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2017 Ironman 70.3 world championships belong in Lake Placid

July 22, 2015
Editorial , Lake Placid News

It's a rally cry like we haven't heard in a long time, and we're confident the Olympic Region is up to the challenge.

Tourism officials are asking locals to give the site review team for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships a warm welcome this week as it inspects the village just days before the annual 140.6-mile Ironman Lake Placid triathlon.

Out of 40 potential North American hosts, Lake Placid made the cut for Ironman's top three choices along with Chattanooga, Tennessee, and St. George, Utah, which are both strong contenders. St. George is the site of this year's Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship Race, and Chattanooga hosts a 70.3- (half) and 140.6-mile (full) contest each year.

The 70.3 race features a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run.

Taking nothing away from St. George and Chattanooga, we strongly believe that Lake Placid is the ideal choice for hosting the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship Race.

It belongs here.

Aside from the full Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, the Lake Placid race is the longest-running Ironman in North America. We've made history here, and we'll continue to honor our Ironman heritage. When people hear the word Ironman, they think of Kona first and Lake Placid second.

With our long history of hosting international competition -including the Olympic Winter Games in 1932 and 1980 and the Ironman since 1999 - Lake Placid has shown an ability to organize and host sporting events with thousands of athletes. The 70.3 World Championships would bring 4,500 athletes - plus support crew, volunteers and family members - to the Adirondacks for the race.

Aside from the infrastructure questions of where to put all these people while keeping transportation issues at a minimum, the site review team should also look at the intangibles.

As evidenced by our front-page story about triathlete Caitlin Scufka of Wilmington, Ironman has become a family tradition in Lake Placid. In fact, without Ironman in her home town, she would have never considered competing in an Ironman race. Just as Lake Placid grooms Winter Olympic athletes and sends them to the Games every four years, the Olympic Region grooms Ironman athletes who compete in the triathlon every year.

It's people like High Peaks Cyclery co-owner Brian Delaney, who has raced in every Ironman Lake Placid since it was founded in 1999. He and his wife, Karen, continue to organize the Monday Night Mini-Tri and Kids Mini-Tri races in the summer to help groom the next generation of Ironman triathletes.

Ironman is a part of Lake Placid culture. It's in our blood.

Let's show the site selection team how much we'd like to continue our Ironman tradition here by hosting the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships. The committee will be touring the region on Thursday, July 23, and the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau urges people to stop by their parking lot in Wilmington at noon to show their support. Bring flags, signs and cowbells and make some noise to make Ironman welcome like we do every July.



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