World Triathlon Corporation announced yesterday that they acquired Triton Spain SL, the owners Of Challenge Barcelona and its half distance sibling, and also hinted at another race in Peguera, Mallorca.
Currently WTC runs 4 events on Spanish ground with Ironman Lanzarote, 70.3 Lanzarote, Ironman Mallorca and the Thomas Cook 70.3 Mallorca, and with the 2 new events added to the portfolio that gives the Tampa, Florida based group 6 events there. But in the press release WTC mentioned that they now have 7 events in Spain and that would let us believe that the race in Peguera, Mallorca is already a done deal. Peguera, or Paguera as it is locally spelled, is currently the location of another Challenge race - the Half Challenge Paguera, an event which is slated to host the ETU half distance championships this year.
The Barcelona events will run under the Ironman brand name on May 18th and October 5th of this year and actually take place about 50 miles from that famous stunning architectural city in Calella, Spain to be precise.
As we had a few times now heard, it was apparently the race director who reached out to Ironman and not the other way around.
"We approached Ironman because we were looking for a way to grow our races while assuring the highest quality standards for our athletes, partners and host cities. We are excited about working with the global Ironman team and, so far, it’s been nothing but a pleasure as they bring a high level of professionalism to the table," said Francesc Camarasa, Managing Director of Tritlon in a press release.
Andrew Messick the CEO of World Triathlon Corporation also seemed happy with this development and released the following statement:
"We are thrilled to continue expanding our global event calendar with the acquisition of Tritlon Spain. Tritlon has laid the foundation for what we believe will be amazing Ironman races that have a strong spirit and community support. Ironman will build on this to deliver an unparalleled athlete experience," said Messick.
Ironman Barcelona in October will be a P-2000 race and offers a $50,000 purse and 50 Kona 2015 slots for age groupers. With most folks who contend usually for these slots likely already in Kona for the 2014 race, this might be a great target race.
The Ironman 70.3 race takes place about amonth from now and has a $25,000 Pro purse and 30 70.3 Worlds age group slots.
The races in Barcelona are said to be among the most long running events in the Challenge series, only bested by Challenge Roth and Wanaka, but they will be Ironman branded moving forward.