IRONMAN Announces First Full Distance Race in Italy

October 25th, 2016

IRONMAN Emilia Romagna to take place on September 23, 2017; General registration to open November 4, 2016

FRANKFURT, Germany/TAMPA, Fla. (October 25, 2016) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, announced today the addition of the IRONMAN® Emilia Romagna triathlon. The inaugural race in Italy will take place on September 23, 2017. In addition, a 5150™ Triathlon Series event will take place on September 24, 2017.

The race will be located in Cervia, a seaside town with a population of 29,000 in the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna, which lends its name to the event.

“Emilia-Romagna is honored to welcome an international event of this scale,” said Andrea Rossi, Undersecretary to the Regional Council Presidency. “We consider our region a land of sports, and hosting an IRONMAN race confirms our ability to bring to life an event with such magnitude. It is in this spirit that we welcome athletes and supporters who want to experience the joy of this wonderful sport in a great location.”

Characterized by beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water, the history of Cervia traces back more than 1,300 years. Located just over an hour away from the province’s capital Bologna, Cervia is easily accessible by car and train as well as via Bologna International Airport, which is served by state airline Alitalia and low-cost carriers from all over Europe.

“This is an excellent opportunity to combine triathlon and tourism,” added Andrea Corsini, Regional Minister for tourism of the Region Emilia-Romagna. “Cervia is an ideal choice for an IRONMAN event and we are excited to welcome athletes from all over the world. This race will help us showcase the beauty of our Riviera to even more people, and attract new visitors.”

IRONMAN Emilia Romagna will be the first ever full-distance IRONMAN event in Italy, with the country previously hosting the IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlon in Pescara, located 300 km south of Cervia.

We are thrilled to be adding a second event in Italy which will contribute to the further growth of our European series,” said Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Last year more than 3,000 Italian athletes raced in our European races. Bringing a full-distance IRONMAN race to Italy is something we have been working towards for quite some time – it is a great way to provide more opportunities and thank our loyal Italian athletes.

Athletes will start their race on the beach of Cervia. The swim course will consist of one loop of 3,8 km, which includes an “Australian exit” – a quick shore leave between two portions of the swim course – after approximately 2,5 km. The two-loop bike course of 180,2 km starts on the promenade of Cervia and moves through the hills of Romagna. Athletes then head through the picturesque natural park of Salt Pans, where pink flamingos can be seen in their natural habitat. Next, it runs through the vineyards of famous Sangiovese and follows the “street of wine and taste” of Romagna. After passing the top of the hill in Bertinoro, the course descends back to Cervia. The total elevation gain of the bike is about 700 m. Athletes will finish their race on a flat three-loop 42,2 km run course. After reaching the port canal, the course continues through the main streets of the nearby Milano Marittima. Athletes then enter the heart of Cervia and cross the square of the historic and iconic “salt warehouse” before reaching the finish line on the beach promenade.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us but especially for the people of Cervia and Emilia-Romagna. With the IRONMAN race on Saturday and the 5150 Triathlon Series event on Sunday we are not bringing one, but two races to this exceptional town. It’s been a pleasure working on creating these events and we have experienced an extremely positive and welcoming atmosphere. This will be a true triathlon festival and we are proud and excited to be part of it,” said Björn Steinmetz, Regional Director Central Europe at IRONMAN.

IRONMAN Emilia Romagna will offer a $40,000 USD professional prize purse and 40 age-group qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship.

General registration for IRONMAN Emilia Romagna will open at 2 pm local time on November 4, 2016 at Athlete inquiries may be directed to

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit For media related inquiries, please email



A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 42 countries. For more information, visit

About Wanda Sports Holding

Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.

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Dan Berglund

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