This city of 120,000 is located in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, close to international cities such as Aachen, Dsseldorf, Lige, Brussels and Antwerp. The diversity of European culture is clearly visible in Maastricht as the surrounding area comprises four million people living in three countries and speaking four languages. It is for good reason that Maastricht was the centre of the European Union in 1992 at the time of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty which lead to the introduction of the Euro.
Maastricht still plays a major international role. Many congresses, cultural and sports events are held here, and transnational agreements are signed. Large numbers of tourists also come to Maastricht every year for a taste of the alluring character of the south Netherlands.
The 3.8-kilometer course includes one loop of the Meuse river, with cheering fans lining the banks and surrounding bridges. Athletes will swim 1.9 kilometers past the cultural-historic centre of Maastricht, under a Roman bridge, and towards the provincial government building. All athletes exit and re-enter the water and swim with the current back to the start. The two-loop, 180 km bike course laps through Maastricht and the surrounding Limburg landscape, taking in the beautifully scenic and slightly technical runs through the iconic hills and mountains of Bemelerberg (Eijsden-Margraten), Geulhemmerberg (Valkenburg), and Hallembaye (Bassenge). The four-loop, 42.2-km run course runs straight through the historic city centre.
IRONMAN Maastricht-Limburg offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, HI.