IRONMAN has added its first event in Slovenia, the I FEEL SLOVENIA IRONMAN 70.3 Slovenian Istria triathlon. The inaugural race will take place on 23 September 2018 and features a unique cross-border bike course through Slovenia and Italy. General registration will open on 18 December 2017.
Lending its name to the race, the region of Slovenian Istria is located approximately 100 km south-west of the country’s capital of Ljubljana. With access to the Adriatic Sea and rolling hills as well as a ‘perfect touristic infrastructure, it is a place made for triathlon’.
“Years of work have culminated in finally bringing an IRONMAN 70.3 race to this region,” said Race Director Milan Erzen. “To us, this is more than a race. It’s the promotion of a lifestyle expressed through the I FEEL SLOVENIA brand which encourages a green, active and healthy Slovenia.”
He continued, “I would like to extend my gratitude to our partner municipalities Koper, Izola, Ankaran and Piran for their help and commitment to this race. We are looking forward to bringing athletes from around the world to this wonderful region and present Slovenian Istria as a perfect tourism destination. The preparations for the event are already in full swing and our team’s excitement grows daily.”
Athletes will start their race in Koper, a Mediterranean city located at the Adriatic Sea. Its Italian name, Capodistria, derives from one of its former names – Caput Histriae, which means ‘Capital of Istria’. The fortified town and its buildings, including the cathedral and multiple palaces can be admired from Ukmar Square, where the 1.9-km (1.2-mile) spectator-friendly swim course starts and ends.
A 90.1-km (56-mile) bike course leads through two countries – Slovenia and Italy – as participants ride through the old town of Koper and the city of Ankaran. In Milji (Muggia) athletes cross the state border between Slovenia and Italy and ride along the Italian coast. On its return to Slovenia the course passes Osop, one of Slovenia’s oldest villages with stone houses and picturesque streets.
Two more ascents follow in the hinterland of Slovenian Istria and the course ends with a long descent where athletes are able to enjoy A view over well-known Slovenian tourist destinations, Koper, Izola and Piran.
A two-lap 21.1-km (13.1-mile) run course concludes the race. The course leads through the centre of Koper and then along the coastal road to Izola and back. The run course is flat with its highest point just 5m (16 feet) above sea level. The finish line is located at the promenade of Koper right next to the sea.
“Slovenia has quickly gained a reputation as one of Europe’s top destinations for swimming, cycling and running,” added Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Managing Director IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The country may be small in size but it has a big heart for sports and healthy living. With its wonderful nature, access to the Adriatic Sea and stunning cities, the region of Slovenian Istria is an ideal location for an IRONMAN 70.3 event. We are excited about next year’s inaugural race.”
I FEEL SLOVENIA IRONMAN 70.3 Slovenian Istria will offer 30 age-group qualifying slots for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship being held in Nice, France.