The first Chattanooga Ironman event announced the title sponsor Thursday at Coolidge Park.

Little Debbie, owned by Collegedale-based McKee Foods, for has signed on as title sponsor for the five-year stint for the national triathlon series.

The Ironman is a challenging athletic event, with participants swimming 2.4 miles, then cycling 112 miles and completing the event with a 26.2 mile run.

Participants train for months, and even years, to compete in such events.

"It's going to take some people 16 hours to get across the finish line, they train over 20 hours a week. Don't they deserve a great-tasting snack?" asked Chief Sales Officer for Ironman Carola Ross.

The Chattanooga Ironman is one of several local-driven Ironman triathlons around the United States, and takes place September 28.
The event sold out in three minutes and hotels are booked for the more than 2,400 athletes from 43 states.

"Over the next five years, this phenomenal event will bring more than 75,000 people and leave an estimated economic impact of $40,000,000 in our community," said Bob Doak, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The top finishers in the Chattanooga event will be competing for spots in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Little Debbie snacks is set to sponsor the event through 2016.