With about 3,500 participants expected for another edition of the sold-out intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta, Augusta Sports Council CEO Brinsley Thigpen can pinpoint the reason for the event’s success.
“We’re centrally located,” she said. “The weather’s pretty good for training year-round. And a lot of participants are within driving distance.”
The fourth annual intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
The competition starts with a 1.2-mile swim in the Savannah River, continues with a 56-mile bike ride into South Carolina and finishes with a 13.1-mile run through downtown Augusta.
The intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta is in the second year of a three-year deal with World Triathlon Corp. The popularity of the event remains at a high level, with the competition filling up in June – the fastest time it’s sold out.
Thigpen said the event brings in $4 million in direct visitor spending on an annual basis. With the competition’s interest and financial impact, Thigpen said she’d like to see it become a yearly staple.
“Ironman needs to be happy, and so far they are,” Thigpen said. “We’re hoping this will be a long-term for the community.”
If you’re not participating, you still have ample opportunity to enjoy the race. Spectators can find many great viewing spots throughout the three-leg race. Fans can stake out a spot along Broad Street to watch entrants begin their bike ride into South Carolina before circling back to the transition area at the Boathouse.
Spectators also can find a spot near Augusta Common as triathletes finish the race. The first competitor is expected to cross the finish line on Broad Street between Eighth and Ninth streets about 11 a.m.
“I encourage our residents to come down and see it because it’s such a positive event for our community,” Thigpen said. “You don’t have to be an Ironman to enjoy the event.”