Twice is a charm. After a two-year hiatus in 2019 and 2020, IRONMAN racing will be returning to the community of Maastricht-Limburg in 2021 with the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® Maastricht-Limburg to be held on August 1, 2021.
The community in the southeastern part of the Netherlands previously hosted IRONMAN Maastricht-Limburg four times between 2015 and 2018, and Maastricht Multisport Festival – consisting of a 5150 Triathlon Series Event, a 4:18:4 Short Course Triathlon and an IRONKIDS race – in 2019.
Now, IRONMAN 70.3 Maastricht-Limburg will become the marquee event for the Multisport Festival which will include all other race distances and formats for 2021 as well.
“We are delighted to return to Maastricht-Limburg with the IRONMAN brand,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa for The IRONMAN Group. “But then again we never really left. Multisport Festival Maastricht was a huge success in 2019 and adding an IRONMAN 70.3 race was the logical evolution. It is our way of embracing the community and its dedication to the sport of triathlon.”
With the addition of the new event, The Netherlands will host two IRONMAN 70.3 races in 2021, including IRONMAN 70.3 Westfriesland on June 27, 2021.
“This event showcases our ambitions to position Limburg as an international top sports region. IRONKIDS is a great investment in the future in which school and sports clubs can join in. That was a big reason for us to bring the event to Limburg, which is something we have spent considerable time on with various parties behind the scenes,” said Joost van den Akker, Regional Minister of Sports of the Province of Limburg.
The Province of Limburg and the Municipality of Maastricht have pledged their full support: “We are looking forward to the new event,” added Bert Jongen, Alderman of Sports of the City of Maastricht. “IRONMAN has been a success story for us, and the City has seen a considerable economic impact throughout the years. The new set up of the event weekend offers various options that will cater to young athletes, first timers and experienced athletes alike.”
Athletes of the new IRONMAN 70.3 Maastricht-Limburg will start their race at St. Servaasbrug (The Netherlands’ oldest street bridge) and then set out on a 1,9 km (1.2-mile) spectator-friendly swim course in the Maas River. After one loop on the swim course, they then transition onto the newly designed 90 km (56-mile) bike course that leads along various beautiful hotspots in the South of Limburg. With a few small climbs and some straight roads, the one-loop course offers the best of both worlds. The final 21,1 km (13.1-mile) run course provides athletes with an unforgettable experience as they complete three loops that run through the historic city center and pass famous places like Onze Lieve Vrouwen plein and Het Vrijthof. The finish line is located at the central de Markt square.
“It’s a challenging time to create a new race, but the Maastricht region, The Netherlands and the surrounding countries are ready,” said Vincent van der Stouwe, the race organizer for IRONMAN in The Netherlands. “Limburg is now inextricably linked to triathlon. The region and its great accessibility are a true asset to further grow the sport, and we are looking forward to welcoming athletes from the neighboring countries such as Belgium and Germany but also from all over the world.”
General registration for IRONMAN 70.3 Maastricht-Limburg will open at 2.00 pm CET on December 15, 2020.
The 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Maastricht-Limburg will offer 30 age-group qualifying slots to the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on December 10-11, 2022 in Taupō, New Zealand. For more information, please visit www.ironman.com/im703-maastricht