The World Triathlon corporation made it official this morning and selected Mexico for the first Ironman race in that Mexico's history. The race is slated for November 29, 2009 and registration is now open.
The new race will provide 50 slots to winning athletes to the Triathlon World Championships in Kona.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World Triathlon Corporation Selects Mexico for 2009 Ironman Competition
Cozumel welcomes prestigious Ironman Competition for the first time in Mexico History
COZUMEL, Mexico (October 1, 2008) - Fierce competition will meet serene island life when Cozumel hosts close to 2,000 athletes competing in Mexico's first ever Ironman Competition November 29, 2009. Cozumel, Mexico was selected as one of the World Triathlon Corporation's Ironman locations for 2009, along with major cities including Zurich, Switzerland; Lake Placid, NY; Nice, France and Frankfurt, Germany.
"Hosting the prestigious Ironman Competition is a great opportunity for Cozumel and the entire country," said Raul Marrufo, director of the Cozumel Promotion Board. "We recognize the advantages of promoting sports and tourism together, especially in today's active society."
Cozumel will offer the perfect setting for competitors and spectators alike with its natural landscape, clear water and reputation as an adventure destination. Competitors will swim through the pristine waters of Chankanaab National Park, bike along the islands exotic perimeter and race through Cozumel's historic downtown area. Lush landscape and views of clear blue Caribbean waters will provide competitors with the ultimate triathlon experience.
Many of Mexico's top athletes will compete in the Ironman event including Uzziel Valderrábano and Nelly Becerra. Uzziel Valderrábano set a record at the 2006 Austrian Ironman, completing the course in 8 hours 51 minutes and 27 seconds. Nelly Becerra, who has qualified for the World Championship in Hawaii on five occasions, holds the best Mexican female record of 10 hours 4 minutes and 31 seconds, which she set at the 2001 Ironman competition in Panama City, Florida.
"We welcome events like Ironman that help position Mexico as a world-renowned sporting destination," said Félix González, Governor of Quintana Roo. "Competitors and spectators will be exposed to all the natural wonders Mexico has to offer."
Cozumel's Ironman journey will begin on November 29, at 7:00 a.m., with athletes competing in a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run to complete the event. Athletes will be competing to secure one of 50 qualifying spots, available through this event, for entry into the Ironman 2010 World Challenge, which will take place in Kona, Hawaii in October 2010.
Male and female athletes of varying ages will be participating, and there will be a professional prize purse of $50,000 for distribution among the top five male and female finishers. Online registration is now open. Interested participants can find out more about Cozumel Ironman 2009 and register at www.ironmancozumel.com.
The Cozumel Ironman 2009 schedule of activities is as follows:
- Thursday, November 26, 2009 - Registration for the event will begin.
- Friday, November 27 - Swim training and an introductory meeting for athletes will take place. Registration for media will be held on this day as well
- Saturday, November 28 - Bicycle registration will take place in the transitioning area.
- Sunday, November 29 - Cozumel Ironman 2009 challenge begins at 7:00 a.m.
- Monday, November 30 - Prizes and awards will be presented to the winners and the 50
competitors who qualified for the 2010 Ironman World Challenge in Kona, Hawaii will be announced.
The island of Cozumel, named "The Land of the Swallows" by the Maya who inhabited it more than 2,000 years ago, is located in the state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Situated along the largest reef network in the Western Hemisphere and home to the famed Palancar Reef, discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1962, Cozumel boasts a first-class international dive and snorkel reputation. Cozumel has also established itself as a prime golf, honeymoon and family vacation destination. The island is recognized as a top vacation destination, noted for its diversity, offering something for every traveler, and great vacation value. Visit Cozumel on the World Wide Web at http://www.islacozumel.mx.com.