Ballarat hopes to host half ironman in November

BALLARAT is pursuing the hosting rights for a major half ironman event later this year.

Ballarat Regional Tourism is in negotiations with Ironman Asia Pacific for a race likely to be scheduled in November.

A BRT spokesperson said that the talks were “ongoing”, but would not say when or if the deal would be officially signed off.

“Ballarat Regional Tourism is always looking at events that are economically viable – and an Ironman is one of them,” the spokesperson said.

The 70.3 event, named for its total length (70.3 miles or 113 kilometres), comprises a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run.

Ironman Asia Pacific has issued a tweet stating “#IM703Nov16 Save the date. The rumours are true ...”, accompanied by a photo depicting the Eureka flag.

Ballarat triathlete Janet Jones says an Ironman event would provide a further “boost” to Ballarat’s already healthy sporting culture.

“It would be a fantastic boost for Ballarat’s triathlon identity around Victoria and Australia,” Jones said.

“It would make athletes want to come and compete down in Ballarat and it would be much more cost effective for many of our Ironman groups that compete down in Port Macquarie and Melbourne.

“An ironman would sit right up there with the national cycling that we host and since we’re so close to Melbourne it would certainly be possible to attract a lot of people,” she said.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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