AN internationally renowned sporting event is on its way to Staffordshire - and it could be worth millions to the local economy. The Ironman Staffordshire triathlon will take place in June next year, involving a 1.2 mile swim in Chasewater reservoir and a 56-mile bike course through the countryside. It will conclude with a 13.1 mile run, starting and finishing at Shugborough. “Attracting a world-famous sporting event like Ironman is great news for Staffordshire’s economy, its tourism industry and local people,” said county councillor Mike Lawrence. “Over the next three years it will bring thousands of athletes, supporters and spectators to the county looking for places to stay, eat and visit. “At the same time it delivers an exciting opportunity to showcase the best of Staffordshire, enhancing our reputation as a sport, leisure and visitor destination, to both a national and international audience. “We are already planning to use this annual influx of elite and amateurs athletes to work towards our ambition of an active Staffordshire, where all residents enjoy the health benefits of a more active lifestyle.” Exmoor Ironman champion Will Clarke said: “It’s great news to have another race on home soil. “It’ll be amazing to have an Ironman race so central, making it easier for my friends and family to be there to support.” One of more than 70 events in the global Ironman series, the the Staffordshire triathlon will have a $15,000 USD professional prize purse and will be a P-500 race. Additionally, the race will offer 30 age-group qualifying slots for athletes to qualify for the 2015 Ironman World Championship to be held in Europe for the first time, hosted by Zell am See, Austria. Full details of the race will be available later in the summer. Athletes wishing to register for the Staffordshire event can visit www.ironman.com.