|IRONMAN 70.3 Pula, Croatia: Press Conference, Igor Ribaric (l.), Founder of IRONMAN 70.3 Pula and Thomas Dieckhoff, CEO IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa|
Where every stone tells a story.
The stage is set for the European IRONMAN TriClub Championship Final at the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3® Pula®, Croatia – and what a stage it is. Athletes will swim in the crystal clear water of the Adriatic sea, bike through the stunning landscape of Istria and finish their race in a setting that can only be described as epic: the Pula Arena, one of the best conserved Roman amphitheaters in the world which hosted gladiator battles for more than 500 years.
After swimming 1,9 kilometres, biking 90,1 kilometres and running 21,1 kilometres (totalling 70.3 miles), athletes will not only be able to call themselves IRONMAN 70.3 finishers but will also be part of history as finishers of the first ever IRONMAN event in Croatia and the Balkans.
"I am very much looking forward to Sunday when beautiful images of Pula will be going out to the world. I am happy that in addition to the many great cultural events this city is hosting, we are adding a great sports event. This will further foster Pula's reputation as a great host city", said Aleksandar Matic, Deputy Mayor of Pula.
Following the swim in a protected coastal bay, athletes will take on a fast, one-loop bike course that passes through several small picturesque villages, rows of cypress trees and inland vineyards before returning to the Pula marina. The relatively flat, three-loop run course leads competitors through Pula, passing many attractions such as the Augustus temple and the triumphal arc.
26 clubs, one championship
„For years it’s been my dream to host an IRONMAN event in my hometown. Now, that dream is becoming reality and I am looking forward to seeing our athletes experience this beautiful course first-hand,“ said race director Igor Ribaric.
It will also be the first time the best European triathlon clubs meet to decide their European IRONMAN TriClub Champion. The clubs, which depending on their number of members were split into five divisions, had to qualify through one of the 10 races leading up to the final event in Pula. Twenty-six clubs with 192 athletes among them will battle for the championship title in each of the five divisions.
“The European IRONMAN TriClub Championship has proved to be a huge success. With more than 2000 athletes representing their clubs throughout the qualification races, the program has had a great start in 2015 and we are very much looking forward to extending this success into the future,” said Thomas Dieckhoff, CEO of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa.