Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy has raised the IRONMAN Ireland Cork flag in Youghal marking Ireland’s first ever full IRONMAN race with preparations well underway for both organisers and athletes.
The flag raising coincided with a visit from a delegation from Tenby Wales who are in their ninth year of the IRONMAN event. The Tenby delegation met with the local organising committee and also with business interests in Youghal to share their experiences of IRONMAN, Pembrokeshire, Wales, giving valuable insight into the running of this highly anticipated event. The inaugural race will take place on June 23rd 2019.
2670 athletes from 62 different countries will compete with 55% of all participants travelling from overseas. The field will feature the highest contingent of USA athletes, at 550, for any 2019 IRONMAN European race thus far, with 21% coming from across the Atlantic. Athletes will also be coming from countries such as Spain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Barbados, giving the race a truly-international feel. The event is also set to give an estimated €8 million economic boost to the local economy.
Speaking of the plans to date, Mayor Murphy highlighted the tremendous community buy in to the event, “I am in no doubt that East Cork will give athletes and visitors to the event in June the “Cead Mile Failte” welcome. With Cork centre stage at one of the most prestigious sporting competitions in the world and Youghal at the heart of the action we all want IRONMAN Cork to be an amazing spectacle.”
Marc Owen of Pembrokeshire County Council also credited the input of Cork County Council and the local organising committee on the work they have undertaken to date in preparing for the event. He particularly commended the joint Council and IRONMAN “town hall” meetings with communities in Youghal, Ballymacoda and Cloyne which have taken place noting that further such meetings in the other communities are planned for the coming weeks.