2013 will see the introduction of a new entry in the ‘long course’ endurance triathlon calendar – the ‘TT Triathlon’ on the Isle of Man.
The Island’s terrain will provide the ultimate test for competitors with a 2.4 mile swim in the Irish Sea (‘Y Keayn Yernagh’), followed by a 112 mile cycle across spectacular mountain scenery, through quiet villages and the Island’s capital, Douglas, before finishing with a full marathon – 26.2 miles – of lung-bursting fresh coastal air.
The folklore-filled Island, heavily influenced by both Celtic and Norse cultures, nestles at the very heart of the British Isles. In Manx mythology, the Island was ruled by Manannán mac Lir, a Celtic sea god, who would draw his misty cloak around the Island to protect it from invaders. One theory about the origin of the country’s name (‘Mann’) is that it is named after Manannan.
Competitors will experience the only place in Britain where the seven kingdoms of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Heaven and the Sea can all be seen at the same time.
Endurance triathletes will compete on part of the world famous TT Course, taking in the iconic TT Grandstand, the stunning descent of Bray Hill and the torturous Mountain Road section, made famous by over 100 years of motorbikes performing at the peak of their limit.
Although the Isle of Man is well known for motorbike races, it also has a long established cycling heritage, or what locals refer to as ‘the silent ones’. TT Triathlon competitors will follow well-established routes that have been ridden by many of the great names of world cycling. These include Laurent Fignon, Tom Simpson, former world hour record holders Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree, and Eddie Merckx, who all competed in the Island’s International Cycle Week.
Current BBC Sports Personality of the Year, cycling star Mark Cavendish (‘The Manx Missile’), Olympic Team Pursuit rider Peter Kennaugh and fellow Team Sky teammate Ben Swift all use the Island’s challenging roads to train for their international races.
Experienced long distance triathlon race director and course designer, Richard Wallace, will lead the event organising team. He believes that the Isle of Man is the perfect setting for extreme sports events.
Richard Wallace commented: “The Isle of Man really is one of the truly great venues in the world for hosting endurance sports events and is a course director’s dream. The route will encompass a large part of the Island itself and competitors will get to tackle the iconic TT Mountain Course, stunning coastal scenery and a wide range of natural paths and trails that form the course.
“The Island is well versed at hosting large scale sports events with good air and sea links and a broad range of accommodation to suit all budgets. The focus of the Triathlon will be on the athletes’ experience and we want to create an event that recognises the incredible achievement that comes with completing an endurance competition.”
Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, the Political Member responsible for Tourism in the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development commented: “Anticipation is already growing around this exciting sporting competition. Both spectators and competitors can be assured of a thrilling event and a very warm Manx welcome. The Isle of Man Government and www.visitisleofman.com are proud to be associated with the new TT Triathlon, and I wish all those taking part every success.”
Entries open on Tuesday 4th September 2012 and those interested in participating can visit www.TTTri.com to register their interest now.