IRONMAN, the biggest name in triathlon worldwide, has today announced two new enhancements for 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland. The event, which will debut on January 20 and serve as the official Asia Pacific Championship, will offer 30 qualifying slots for the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
The event, which carries a prize purse of US$75,000 and 1,500 points for the professional field, will also offer 50 age group qualifying slots for the 2013 IRONMAN World Championships 70.3 in Henderson, Nevada.
In addition, the new event in Auckland will guarantee a limited number of team slots for the 2013 race.
The Asia Pacific region is growing rapidly in terms of athlete participation and offers triathletes from Europe and the Americas unique, varied and idyllic venues and races.
“The Asia Pacific region is rich in IRONMAN heritage and is experiencing remarkable growth in terms of races and participation,” said Andrew Messick, CEO, World Triathlon Corporation (d/b/a IRONMAN). “It presents some of the most unique and enjoyable experiences for any athlete.
“Part of the lifestyle of an IRONMAN participant is to enjoy the travel, camaraderie and experiences that our great sport can offer. We hope many will try some of these great races in unique locations in Asia Pacific.
“The offer of slots directly to the IRONMAN World Championship from IRONMAN 70.3 in Asia Pacific is an added incentive for triathletes competing in the region to realise a dream of racing in Kona, which remains the Holy Grail of our sport.”
The 30 qualifying slots will be available at the IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland race in 2013 and after that will be rotated annually around other races within the Asia Pacific region. The qualifying slots will be awarded under the standard IRONMAN policy.
IRONMAN is keen to nurture the development of grass roots involvement in the sport both with its 5150 Triathlon Series, but also in providing team participation in IRONMAN 70.3 events.
“The Ironman mantra is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE,” Messick said. “The journey for our athletes has to start somewhere, and we feel that racing as part of a team alongside some of the sport’s stars in an IRONMAN 70.3 event may be that beginning.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland will offer a limited 100 spots in the new teams’ category.
The inaugural race, which takes athletes through iconic parts of the inner city, includes a swim in the Viaduct Harbour, cycle over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and run along the waterfront.
For further details and to enter: www.ironmanauckland.com