Mercer County has been selected to host the Ironman triathlon in September of 2014.
The triathlon is being called “The Princeton Ironman”, but does not actually take place in Princeton. The race, the 24th race in the Ironman 70.3-mile U.S. series, will be held Sunday, Sept 21.
One of more than 60 events in the global Ironman series, the event will lead athletes through a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.
The race will start with a single loop, 1.2-mile swim in Mercer Lake at Mercer County Park.
The bike ride will be a one-loop, 56-mile course that will begin and end at Mercer County Park in West Windsor. Participants will make their way from the park to the rolling country side of rural Monmouth County.
The two and a half loop, 13.1-mile run will take place primarily on the paved jogging paths within Mercer County Park, making its way to nearby Mercer County College. Athletes will run through the tree-lined center of campus, around the soccer and baseball venues before turning back onto the path connecting the college with the park.
“Princeton and its surrounding area have a long and established history in triathlon and endurance sports, and we think this event will provide participants with one of the most scenic and challenging courses anywhere in North America,” said Andrew Messick, CEO of Ironman.
“The event should draw a wide audience and produce a significant economic impact to the Princeton Region,” said Peter Crowley, CEO and president of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“We are thrilled to host a premier competition like the Ironman 70.3 triathlon at Mercer County Park for the first time,” said County Executive Brian Hughes. “We invite the thousands of people who will be drawn to this event to discover Mercer County’s many treasures, including our thriving arts and cultural offerings, award-winning restaurants and unique shopping opportunities.”
The race will have a $15,000 professional prize purse and will be a P-500 race. The race will offer 35 age group slots to the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
General registration for the Ironman 70.3 Princeton will open at noon Monday, December 16. The registration fee is $275, and increases to $300 after Dec. 31.