Organizer has no plans to take Ironman away from Augusta

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 5:20 PM
Last updated 9:49 PM
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Sills  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Sills

When the intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta finishes up late Sunday afternoon, the event will have one final year remaining on its current contract.

Though the fifth annual triathlon is in the second year of a three-year contract, race director A.J. Sills, of the World Triathlon Corporation, said no one should be concerned about the event’s long-term future.

“It’s not going anywhere,” Sills said Wednesday afternoon. “There’s no way we can walk away from a community that’s this supportive. The athlete base is excited about coming to this event. It’s in the proof with us selling out two months prior to last year. The demand for this event is definitely increasing. We’re smart enough to know not to walk away from something that is this fantastic.”

When the event, which sold out June 12, begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Sills said about 3,500 participants are expected to compete. He called it the largest Ironman 70.3 event in the U.S., if not the world.

“This is a big deal,” he said. “With this being as big as it is, it’s something people mark their calendar for.

“I’ll get e-mails saying, ‘I had this marked on my calendar and then I checked and it was sold out.’ Unfortunately, that’s what happens when there’s a little bit of a delay. You’ve got to know you’re going to do Augusta and sign up as soon as you possibly can.”

Sills said many factors (local title sponsorship and the help of the Augusta Sports Council as two examples) add to the event’s popularity, but the course is the main draw. The 1.2-mile swim in the Savannah River is all downstream. Defending champion Maxim Kriat finished the swim in 20 minutes and five seconds in last year’s event. Then, the 56-mile makes a loop into South Carolina before returning to Georgia for the 13.1-mile run.

“The down river swim is definitely something that sets this event apart,” Sills said. “Then having a one-loop bike course is also something that’s definitely unique to any race at this distance. A lot of times you’ll have a two- or three-loop bike course.”

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countyman
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countyman 09/25/13 - 11:22 pm
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Tourist love downtown

The CBD is a great place to live, work, and play. The city of Augusta is also very good at supporting different types of sporting events.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:39 am
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There is none so blind as he who would not see........
Unpublished

There is none so blind as he who would not see........

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:40 am
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They would be in Columbus, if Columbus promoted the event..$$$$$
Unpublished

They would be in Columbus, if Columbus promoted the event..$$$$$

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:41 am
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If someone was not making $$$ it would be held somewhere else...
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If someone was not making $$$ it would be held somewhere else...

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:42 am
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ARC can't be making $$$ since it cannot balance it budget?
Unpublished

ARC can't be making $$$ since it cannot balance it budget?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:43 am
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Let's milk these "speedo's" and pay for more police in the CBD.
Unpublished

Let's milk these "speedo's" and pay for more police in the CBD.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 06:57 am
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Nice Weather

Great event. The weather should be nice. It's nice that Aiken County is involved also.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:45 am
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Entertainment for a select few. All ARC taxpayers foot the bill.
Unpublished

Entertainment for a select few. All ARC taxpayers foot the bill.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:46 am
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Move it over to Hammond's Ferry. Project Jackson. No levee.
Unpublished

Move it over to Hammond's Ferry. Project Jackson. No levee.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 09/26/13 - 06:48 am
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The Augusta Levee, a great grandstand for watching N.A.
Unpublished

The Augusta Levee, a great grandstand for watching N.A.

etlinks
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etlinks 09/26/13 - 07:23 am
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The swimming event is a blast

The swimming event is a blast to watch from the 5th steet bridge.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 08:20 am
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I wonder if Project Jackson

I wonder if Project Jackson will be competition for the Ironman in the future?

countyman
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countyman 09/26/13 - 12:42 pm
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Why would a minor league

Why would a minor league baseball stadium be competition for a sporting event?

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 09/26/13 - 01:13 pm
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countyman
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countyman 09/26/13 - 01:51 pm
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Why would a much smaller

Why would a much smaller convention center equal competition? I'm pretty certain the baseball stadium, and the apartments will become the first developments under construction related to Project Jackson.

By the time a hotel or convention center is built in North Augusta. The Augusta side will have at least 3-4 additional new hotels downtown. The Holiday Inn Express is underway, and the one near the common should begin in the near future.

I'm still playing the waiting game to actually hear what type of hotel North Augusta can attract. The hotel will have a hard time surviving unless the convention center, baseball stadium, and retail portions all worked out first. The convention center in North Augusta will also have to attract multiple non local events in order for people to stay the night.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/26/13 - 01:58 pm
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Why Project Jackson Could Get Ironman

It could be the whole Project Jackson complex with the hotel, restaurants, convention center, golf course and maybe even the open space of the stadium would be more attractive to the organizers. There could be a finishing lap inside the stadium while onlookers cheered from the stands. The bike ride is already on the SC side, the river is there and the town of North Augusta offers a better route for the run. I would certainly ask the Ironman organizers to take a look at the idea if I were involved with PJ.

GnipGnop
12467
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GnipGnop 09/26/13 - 02:26 pm
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You do realize

that the hotel is 1 mile away not 100? I can say with confidence that unless some major cleaning is done by the police near the Holiday Inn Express I know where people won't stay. Ask anyone that knows anything about the area and they wouldn't recommend that area for anyone the way it is now.

countyman
20627
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countyman 09/26/13 - 04:22 pm
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There's already restaurants,

There's already restaurants, hotels, convention center, etc in the CBD.

GnipGnop
12467
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GnipGnop 09/26/13 - 05:10 pm
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And your point is?

Not following the logic...

Gage Creed
17874
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Gage Creed 09/26/13 - 09:01 pm
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There's already thugs, crime,

There's already thugs, crime, vagrants, etc. in the CBD.

countyman
20627
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countyman 09/26/13 - 11:57 pm
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There's already thugs, crime,

There's already thugs, crime, vagrants, etc in North Augusta..

GnipGnop
12467
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GnipGnop 09/27/13 - 01:45 pm
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Nowhere near as many as in Augusta

Dispute that fact....

Gage Creed
17874
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Gage Creed 09/27/13 - 08:10 pm
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Now were getting somewhere...

Now we're getting somewhere... admitting there is a problem is the first step... isn't that so Dr. Deke....

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