Organisers of the Galway Ironman 70.3 have postponed releasing a date for the next Ironman race. The race is held in conjunction with a world series of Ironman contests and has been facilitated by Galway city council since it began two years ago.
Last week, the World Triathlon Corporation, owners of Ironman, released their European schedule which was notable for three ommissions.
According to that schedule, Ironman Regensburg, Ironman 70.3 Galway and Ironman 70.3 Antwerp are no longer on the WTC schedules, and it appeared that the races would no longer carry the Ironman branding
However, the organser of the Galway event said that the omission from the schedule is because they were forced to withhold a date for this sporting event due to a deficiency in funds which they are hopeful will be rectified within the next two weeks. According to Eoin McCormack from E and R Events, the current budget of €65,000 is not an appropriate amount in order to sustain the hosting privileges of the race over the next three years as part of its five year contract.
“The current amount we receive is insufficient. We need at least €150,000 to be in a position to hold the Ironman for the next three years. Other cities are allocated up to €250,000 so we are in talks with Failte Ireland about the possibility of getting an increase in funding.” Mr McCormack emphasised that the organisers of the Galway Ironman are confident that their request will be ratified and the racing schedule will maintain its course for the remaining years of the contract. “There is a public desire to have the Ironman staged in Galway. Over 34 television networks from around the world cover the event and already we have received 350 - 400 participants who pre-registered to run in next year’s race and we’re very confident that the race will continue.”
The Ironman 70.3 course is an elaborated version of a triathlon. The course in Galway encompasses a large portion of the Galway landscape both inside and outside the city boundaries. The event begins with a 1.9km swim in the waters of Galway Bay, followed by a 90km cycle traversing the N59 towards Maam Cross and back, and completed by a 21.1km run through the Salthill and outer Galway walkways.
The Galway 70.3 Ironman has consistently accrued a massive level of participation and it is estimated that 1,500 competitors took part in the 2012 race. Popularity in triathlons is soaring and the triathlon is now recognised as the world’s fastest growing sport.
Hosting an Ironman 70.3 competition in Galway is expected to be a strong economic benefits for the city. Despite these facts, there is a hesitation in contributing the funds needed to stage the race. Mr McCormack is puzzled by this lack of financial support for the Galway Ironman 70.3. “I don’t know why the powers that be aren’t more accommodating, but as I said before I’m very confident that we will be given the money needed to continue hosting the competition. If it is rejected, then the hosting rights will go to another city.”