Galway will welcome thousands of athletes and spectators this weekend as the area prepares to host the annual Ironman 70.3 Ireland for the second year.
Some 2,500 participants have registered to take part in Sunday’s triathlon, bringing around 25,000 overnight visitors to the area through Irish and international triathletes and their families, generating a tourism boost for businesses both in the city and surrounding towns just as the summer season begins to wind down.
The iconic race, which will be carried by 25 international TV networks, begins with a 1.9km swim in Galway Bay followed by a scenic 90km cycle through Connemara and a 21.1km run through Galway and Salthill.
There will be road closures in place from 7am to 2pm in the county and from 4am to 5pm in the city to facilitate the Ironman event.
People planning road journeys on the day are asked to check if the roads they intend to use are open.
The closures will, in particular, affect all residents of the N59 from Maam Cross to Galway and city residents on Upper and Lower Newcastle, St Mary’s Road, Upper and Lower Salthill, the Promenade, and Grattan Road.
Residents on the Lough Corrib side of the N59 or on the N59 itself will not be able to cross the road or travel along the road with their vehicles after 7am. In a change from last year's Ironman event the Barna road R336 will be open all day, which should allow easier access to and from Connemara.
GAA supporters have been asked to check the scheduled road closures, as fans making their way to the All Ireland Senior Football semi-final will need to consider the impact closures when making their way to Croke Park.
Similarly, any city residents living on the roads mentioned above, or in estates which are accessed from these roads, are advised to move their cars outside the area affected by the closures on the evening before the race.
Anyone travelling from the western side of these roads is advised that the Quincentennial Bridge will be open all day.
Ironman organisers are also providing an information line to help people plan their journeys around the closures which can be contacted at 091 395783 or [email protected]