The future of Ironman events in Ballarat looks promising after a positive third year of the Ironman 70.3 was held at the weekend.
The event enjoyed a “slight increase” in numbers compared to last year with about 1200 entrants taking part across all categories.
Ironman head of partnerships Jeff Gillies said he had received plenty of positive feedback in regards to the course and Ballarat itself.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of the athletes and they’re feeling a real connection with the town of Ballarat,” Gillies said.
“The course here, a lot of the athletes are attracted to the swim because it’s a nice structured lake swim, it’s not exposed to wild surf conditions – it’s a part of the course they look forward to.
“And the run leg, being around the lake, not having to pound pavement – it’s a fantastic running track, perfect running conditions.”
Gillies said the next step to growing the event was branching out internationally. 2016 saw around 50 international entries and Gillies said there was plenty of scope for that number to grow in what would be a great step towards putting Ballarat on the global Ironman map.
“We’re happy with it, we’d love to continue to grow the event here in Ballarat, we always look for long-term partnerships.
“We’ve had some cities out there in our global portfolio who have run 35 years worth of events and the town becomes synonymous with that brand.
“We have about two-and-a-half million Ironman athletes around the world, continuously racing and they hear about Ballarat so there’s a good connection and we look forward to a really strong future in the region.”
The winner of the pro men’s event also had an international flavour as Frenchman Denis Chevrot held firm to claim victory.
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