Half-Ironman coming to Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Ironman 70.3 half-distance triathlon coming to Chattanooga

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Wednesday afternoon's news conference where it was announced that Chattanooga will host the IronMan 70.3 half-distance triathlon. WRCBtv.com photo Wednesday afternoon's news conference where it was announced that Chattanooga will host the IronMan 70.3 half-distance triathlon. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: Just 6 weeks ago Chattanooga and North Georgia were swamped with Ironman supporters and in May they'll get another chance to show their support with the Ironman 70.3.

"There's no greater city to have an event like this than Chattanooga," said Mayor Andy Berke.

Organizers say it was the location and amenities that attracted them, but the September Ironman sealed the deal when the competition went without major hiccups.

The Ironman 70.3 is shorter than the traditional Ironman race,  with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike race and a half marathon.

But just because it's half the distance, doesn't mean they're putting in half the work.

"The athletes still put in the dedication, the training, the commitments, they buy into the lifestyle," said Steve Meckfessel, Managing Director for Global Race Operations.

‘They hope it proves to be as successful as the Ironman.

“It was great for the business, the hospitality industry in particular, Rock City, restaurants, hotels, everyone was filled to capacity in a time of year when tourism is in demand in September and I think we helped fill that void for the community," said Meckfessel.

With a second event coming in May means potentially $16 million will be poured into the local economy between the two events in four years.

"Athletes will come in 2-4 days before the event, they'll bring family and friends," said Meckfessel.

Mayor Berke says the announcement means big things for Chattanooga.

"The nature of having both the economic impact and making it a place more of our residents enjoy living in and branding us as a great community that makes it something we can't refuse," said Mayor Berke

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A news conference Wednesday afternoon helped cement Chattanooga's reputation as an outdoor and athletic destination.

The Chattanooga Sports Committee and Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the half-distance Ironman competition will  debut Sunday, May 17, 2015, with a four-year contract.

Sunbelt Bakery has signed on as the named title sponsor of IronMan 70.3.

Competitors will take a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run on nearly the same course as IronMan Chattanooga held earlier this year.

Officials said that "This makes Chattanooga the epicenter of triathlons in the south."

"According to IronMan, we are one of only 10 cities globally that host both an IronMan and an IronMan 70.3 triathlon. We're expecting more than 6,000 people and an estimated economic impact of $3-4 million annually,” said Bob Doak, President & CEO of the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Competitors in the IronMan Chattanooga some six weeks ago were surveyed, and scored the city with a 97% grade of overall satisfaction.

General registration for Sunbelt Bakery IronMan 70.3 Chattanooga will open Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm ET at www.ironman.com/chattanooga70.3.

The Sunbelt Bakery IronMan 70.3 Chattanooga will offer 30 age group slots to the 2015 IronMan 70.3 World Championship taking place on August 30, 2015 in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria.

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