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.



Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Adventure Kids After School Program  Sept. 1 through Nov. 17 The  After School Adventure Kids program   is a great opportunity for kids ages 9-13 to build outdoor skills that will stay with them into adulthood. Adventurers ... (click for more)

Claire Henley: Adventures West (Shakedown On The Appalachian Trail)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon. Here is her story beginning in March). The last three days, I backpacked from Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 40.6-mile stretch ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Takes New Cost-Cutting Measures

Hutcheson Medical Center has announced new cost-cutting measures as it tries to stop ongoing losses. A trustee has asked that the Fort Oglethorpe hospital's bankruptcy process be dissolved, saying it has accumulated over five million in debt during the 10 months it has been in bankruptcy. The board of directors for Hutcheson Medical Center voted Wednesday evening to suspend ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Rejects Bids For Road Work For Bass Pro Shop Development; All Are Above $3 Million

The Bass Pro Shop development at East Ridge has hit another snag as all bids for road projects at Exit 1 and Camp Jordan Parkway came in above the $3 million estimate.   On Thursday night, Mayor Brent Lambert said the city had pledged to build a “fairly vanilla road,” and made a motion to reject all the bids. He said that the street should be “value engineered” because ... (click for more)

Vote To Save Graduate Medical Education Funding

As a resident physician at UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, I know first-hand the impact Medicare financing for Graduate Medical Education has on physician education and access to care for patients in our community and communities all over the country.  GME funding provides medical school graduates the opportunity to complete the required years of clinical residency training ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Quaker Oats & Stuff

Some genius in the Quaker Oats marketing department came up with a novel idea last summer with the theme: “What if you had the chance to do something you have always wanted to do … but you had to start today?” Somehow Michael Hope and his family – that includes three children – got to be interviewed and, when his 10-year-old daughter Lauren was asked, she said she always wanted ... (click for more)