IRONMAN has introduced the newest addition to its Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) series in 2019 – IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech in Morocco.
Situated in the northwest corner of Africa, Marrakech will become the first city of the Maghreb to host an IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon, with ‘competitors from all over the world expected to take part on a course that will feature one of the fastest bike legs of the global IRONMAN 70.3 circuit.
“It is a dream come true that the iconic and internationally acclaimed competition, the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon, will be held for the first time in the Maghreb by Morocco,” said Simo Azelarab, President of NAPECO and the event’s organizer. “This event is sure to attract athletes from across the globe and will inspire Moroccan athletes to compete in one of the most personally-satisfying endurance challenges in the world.”
Steeped in history, the city of Marrakech offers athletes the opportunity to compete in a unique venue that features monuments and landmarks such as the Medina of Marrakech, the Bahia Palace, the Madrasa, the Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square and the Majorelle Garden.
“We are constantly evaluating where we can take our races next, and Marrakech will certainly provide an incredible race experience for domestic athletes as well as those coming from further afield,” Stefan Petschnig – Managing Director of IRONMAN EMEA. “We know from our work in South Africa that there is a huge appetite for endurance sports on the continent, and we are so excited to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 Series to this vibrant destination.”
Athletes will begin their day with a single-loop 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim in the waters of Lake Lalla Takerkoust. They will then embark on the 56-mile (90 km) cycling course, winding through the Berber village of Tahanaout and the green meadows of the Ourika Valley with the snow-capped Atlas Mountain peaks as a backdrop.
The participants then embark on a two-loop 13.1-mile (21 km) run in the heart of the Red City where athletes will pass historical monuments such as the Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret while ‘having every chance of securing a personal best with the flat course.’ The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon concludes in the iconic Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan. IRONMAN adds that this provides a ‘never-to-be-forgotten finish for those racing in Marrakech’.
“Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most memorable experiences. It shines by its exceptional cultural and natural heritage,” added race organiser Simo Azelarab. “Visitors can either immerse themselves in the history of this city through its various monuments, palaces, museums and wonderful gardens or discover its various avant-garde and cosmopolitan places.
“October in Marrakech is also a month of blissful equilibrium after the heat of the summer, leaving idyllic racing conditions for the athletes.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech triathlon will offer 30 age-group qualifying slots for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Taupō, New Zealand, taking place on November 28-29, 2020.