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Ironman to stage inaugural Finnish event

The Ironman triathlon series has announced that it is to stage its first-ever event in Finland in 2018.

The city of Lahti will host the Ironman 70.3 event on June 30 next year. The race will provide 50 age-group qualifying places for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The event will start at 16:00 local time, with the finish line to be open until midnight – at which point it will still be light in Lahti.

Jyrki Myllyvirta, Mayor of the City of Lahti, said: "Lahti is known internationally as a winter sports city. We are happy to welcome the Ironman 70.3 Lahti Finland triathlon as it will give us a chance to showcase sports and exercise opportunities available throughout the year.

"Lahti offers an excellent arena for international competition, and we have extensive experience in organising spectator events that are in-demand."

Myllyvirta added: “Considered an environmentally conscious city, Lahti will make it possible to organise Ironman 70.3 Lahti Finland in an attractive natural environment in the city centre while adhering to the principles of sustainable development."

Ironman 70.3 races are half the length of regular Ironman events.