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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Bad weather forces cancellation of Ireland's first Ironman swim in Cork

The 2,500 athletes will now take on a bike-run race.

Cork is staging Ireland's first full-distance Ironman.
Cork is staging Ireland's first full-distance Ironman.
Image: Getty Images for IRONMAN

IRELAND’S FIRST FULL-DISTANCE Ironman has been reduced to a bike and run event after poor weather conditions in east Cork forced organisers to cancel the swim on safety grounds.

The 2,500 competitors were due to begin the 3.8-kilometre sea swim off Claycastle Beach at 6.30am this morning, but concerns had been raised over the water and air temperatures in the build-up.

After further consideration this morning and with a Met Éireann weather warning in place, the swim safety crew and race referee cancelled the first leg of the race and determined that competitors would begin on the bike, at the new start time of 7.20am.

Met Éireann has issued two Status Yellow rainfall warnings for 13 counties today, including Cork. 

“As always, the safety of our athletes is our main priority and we thank you for your understanding,” a statement read.

The two-lap 180-kilometre bike route sees competitors take in the views of Youghal Bay, Ballycotton Island and Cork Harbour, before swinging by Midleton and Youghal Town Centre.

From there, the full marathon [26.2 mile] course will provide the final challenge of a gruelling event, which is the first of its type to be staged here after Dún Laoghaire previously hosted shorter Ironman 70.3 events. 

Among those taking part is two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee.

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Ryan Bailey

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