Ironman Representative Says City's Outdoor Culture Led To Its Selection To Host Event

Friday, December 13, 2013 - by Hollie Webb
Steve Meckfessel
Steve Meckfessel
- photo by Hollie Webb

Ironman representative Steve Meckfessel told members of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.on Thursday that for Chattanooga to be selected to be the 11th American city to host the Ironman Triathlon "speaks volumes about the city."

The Ironman race covers 146 miles of water and roadways. 

Registration for the Sept. 28, 2014, event opened four months ago and sold out within minutes.

Mr. Meckfessel said, “Ironman does not reward a city with a bid just because you're the highest bidder.” 

He said one of the reasons that Chattanooga stood out to the selection committee was the outdoor culture of the city. He said every time he visited, people were walking and running outside no matter what day of the week. He said, “It really struck me that this is really an outdoor city.”

He said hosting the event will be a great economic benefit to the area; the projected impact is $40 million over the next five years. Also, the race will bring visitors from all over the world. Out of the athletes registered, 47 states and 25 countries are represented.

The race started in Hawaii in 1978 and has since progressed to 108 events worldwide and over 200,000 participating athletes. The Chattanooga race alone will have over 2,500 participants. Mr. Meckfessel said the quick sellout was “unheard of.”

The race has three parts: swimming, running, and biking. The water portion will start 2.4 miles up the Tennessee River near the old Quaker Oats factory and end at Ross’s landing. The 112-mile bike trek will start downtown and loop into North Georgia. Finally, the marathon run will take place downtown, going across the UTC campus and the Walnut Street Bridge into the Northshore area.

From the athletes who compete, the 50 with the best times will be able to move on to the Ironman World Championship.

Mr. Meckfessel said that even though the race registration is closed, people who still want to be involved can work as volunteers or sponsors.



Star Party Offered At Cloudland Canyon State Park On June 4

There will be a Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, June 4. It is sponsored by the staff and friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park and  conducted by the Barnard Astronomical Society. Officials said, "Come see the wonders of  the night sky through our telescopes. We will also be looking at and  identifying the constellations ... (click for more)

Charlie Arant, Tennessee Aquarium Honored At 51st Annual Conservation Achievement Awards

Each year since 1965, the  Tennessee Wildlife Federation  has honored a select group of leaders in the conservation and stewardship of wildlife and its habitat in Tennessee through the statewide Conservation Achievement Awards. This year’s award winners include: Youth Conservationist of the Year : Ryan Greer of Jefferson County Ryan Greer started the Jefferson ... (click for more)

Sources Say Domestic Incident Involving Mayor's Aide Came After Husband Confronted Her And Mayor Behind Restaurant; Berke Says Charge "Absolutely False"; Fletcher Says Gave Shelter To Lacie Stone; Case Handled Like Any Other

A domestic disorder involving a top female aide to Mayor Andy Berke was sparked after her husband recently confronted the aide and the mayor in a parked car behind a Mexican restaurant, several sources said.   Mayor Andy Berke said late Tuesday night, "Last weekend a member of my senior staff was the victim of a domestic assault involving her husband. Upon being arrested ... (click for more)

Attorney For Bobby Stone Hits Berke, Fletcher For Commenting On Pending Case

The attorney for Bobby Stone on Wednesday said it was "fundamentally wrong" for Mayor Andy Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher to comment on the case in which Mr. Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, Berke advisor Lacie Stone. Attorney Lee Davis said the comments were unfair and "a disservice to the court." Mayor Berke denied any inappropriate contact ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Christian Schools Bully, Too

Earlier this week, after I shared a story about bullying written by a very brave mother, it opened a floodgate of emails from parents and students who have been forced to endure such madness in our elementary, junior and senior high schools. Discipline is the No. 1 problem in our schools. Because of it, or because of a lack of it, no wonder our children cannot achieve all that ... (click for more)