidson and Keith Barry will also be in attendance to support the teams who all train at the same gym, Byrne Fitness in Dublin. Indeed Paul Byrne and Keith Duffy will both be competing on behalf of Irish Autism Action.

The team relay will be integrated into the IRONMAN 70.3 individual race which will see 2500 athletes taking part in a 1.9km swim in the crystal-clear waters of Galway Bay, followed by a challenging 90km cycle course, leading them out to the scenic Connemara region and back into Galway city where the competitors will take on a gruelling 21.1km run along a spectator-friendly route taking in the Spanish Arch with the finish line in Salthill Park.

The celebrities recently confirmed their involvement with the event which will be televised worldwide. Barry McCann of Croí, the official charity partner of the IRONMAN 70.3 Team Relay, is delighted to have such a variety of celebrities on board: “Their varied sporting backgrounds show that the team relay is achievable for any three people who are active and enjoy a challenge. We are encouraging friends, companies, and fitness or sports clubs to enter a team and join the celebrities in the biggest sporting event Ireland will see this year.” The fundraising manager added: “IRONMAN 70.3 is going to be a massive boost to the Galway economy and will also raise vital funds for Croí in these uncertain times.”

Triathlon is now the fastest growing individual sport in Ireland and the IRONMAN is the pinnacle of this sport worldwide. The relay aspect of this event is also becoming hugely popular, enabling teams of three to tackle the Galway course, with each participant choosing his/her favourite discipline from swim, bike or run. This allows specialists in each of the individual disciplines to play to their strengths.

The electronic timing chip, worn on the ankle, will act as the baton for the team and is passed from swimmer to cyclist and cyclist to runner in the transition area. The IRONMAN 70.3 Team athletes will race under the same rules as the individual racers, although all three team members can join up on the last dash to the finish line to cross together and receive their medals.

Entries for the relay are closing soon with only 20 places remaining. The charity relay entry fee is €700 per team of three, which includes IRONMAN 70.3 branded T-shirts and finishers medal for each team member. Registration is available online at www.croi.ie or by calling Croí on 091 544331.

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