This Sunday, June 2, more than 2,300 athletes from around the world will compete in the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® Raleigh triathlon, the first ever IRONMAN race in North Carolina. Athletes aged 18 to 76 will represent 15 different countries and 43 different states as well as the District of Columbia.
“Having IRONMAN come to Raleigh is a thrill,” said Nancy McFarlane, Mayor, City of Raleigh. “It is such a positive event. While the economic impact is significant, we shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to share Raleigh with the participants. What a fabulous way to showcase our great city while making friends with a diverse group of enthusiastic athletes.”
One of nearly 60 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series, the race will begin at 7 a.m. ET with a one-loop, 1.2-mile swim at Lake Jordan State Park. After transitioning at Vista Point, athletes will bike through eastern Chatham County, southwest Wake County and the town of Holly Springs before ending the 56-mile ride at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Competitors will finish the race with a 13.1-mile, out-and-back run that highlights some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the State Capitol, Hillsborough Street, North Carolina State University and Meredith College campuses and the North Carolina Museum of Art. The race will finish downtown at City Plaza on Fayetteville Street.
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) will serve as host and official sponsor of the inaugural race. Other local partners include the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Raleigh Sports Council, the City of Raleigh, Wake County, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the Capitol Broadcasting Company.
“This is a tremendous event for the City of Raleigh and the entire region,” said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, a division of GRCVB. “IRONMAN is one of the most well-respected and highly-regarded brands in the sports event industry, with a long track record of staging successful and well-run events all over the world.”
As part of the 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh triathlon, The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund will give $20,000 in grant funding to non-profit groups in the greater Raleigh community. The mission of The IRONMAN Foundation, the charitable arm of IRONMAN, is to enhance the well-being of those communities where IRONMAN triathlons are held by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit non-profits organizations through philanthropy, voluntarism and grant making.
“This is such a positive event for Raleigh and Wake County as we are expecting about 5,000 visitors, primarily out of town athletes and their families,” said Dupree. “Those visitors will generate more than $2 million in direct visitor spending and 4,500 hotel room nights, while also enjoying our restaurants along with all of the visitor and cultural attractions that Raleigh has to offer.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Raleigh will offer a $15,000 professional prize purse. Additionally, the race will offer 50 age group qualifying slots to the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship 70.3 at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada.