Sweden’s only Iron distance race the Kalmar Triathlon is set to become an Ironman event next year after the city of Kalmar, the regional council and the World Triathlon Corporation signed a letter of intent to stage the race from 2012.
According to Triangle Events which already runs Ironman France and Ironman Austria in Europe ”discussions about holding an international Ironman competition in Kalmar have been going on for some time between the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), Kalmar municipality and the Region Council of Kalmar County. The negotiations are continuing but a declaration of intent has been signed on location in Klagenfurt, Austria”
Johan Persson, the Mayor of Kalmar said “Being able to host the only Ironman competition in Scandinavia is a conscious initiative which will definitely bring Kalmar into the sport tourism spotlight and will have huge benefits for both the town and the region, so today is a big day for us.
The race currently attracts 600 athletes and this is expected to rise to 2000 from 50 countries under the Ironman brand and reach a worldwide audience of 130 million people when broadcast by ESPN.
In terms of revenue it is set to bring 100,000,000 Krone ($19,352,101) to the region as in excess of 8,000 people visit the town.
“Upgrading Kalmar Triathlon to Ironman Kalmar will boost the tourism economy and have a knock-on PR and social effect for the rest of the county as well”, says the Chairman of the Regional Council, Harald Hjalmarsson.
The existing bike route is expected to change as is the run route (which at present is a three lap out and back along the shore) and will now take place in the central area of Kalmar.
The negotiations with the WTC are expected to be concluded in the summer.