The Chattanooga Sports Committee and the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that Ironman has chosen Chattanooga as the premier Southeast destination to host its 11th full race in the Ironman U.S. Series. Athletes will get to compete in Ironman Chattanooga on Sunday, Sept. 28, and then annually through September 2018.
“With the rapid growth of triathlon in the Southeast, it is the perfect time for us to expand and add Ironman Chattanooga to our 2014 event calendar,” said Andrew Messick, chief executive officer of Ironman.
“We selected Chattanooga as it is a beautiful city and a premier outdoor sports destination. We are thrilled to bring Ironman here and to partner with the city to deliver a top level event.”
General registration for Ironman Chattanooga will open at noon ET Wednesday, Sept. 4 onwww.ironman.com/chattanooga.
The 10 other US locations include: Boulder, CO; Coeur D’Alene, ID; Kailua-Kona, HI; Lake Placid, NY; Lake Tahoe, CA; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Panama City Beach, FL; Tempe, AZ and The Woodlands, TX.
“Since the reorganization of the Sports Committee in August of 2012, Ironman was an event high on our target list to actively pursue. When the opportunity presented itself in April, we immediately went to work on positioning Chattanooga as the next viable host community. From grassroots to government, the amount of support in securing this event was amazing. The local triathlon network, Hamilton County Government and the city of Chattanooga government all played major roles in this successful venture. Ironman Chattanooga will once again allow us to showcase our capabilities of hosting successful major sporting events. This will communicate to other national governing bodies that Chattanooga is a sports destination. I am extremely excited for our future in sports,” said Tim Morgan, president of the Chattanooga Sports Committee.
One of more than 30 events in the global Ironman Series, Ironman Chattanooga leads athletes through a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on a course that utilizes a variety of Chattanooga’s scenic areas. The race will start with a single loop 2.4-mile swim through the Tennessee River with ample spectator vantage points alongside Chattanooga’s famous Riverwalk. The bike will be a two-loop 56-mile course with scenic farmland and mountain views. The two and a half loop 26.2-mile run course will showcase beautiful downtown Chattanooga, the South Side, Riverview and the North Shore. Athletes can expect a fast, rolling course with friendly sights and faces along the entire run.
“We’re thrilled that Chattanooga will be a new host city for the Ironman competition. Hosting an event of this stature puts Chattanooga in a new league and will not only elevate our status as a sports mecca, but will lead to booking major events in the future. Including participants, families and spectators, we’re expecting nearly 12,000 people who will leave an estimated economic impact of $8,000,000 annually in our community. That’s impressive,” said Bob Doak, president & CEO of the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“When we hired Tim Morgan a year ago to head the Sports Committee, one of the primary goals we had for him was to develop and secure a major event like this to leverage potential for Chattanooga. Kudos to Tim for getting the community together and fired up about bringing this event to Chattanooga. I also want to thank Mayors Jim Coppinger and Andy Berke for their personal involvement in helping to secure this event. It could not have happened without them or many others in the community who were involved.”
Ironman Chattanooga will have a $25,000 professional prize purse and will be a P-2000 race. Additionally, the race will offer 50 age group slots to the 2015 Ironman World Championship taking place on Oct. 10, 2015 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
County Mayor Coppinger said, “We are extremely proud to be making the announcement that the World Triathlon Corporation has chosen Chattanooga as the destination for one of the prestigious Ironman events. Now that we’re a member the WTC’s exclusive global network, it makes us a big player in the major leagues. We have the infrastructure for hosting such an event – from world-class natural amenities for the athletes to providing an exceptional experience for the spectators, with plenty of spaces to watch the races. We’re confident that Ironman will bring a significant economic impact to the community and look forward to hosting this incredible, iconic event.”
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) has been named the Official Charity Partner of the 2014 Ironman Chattanooga triathlon. As the official charity partner of the inaugural event, CCFA will send a team of up to 100 athletes through Team Challenge, their endurance training and fundraising program. The program participants will raise funds for research, education and support for the 1.4 million Americans suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis - two debilitating digestive diseases that affect 1 in 200 Americans, including 150,000 children nationwide.
“It’s an honor to be chosen as a destination city for the Ironman triathlon. Chattanooga was a natural fit for this event and while we are already home to a thriving athletic community, this event will help put Chattanooga in front of a whole new sector of athletes,” said Mayor Berke. “Our collaborative efforts to promote Chattanooga’s physical assets, like our mountains and river, help us attract world class events like this. I look forward to seeing how Ironman grows over the next few years, as we continue to build upon Chattanooga’s reputation as an outdoor adventure destination.”
For more information on the Ironman brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.