Archive for Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ironman to draw triathletes, spenders

Bikers set off for the next leg of the ride after stopping for breakfast on County Road 458 during the Octoginta ride in this file photo. This summer's national Ironman triathlon competition will bring about 2000 athletes to Douglas County.  The event cleared its biggest hurdle Monday by winning approval to use county roads for part of the 70.3-mile course.

Bikers set off for the next leg of the ride after stopping for breakfast on County Road 458 during the Octoginta ride in this file photo. This summer's national Ironman triathlon competition will bring about 2000 athletes to Douglas County. The event cleared its biggest hurdle Monday by winning approval to use county roads for part of the 70.3-mile course.

November 27, 2007

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On the street

What part of a triathlon do you think you would be best at?

Probably running. It’s been awhile, but I used to be pretty good at long distance running.

More responses

This summer, iron may equal gold for the Lawrence economy.

About 2,000 athletes are expected to descend in mid-June upon Clinton Lake for a national Ironman triathlon competition that is expected to pump $2 million to $3 million into the local economy.

The event cleared its biggest hurdle Monday by winning approval to use county roads for part of the 70.3-mile course.

"I think this could be a very high-profile event that could be very good for the community," Douglas County Commissioner Bob Johnson said.

Most of the race - dubbed the Ironman 70.3 Kansas - will take place at Clinton Lake's Bloomington Park, toward the western end of the lake. But much of the 56-mile bicycle course will be on county roads near Bloomington. The roads - which will be closed for several hours during the June 15 event - include East 550 Road; North 851 Diagonal Road; and parts of County Roads 1023 and 458 leading into Stull.

The swimming course (1.2 miles long) and the running course (13.1 miles) will be on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property at Bloomington Park. Lew Ruona, project manager for the Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake, said the Corps is close to giving final approval for the event.

Ryan Robinson - president of the company organizing the event, Lawrence-based Sherpa Sports - said the average annual salary for an Ironman participant is $140,000.

"Just think what these people will do with their credit cards on Massachusetts Street," Robinson wrote in a letter to commissioners.

The Lawrence event would serve as a qualifier for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. The Lawrence event also would serve as the National Collegiate Ironman Championship.

Currently, only 11 U.S. events are sanctioned by the Ironman organization in the 70.3 category, which refers to the number of miles in the race. The Ironman organization also sanctions the more traditional Ironman triathlon of 140.6 miles.

Comments

Lars Larson 7 years, 8 months ago

This event is great and all, but this will produce more revenue than a football game for merchants?

Kinda hard to believe

otto 7 years, 8 months ago

There is one road in and out of the Bloomington area. It's N 851 Diag. I think that closing it for a few hours is a great idea.

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