IRONMAN is expanding into Colombia for the first time with the addition of the IRONMAN 70.3 Cartagena triathlon. The inaugural event will take place on 4 December 2016, in the modern port city of Cartagena de Indias on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, in the north western corner of South America.
“The city is widely recognized as an international destination for its historic setting, beaches, water sports and watercraft and is an ideal location for our first event in Colombia,” said Steve Meckfessel, Managing Director of Global Race Operations for IRONMAN.
“Cartagena is essentially an open air museum, which allows the IRONMAN 70.3 triathletes to enjoy stunning urban, historic and natural scenery while competing in the race.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 Cartagena triathlon begins with a 1.2-mile (1.9K) swim in the protected waters of Bahia de las Animas, before entering T1, located at the monument square of Camellón de los Mártires.
The one-loop, 56-mile (90K) bike course will take athletes through the quiet natural mangrove area heading towards Barranquilla on the Via al Mar Sea Highway. The 13.1-mile (21K) run course will lead athletes through the historic downtown of Cartagena winding through its castle walls and cannons reminiscent of ancient times.
“Colombia is a unique place that is filled with beauty,” said Wilber Anderson, CEO of local event partner Colombia Tri Events. “Cartagena’s welcoming people, delicious food, and historical wonders create the perfect backdrop to what will be a world-class IRONMAN 70.3 event. I am sure that the union between the Cartagena, Colombia brand and IRONMAN will give the athletes and their companions a unique experience.”
Colombia is bordered by the Caribbean Sea on the north side and the Pacific Ocean on the west side. It has a wide range of climates and topography, making it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The territory is divided into a flat region to the east and the Andes Mountains to the west. Its beauty is attributable to its clear rivers, snowy peaks, and desert surfaces, all of which are within a few miles from each other.
Cartagena de Indias is a ‘fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 6.8 miles of centuries-old colonial stone walls built by the Spanish.’
Cartagena’s old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 and encapsulates all the charm of Spanish Colonial architecture. On the run portion of the event, athletes will pass a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas.
The IRONMAN 70.3 Cartagena will offer a US$25,000 professional prize purse and 40 age-group qualifying slots for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.