County gears up for Iron Man Wales 2012
11:47am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in News
Pembrokeshire is getting ready to welcome more than 1,650 athletes from more than 40 countries who are taking part in the weekend’s Ironman Wales 2012.
More than 10,000 spectators are expected to turn out to cheer on the competitors as the gruelling event comes to the county for the second year in succession on Sunday.
Based in Tenby, and taking in the scenery of south Pembrokeshire, the Ironman challenge features a 2.4 mile swim and 112-mile cycle ride before a 26.2 mile marathon - all without a break.
The event splashes out at 7am with the spectacular sight of the swimmers striking out from Tenby’s North Beach. Once out of the water, the athletes run through the town to collect their bikes for the ride across the whole of the south of the county. The marathon then takes place on a four-loop course around the Tenby and New Hedges area, with the first athlete home expected at around 3.30pm.
The race will be led by a 30-strong Pro field battling it out for the $25,000 prize purse, including Pembrokeshire's own Oliver Simon, Ironman UK champions Eimear Mullen of Ireland, and the UK's Dan Halsworth.
A strong Pembrokeshire contingent features amongst the 600 first-time Ironman athletes, including Tenby undertaker Simon Rossiter who was inspired to enter after being a volunteer marshal last year.
Said Kevin Stewart, managing director of Ironman UK and Ireland: "We are really looking forward to returning to the beautiful countryside of Pembrokeshire. The breathtaking scenery offers a stunning, yet challenging, course with a very special atmosphere."
The weekend's racing gets underway with IronKids on Saturday at 2pm on Tenby's North Beach, featuring a swim-run for five-14 year olds. There will also be an Iroman Expo in the Rectory Car Park, Tenby from today (Thursday) until Sunday which is free for the public to attend.
Pembrokeshire County Council has set up an interactive online map so that visitors and residents can see which roads are likely to be affected by the event and when.
Live Facebook and Twitter feeds will also be streamed on the day to keep people updated on the road situation, incidents and race information.
For the digital map, log on to the council’s dedicated Ironman website www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/ironman then go to Race Day Travel
For the live feed, follow the council’s website, Facebook and Twitter (#ironmanpembs)
The A40 and A477 will be unaffected by the event. A spectators' park and ride system will operate between Carew Airfield and Tenby.r general Ironman Wales queries, ring the council’s contact centre on 01437 764551.