4 Great Places to Watch IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire
Staffordshire's toughest sporting event - the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire triathlon - returns on Sunday 18th June 2017, with 2,500 athletes swimming, cycling and running through the county's captivating countryside.
Here are four hotspots with great views of the race, plenty of excitement and loads of atmosphere to soak up too!
1. Chasewater Country Park
If you're an early riser and want to make sure you experience it all, head for Chasewater Country Park, where the race starts at 7am with a 1.2 mile swim.
Thousands congregated here last year and gave the competitors a great send off.
There is an on-site cafe and dogs are welcome, but there will be no parking on the day, so the best ways to get to Chasewater will be on foot, or via the shuttle buses from The Shugborough Estate.
From Chasewater, they will head out through 56 miles of countryside, taking in beautiful villages including King’s Bromley, Yoxall, and Marchington before reaching Cannock Chase.
*There is no parking at Chasewater on the day
2. King's Bromley
You will be able to get to the picturesque village of King's Bromley, via the A38.
Residents will be hosting their annual Open Gardens, combined with a Fairies and Pirates event put together by local schoolchildren, and the whole village will be yarn-bombed!
There will also be a BBQ by the war memorial, and as ever the Royal Oak will be offering their fabulous Sunday lunches.
The main road through King's Bromley, the A515, will be closed, but you'll be able to get there from Alrewas.
*Parking is available at the village hall.
3. Little Haywood
Or why not take a relaxing stroll along the Trent & Mersey Canal to The Shugborough Estate, Little Haywood and Great Haywood for the half marathon?
The Red Lion in Little Haywood is a great vantage point on the run, and there will be live music, a rooftop DJ, and a BBQ.
The atmosphere was fantastic here last year, so it may be worth buying a ticket (£10) if you want to guarantee your spot – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01889 881314.
*There will be limited parking in Little Haywood, at the Jubilee Playing Fields.
4. The Shugborough Estate
From there, head to the finish line on The Shugborough Estate.
Browse the merchandise at the IRONMAN Expo, or relax against the backdrop of the majestic Shugborough Hall, the former home of famous photographer Patrick Lichfield.
Make some noise on the grandstand as the athletes enter the final straight. They'll need your support to get them over the line!
The eyes of the world will be on us - last year Channel Four showed highlights of the race, which were broadcast in over 100 countries including the USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
*Parking passes are available but must be pre-booked and collected from the Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford.