Waterways Ireland triAthlone 2011 gets the go-ahead!
Waterways Ireland triAthlone will host the Triathlon Ireland Sprint Championships 2011, as well as feature in the Triathlon Ireland National Series
On Thursday afternoon February 3rd, a meeting was held in the Athlone Town Council Chambers between representatives of Athlone Town Council, Athlone Gardai, local traders groups, Athlone Chamber of Commerce, the Athlone Vintners and the triAthlone committee. This was the most recent in a series of meetings that have happened since the 2010 Waterways Ireland triAthlone & European Championships. These meetings were initially debriefs on 2010, but have continued on to discuss the strengths and weakness of the event, the potential future for a triathlon in Athlone, as well as providing a forum for ideas and suggestions on all aspects relating to the event operations, timetable and traffic restrictions.
At the previous meeting in November, the Waterways Ireland triAthlone team were asked to carry out an assessment of the existing bike route and the potential to stage this on the east side of town. A complete and in-depth overview of this assessment was presented to all assembled representatives after a 3-month investigation which had been carried out by the triAthlone committee with assistance from a Triathlon Ireland Technical Delegation. Following this, and in discussion with the Gardai and Town Council, it was agreed that a switch to an east-side bike route (which would, as a result, also encompass moving the transition area from Custume Barracks) was not feasible. In addition to the technical, logistical and health/safety obstacles, the consensus of the meeting was also that moving the swim and bike would take away the very essence of what has made the event so successful and popular over the last number of years; culminating with the successful hosting of the European Championships in 2010.
A proposed route, outline of road closures and a timetable for the running of the 6th Annual Waterways Ireland triAthlone has been agreed without objection from the floor. The details are as follows:
• Waterways Ireland triAthlone will take place on Saturday July 2nd 2011
• The event will be an evening only race, starting at 3pm
• Swim start entry point will be at Athlone Boat Club, with the swim taking place between the two Town Bridges.
• Proposed road closures for the bike route will operate from roughly 3pm to 7pm only
• The plan is to remain on the existing 2010 bike route, from the back gate of Custume Barracks, via the Old Galway Road, Baylough to a turnaround points between Athlone and Ballinasloe on the what is now the R446
• The Finish Line will remain on Church Street
• The race will open immediately for entries on www.triathlone.com
Speaking after the meeting Waterways Ireland triAthlone Chairman Liam Heavin commented “we have taken everyone’s feedback on board after what was a mammoth event in hosting the European Championships in 2010. We very much acknowledge the help, support and ideas of all involved in helping us through this process. Many people have contributed to the outcome and ultimately I believe this will strengthen the event. I’m looking forward to a bright future for the Waterways Ireland triAthlone, and believe that the continued, closer involvement of our local traders will see us grow from strength to strength”.