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IRONMAN head to Morocco: IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech announced

IRONMAN expands its portfolio of races to North Africa with the addition of IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech, Morocco in October 2019

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New race for 2019: IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech

One in, one out?! In a week that has seen the end of IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh after two years, comes the announcement of a new addition to the IRONMAN Europe, Middle East & Africa calendar – IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech, Morocco.

That’s not the only event that we are expecting to be added for 2019 either. At the IRONMAN World Championship Pro Press Conference this year, Andrew Messick – CEO and President of IRONMAN – indicated that additional races were also expected to be announced in Russia and India.

Here is the full announcement of the addition of Morocco which – as far as we are aware or our memories will go back – is the first IRONMAN / IRONMAN 70.3 race on the continent of Africa, outside of the country of South Africa, where IRONMAN (Port Elizabeth) and IRONMAN 70.3 (East London and Durban) is strong. The country of course recently successfully hosted the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth.

Here is the full announcment.


Marrakech in Morocco to host IRONMAN® 70.3 on October 27, 2019 – race registration opens on November 13, 2018

IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, is pleased to announce the introduction of a new IRONMAN 70.3 race that will join the EMEA circuit in 2019 – IRONMAN® 70.3 Marrakech in Morocco.

Situated in the north-west corner of Africa, Marrakech will become the first city of the Maghreb to host an IRONMAN 70.3 race, with competitors from all over the world invited to take part on a course that will feature one of the fastest bike legs of the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit.

“It is a dream come true that the iconic and internationally acclaimed competition, IRONMAN 70.3, will be held for the first time in the Maghreb by Morocco. We hope that this event will attract athletes from across the globe and will inspire Moroccan athletes to complete one of the most personally-satisfying endurance challenges in the world.” said Simo Azelarab, president of NAPECO, the event organizer.

Stefan Petschnig – Managing Director of IRONMAN EMEA – was delighted to be bringing an IRONMAN 70.3 race to a new part of the globe. “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. 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 to this vibrant destination,” he said.

Steeped in history, the city of Marrakech offers athletes the opportunity to compete in a truly-unique venue, that features stunning 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.

“Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most memorable experiences. It shines by its exceptional cultural and natural heritage. 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.  Also, October in Marrakech is a month of blissful equilibrium after the heat of the summer, leaving idyllic racing conditions for the athletes,” added Mr Azelarab.

The athletes will begin their day with a swimming loop in the calm and warm waters of Lake Lalla Takerkoust. They will then embark on the rapid cycling route – one of the fastest of the 70.3 circuits – that winds 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 race will conclude with a two-loop run in the heart of the Red City where athletes will have every chance of securing a personal best for a half-marathon due to the flat nature of the course, punctuated by historical monuments such as the Koutoubia minaret.

Participants will complete the 70.3 race circuit at the iconic Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan, providing a never-to-be-forgotten finish for those racing in Marrakech.

There are also 30 qualifying slots available for athletes to race at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

Athletes wishing to register for a place at the IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech should visit ironman.com/marrakech70.3. Any questions relating to this competition should be sent to the following address: marrakech70.3@ironman.com

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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