IRONMAN has added its first race in Russia – IRONMAN 70.3 St Petersburg. The inaugural event will take place in St Petersburg and will be held on July 19, 2020.
“This is a historic day for IRONMAN and triathlon,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa for The IRONMAN Group. “We are delighted to welcome Russia and St Petersburg to our series of events as we continue to bring racing opportunities to people around the world.
“Sport has the ability to transform and bring people together from all cultures, countries and continents. My compliments go out to the local organising team and the City of St Petersburg officials who have worked hard to bring an IRONMAN 70.3 event to this beautiful city. It has been nothing short of impressive.”
After Moscow, St Petersburg is Russia’s second largest and Europe’s fifth largest city. The Baltic city was built by Czar Peter I on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and the shores of the Neva river. Known as ‘Venice of the North’ due to its many waterways, over 5.3 million inhabitants call it home, while more than 7 million tourists visit the city every year.
Considered Russia’s capital of fine arts for decades, St Petersburg boasts 221 museums, 2,000 libraries and more than 80 theatres along with its palaces, gilded steeples and significant artworks along its canals.
The 1.9 km (1.2-mile) swim course is located in the historic St Petersburg rowing channel, also home to the St Petersburg Rowing Championship held annually. The 90.1km (56-mile) bike course promises to be a major attraction as athletes will start on the rise of the impressive Yacht Bridge, heading towards Lake Lahtinskiy Razliv.
At approximately 17km (10 miles), athletes will reach what is arguably the most picturesque part of the course as they ride 28km (17 miles) along the St Petersburg sea-wall where athletes will be able to see some of the marine fortifications created by Tsar Peter I.
The furthest part of the bike course takes athletes to the walled town of Kronstadt, an old key naval defence location for St Petersburg and part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Group of Monuments. With a total of 435m of climbing and three loops in total, the race is expected to be ‘fast and filled with great views’.
Heading out onto the 21.1km (13.1-mile) run course, athletes will explore Yelagin Island, home to Yelagin Palace, before heading to the finish line near the Gazprom Arena stadium.
“An event that thousands of Russian triathlon fans have been waiting for will finally become reality in 2020,” said Petr Ivanov, president of the Russian Triathlon Federation. “The most popular triathlon series in the world comes to Russia. We have a strong organizing team in place, and we are looking forward to work with the government of the Russian Federation and the administration of the City St Petersburg.
“For many triathletes, July 19, 2020 will become the most important day of the year and I wish all of them a great race day.”
Sergey Bordrov, CEO of the local organizing committee added, “I would like to build upon the words of IRONMAN founders John and Judy Collins. We will swim, bike and run; and we will remember it for the rest of our lives. We are looking forward to a great event for all those who are ready to challenge their capabilities. Join our race in St Petersburg to experience our city and our country all while competing in an historic event.”
The 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 St. Petersburg will offer age-group qualifying slots to the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah, USA. General registration for IRONMAN 70.3 St. Petersburg will open on December 16, 2019, at 16:00 Moscow time.