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Full distance IRONMAN comes to Portugal

Chief Correspondent

IRONMAN add another European ‘double’ – this time it’s Portugal

Another week, another new race announcement from IRONMAN. This time it’s a new full distance race, the to be held in Portugal.

Following in the tracks of proven success at other events, IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais will be held was part of weekend double, the day before the current IRONMAN 70.3 Cascais which was won this year by Javier Gomez and Emma Pallant.

In a region where there is demand and if the host venue, area and infrastructure is geared up and welcoming, you’d have to say it makes a lot of sense. The infrastructure required for any large race is enormous – Cascais 70.3 had more than 2,500 athletes – and thus economies of scale and re-utilising that same investment again, on the same weekend, is a big win.

I’ve been to both Vichy (which has been running events over two days for several years now), and Emilia-Romagna (who added the 70.3 this season) and both events coped very well with the additional complexities involved.

With a proven (and popular) race already developed in Cascais, I suspect the new IRONMAN event will be a popular addition.

2020 European IRONMAN two day, double-header events:

  • Vichy, France – 22nd August (70.3) / 23rd August (Full)
  • Emilia-Romagna, Italy – 19th September (Full) / 20th September (70.3)
  • Cascais, Portugal – 26th September (Full) / 27th September (70.3)

Here is the full news announcement:


IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais to be added to existing IRONMAN 70.3 Portugal-Cascais.
Inaugural event to take place on September 26, 2020

The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company, announced today the addition of IRONMAN® Portugal-Cascais. The full-distance triathlon will be added to the existing IRONMAN® 70.3® Portugal-Cascais event weekend with the inaugural IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais taking place on September 26, 2020 and IRONMAN 70.3 Portugal-Cascais taking place on September 27, 2020.

With its mild climate and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Portugal has always been the perfect destination for family holidays. Now, these welcoming conditions are part of both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 event series. With a history of over 650 years, Cascais is just a 20-minute drive from Lisbon International Airport and is located between Sintra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the Village of Oeiras.

“Portugal has quickly become one of our most popular destinations for athletes from all over the world,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It was a logical next step for us to add an IRONMAN event in this amazing location. On behalf of all of us at IRONMAN I would like to congratulate the local team. Over the past three years of IRONMAN 70.3 Portugal-Cascais they have displayed excellence in all aspects of organizing this event.”

Athletes racing in IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais will face a single-loop 3.8 km (2.4-mile) swim in the Bay of Cascais and exit the water at the Fortaleza at Club Naval. After transitioning onto their bikes, athletes will tackle a unique 180.2 km (112-mile) bike course that leads along the Guincho Beach road and to Sintra before athletes are treated to racing on the Formula 1 and Moto GP circuit of Estoril. Athletes end the cycling portion of the race with two shorter loops on flat roads next to the Ocean between Lisbon and Cascais. The three-loop 42.2 km (26.2-mile) run course starts in Cascais and leads back to Guincho Road. It then follows the shoreline to Cabo Raso and back to Cascais for a celebratory finish.

“To me, this is a dream coming true. In 2017 we put Cascais on the international triathlon map. Now we are building on that legacy with a full-distance event. We are looking forward to creating memorable moments for our athletes and a huge economic and athletic impact for all of Portugal,” said Jorge Paulo Pereira, Managing Director of IRONMAN Portugal

“IRONMAN and Cascais belong together. We have welcomed athletes from all over the world and they have embraced our city as much as we have them and this wonderful sport. Their dedication to accomplishing something extraordinary is an inspiration to all and we once again would like to invite them to Cascais to experience the sights and sounds of our home,” added Carlos Carreiras, the Mayor of Cascais.

IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais will offer age-group qualifying slots to the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. General registration for IRONMAN Portugal-Cascais and IRONMAN 70.3 Portugal-Cascais will open on October 23, 2019 at 4pm CEST.

For more information please visit, or direct inquiries to

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit

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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