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Hotels booked out for next year’s Ironman in Youghal

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From EchoLive.

Hotels in Youghal are already booked out for next year’s Ironman event despite the wet, cold and windy event earlier this year.

Nine months ahead of the event, The Old Imperial Hotel in Youghal has said it is booked out with a mix of returning athletes and fresh faces looking for the ultimate challenge.

As well as this, a number of local cyclists from Youghal Cycling Club, who have never completed a triathlon before are signed up for the Ironman event in 2020. Youghal Business Alliance chairperson Ger Flanagan said the town as a whole are thrilled with the event after last year.

“It was a huge success financially for the town. The spend over the weekend was huge, but there is increased business for the rest of the year with people trying out the course all over East Cork.

Stewards struggle to keep the inflatable race arch over the cyclists at the start of the Ironman in Youghal. Picture: Howard Crowdy

“There was a big increase in business across the board. Obviously there are areas that directly benefited from the event, such as accommodation, food and coffee shops but indirectly other businesses have also felt a surge in spending.” Mr Flanagan said the event was giving Youghal a fabulous profile.

“It is now more of a location for business and holidays. We are getting more national and international coverage and more businesses are opening up here. Town is busier, week to week, it is mid-week in October and it is busier than it was two years ago.” As well as this, Mr Flanagan said that the event is turning Youghal into an outdoorsy town.

“All the clubs, the cycling club, athletic club and triathlon club are all experiencing increased membership.

“People are getting more involved in the lifestyle. Those walking are now jogging, joggers are running, everyone is upping their ante.

Speaking to The Echo, Youghal Cycling Club said they have seen a few new members join since last year and said there were three or four members who were taking on Ironman Youghal.

“We have about 60 plus members.” Secretary of the club Tom Hickey said that he and a few other members who had never swam or ran before are now training for the local Ironman event.

“I have never done a triathlon before, some people are worried about the weather, we are used to the weather, it is the swimming and the running that will cause us difficulty.”