The Sunshine Coast is adding to its stable of world class major events by hosting the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 in Mooloolaba on September 15, 2013.
The 70.3 is the fastest-growing triathlon series in the world, and the Coast will be part of 59 such events held through 24 nations.
Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the new event to Mooloolaba, which is also scheduled for 2014 and 2015.
“The Sunshine Coast has a superb reputation for staging major events, and in partnership with the State Government, we are now adding another string to our bow,” the Mayor said.
“We already host the hugely popular Noosa, Mooloolaba and Caloundra Triathlons along with the Sunshine Coast Marathon, and the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast fits in beautifully.
“We are very proud to have won this event – it is a great addition to the major event product on offer in this region and reinforces the Coast’s reputation as an ideal destination for staging major events,” he said.
“We are open for business and a superb tourism destination – and this event will provide a great opportunity for tourism operators and local businesses.
“Conservative estimates indicate the event will be worth in excess of $3 million each year to the Coast, through more than 20,000 visitor nights.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank the Newman Government and in particular, Tourism and Events Queensland, who worked closely with council to ensure this event was secured for the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
Economic Development (major event) portfolio councillor Jason O’Pray said the event was “the single biggest race of its kind in the world”.
“It involves a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike segment and a half-marathon run of 21.1km,” he said.
“The 70.3 is a challenging undertaking but one that is achievable with the correct training.”
Cr O’Pray said the event is expected to attract 1500 competitors plus their families to the region – along with thousands of visitors “which is great for our tourism industry”.
“The Sunshine Coast is building a reputation as Australia’s natural location for triathlon and multi-sport events and securing the 70.3 just reinforces this sentiment.
“At the end of the day, there is nowhere better to host these events than the Sunshine Coast,” Cr O’Pray said.
SCDL CEO Steve Cooper said Mooloolaba is the perfect destination for this event.
“I commend our Sunshine Coast council on securing this new event that gives us another opportunity to showcase this very special part of the world,” he said.
“It’s not just the accommodation sector that will receive an economic boost from the Ironman 70.3, it’s also the local cafes, transport operators, attractions and retailers.”