Sunshine Coast gears up to welcome 3000 international Ironman athletes
  • Tuesday 30 August 2016

The Sunshine Coast is set to host the biggest international event of the year, when more than 3000 competitors from 70 countries swim, bike and run at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship this weekend.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason OPray said the world class event was set to provide invaluable exposure and a significant economic contribution for the region.

“The international exposure of hosting the event here is invaluable as our beautiful beaches and sunny surrounds have been showcased to a global audience in the qualifying stages and will be live streamed worldwide during the actual event,” Cr OPray said.

“The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is also estimated to generate an economic contribution of $15 million into the local economy.

““The 3000 Ironman athletes accompanied by family members or friends will spend on average five nights on the Sunshine Coast and many will stay longer to make the most of their stay.”

Key highlights of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event week include:

  • Thursday 1 September: Ocean Swim at Mooloolaba
  • Friday 2 September: Boardies Beach Run and Parade of Nations at Mooloolaba
  • Saturday 3 September: IronKids race at Mooloolaba
  • Sunday 4 September: IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships throughout the Sunshine Coast

Cr OPray said the four days of events would provide a great spectacle for Sunshine Coast residents.

“Friday afternoon will be a great event when the 3000 athletes take part in a Parade of Nations on Mooloolaba beach,” Cr OPray said.

“The IRONMAN athletes of the future will also be out in force on Saturday, when the best of our local kids take part in the IronKids race at Mooloolaba.

“And what better way to spend a sunny Father’s Day weekend then by being front row at this international event on Sunday, when the 3000 elite athletes compete for the World Championship.

“We’d love the Sunshine Coast to turn out in force to welcome and cheer on these amazing national and international athletes.

“If you’re coming down to Mooloolaba over the weekend, the best places to park are at Mountain Creek High School and Mari Street at Alexandra Headlands, where shuttle buses will be running services in the morning and afternoon.

“Additional parking is also available at Maroochydore Rugby Union Club, ready for residents wishing to visit the beaches and parks for Father’s Day.

“Hosting an event of this magnitude obviously requires a significant amount of logistics and planning and we would advise local residents to visit our website for details on all changed traffic conditions and road closures.

“The event organiser has tried hard to minimise the interruptions, however, I appreciate there is an impact on locals across the course in particular. I am very sorry for this and hope that it won’t be too much of a burden. I know that all the locals will do their best to provide the athletes and visitors of the world a great Sunshine Coast welcome.”

Lot 104 Café owner Bruce Ferguson said the international athletes have already started to enjoy the local hospitality along the Mooloolaba esplanade.

“We looking forward to this big event and it’s already evident that this event has much more of an international flavour than the annual triathlons,” Mr Ferguson said

“Already we have had American, British and German contingents dining with us – and we’re gearing up to welcome many more guests over the coming week.”

For more information on changed traffic conditions, shuttle buses, parking, spectator zones and the event schedule visit

IRONMAN Fast Facts

THE IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is exactly half the distance of the holy grail of triathlon, the IRONMAN World Championship held in Kailua-Kona Hawaii.

THE 70.3 refers to the distance of the race in miles, in kilometres the athletes will cover a 1.9km swim, 90km ride and finish with a 21.1km run.

THE 70.3 world championship is in its 10th year and for the first time ever is being held in Australia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba.

More than 130,000 registered athletes compete in IRONMAN 70.3 races each year, representing over 90 countries, with more than 3000 athletes who will line up at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, Sunshine Coast.

THE events were held all over the world in locations such as Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will range in age from 18 to 75-plus, and will represent over 70 countries.

THE field will be made up of 34% women and 66% men.

OVER the course of the event 1,000 volunteers will help distribute

  • 12,000 bike bottles
  • 8,500 litres electrolyte
  • 150,000 cups used
  • 9,000 gels
  • 5,700 energy bars
  • 12,000 bananas
  • 1,000 volunteers