All systems go for Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 South Africa 2015

JANUARY 19, 2015

Triathletes from across the country and around the world will converge on Buffalo City on 25 January for the eighth edition of the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 South Africa, one of the biggest events of its kind on the continent.

A field of almost 3 000 athletes will start their day with a 1.9-kilometre ocean swim off East London's Orient Beach, where the breakwaters of East London Harbour ensure relatively calm and warm water.

This will be followed by a 90.1-kilometre bike ride over a challenging course featuring rolling hills and stunning scenery, and a 21.1-kilometre run over a flat course comprising two loops with spectacular ocean views.

Participation in Ironman 70.3 South Africa has grown over threefold, from 864 entrants in the inaugural 2008 event to 2 926 entrants this year, and some of the biggest names in international triathlon will by vying for the 2015 title - and a share of the US$50 000 (R580 000) prize purse.

For amateurs, 50 slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, taking place in Austria in August, will be up for grabs.

"This is an opportunity for the city to market itself," Madeleine Roux, chairwoman of the Border-Kei Chamber of Commerce tourism committee, told Dispatch this week. "Those in the tourism industry will stand to gain because most accommodation places have been booked out. So from the tourism side, this gives the city a chance to shine."

Buffalo City spokesman Keith Ngesi said the Metro was excited about the event as it contributed significantly to the local economy, "particularly at this time of the year, which is generally regarded as slow for business".

Members of the public who can't make it down to Orient Beach or the Esplanade on race day can get live updates on, or track their favourite athletes by SMSing the athlete's race number to 39408 at R15 per SMS.

2015 IRONMAN SA events 

Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa - 25 January 2015, Buffalo City 

Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship - 29 March 2015, Nelson Mandela Bay 

Standard Bank 5150 Bela Bela Triathlon - 22 August 2015, Bela Bela 

Standard Bank 5150 African Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni - 1 November 2015, City of Ekurhuleni 

For more information,, or follow @IMSouthAfrica on Twitter using the hashtag #IM703SA.