When we entered into a partnership with IRONMAN South Africa only two years ago, we undertook not only to secure the long-term sustainability of one of the country’s premier endurance events, but also to develop IRONMAN SA’s IRONMAN 70.3 Series into a world-class triathlon that attracts participants and media from all around the globe.
Using our numerous Standard Bank IRONMAN events as evidence, it’s fair to say that we have achieved and exceeded our goals. One particular example is the Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban, to be held on 19 June in the coastal city: Launched in 2015, the Durban triathlon’s seamless organisation, gruelling yet breath-taking course and enthusiastic support have made it an unmissable event on the sporting calendar for triathletes from far and wide.
According to Jenny Pheiffer, Executive Head: Group Brand, Sponsorship and Events at Standard Bank, the number of competitors and their supporters are up from only a year ago, showing our dedication to breaking barriers and making meaningful change in the sporting industry.
This year, a total of 3 023 athletes will be participating, compared to 2015’s 2 914. The number of male athletes has increased from 2 180 to 2 214, and the number of female participants is now 805, compared to last year’s 722. We’re also excited to report that 34 countries from around the globe will be represented, including nine from Africa, making this year’s Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban a truly international endurance event.
More traction from foot traffic and tourists is also expected due to the fact that the triathlon is now established in the city. Undoubtedly, World Cup winning legend Springbok John Smit will be amongst those who will be giving their heart to the challenge as well fellow Boks Ollie Le Roux and Stefan Terblanche. They will be pacing through some of Durban’s most charming areas, with retired Protea Andre Nel and former Sharks player John Slade together with them.
Durban can expect a significant economic boost as 87% of athletes will be travelling to the city from outside Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN). This translates into direct spend in the region over the winter period.
Not only is this helpful to the city’s bottom line as winter is generally regarded as its ‘slow period’, but the cooler season allows for weather that should provide perfect triathlon conditions. That, combined with our skills and support, KZN’s unique beauty and hospitality, and the excitement of the athletes, should make for an unforgettable 2016 Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Durban.