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Archive for Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ironman deemed shining success

The Ironman competition in Lawrence may have come and gone, but it won't be soon forgotten. Sunday's triathlon event attracted more than 1100 competitors to Bloomington Beach at Clinton Lake.

June 17, 2008

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Paul Holder, of Holder, Australia, begins the bicycling stage of the Ironman 70.3 Kansas on Sunday at Clinton Lake. Even though the event was cut short by weather, participants rated it highly and are signing up for next year.

Paul Holder, of Holder, Australia, begins the bicycling stage of the Ironman 70.3 Kansas on Sunday at Clinton Lake. Even though the event was cut short by weather, participants rated it highly and are signing up for next year.

To hear Ryan Robinson tell it, the fans loved Lawrence, triathletes embraced the course, volunteers empowered the competition and businesses cashed in on the event.

But perhaps the greatest compliments started coming in Monday morning, the day after the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Kansas had run its course.

"Registration's open," Robinson said of next year's triathlon, set for June 14. "We've already got athletes signing up."

Some 1,100 entrants started the 70.3-mile course early Sunday morning, jumping into the chilly water of a swollen Clinton Lake for a 1.2-mile swim, then traversing the "Iron Cross" for a 56-mile bike ride before embarking on what was supposed to be a 13.1-mile run.

But Mother Nature sent hundreds of competitors home frustrated, as a storm cut power to timing equipment and lightning forced early closure of the course. Only about half officially finished the race.

Lawrence-area restaurants, retailers and others still benefited from the weekend that had started Friday, with a pre-race expo that included a free outdoor concert, vendor booths and other features.

The effects were difficult to miss.

"You could walk downtown on Friday and Saturday and see lots of red armbands," Robinson said. "If you walked into Wal-Mart on Saturday night, there were lots of red armbands and men with shaved legs. I think it was a nice boost for the local economy."

Robinson and his fellow organizers have another two years left on their three-year contract to conduct the Ironman event, a qualifier for the world championships in Clearwater, Fla.

It's a relationship they hope to see extended well beyond next year and the one after that.

With hopes for the weather to be a little more kind.

"Everybody loved the course," Robinson said. "Everybody loved Kansas. It's pretty neat when people from all over the world say great things about your home. It makes you feel pretty special."

Comments

Bluefire 6 years, 6 months ago

Ironman deemed shining success, if they would pick up their litter. Lots of trash around the shoulder of county road where event took place. Water stations didn't clean up too well.

Confrontation 6 years, 6 months ago

Shaved legs always boost the local economy.

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 6 months ago

Try one of these e-mail addresses. Maybe you'll get some sastisfaction/response.http://www.ironmankansas.com/contact.php

number1jayhawker 6 years, 6 months ago

Bluefire, you beat me to it. I live at the junction of 251st & 851st Diag RD and I have never seen so many water bottles along the road in all my life. Can they not afford to pay someone to pick them up, or are they waiting for the locals like us to do it for them?

Bluefire 6 years, 6 months ago

number1jayhawker, Looks like they cleaned up a little more the next day. There are some bottles still behind the guard rails. Maybe they should have used aluminum. The collectors would have cleaned it all up.Take_a_letter_Maria, Thank you for the hotlink.

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