Big news from Squaw Valley! North Lake Tahoe announced today that it will host the first full-distance IRONMAN® event in California since 2001. The competition is scheduled to take place September 22, 2013.
“Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty and experience in hosting world-class endurance events have made it one of the world’s most appealing sports destinations,” said Steve Meckfessel, Managing Director of Global Race Operations for World Triathlon Corporation, the owner and operator of the IRONMAN series. “The launch of a full-distance IRONMAN event in California has been a long-time coming. We’re confident this race will instantly develop into a cornerstone of the global IRONMAN Series.”
It’s also a shot in the arm for the Tahoe economy during a slower time of year.
“We estimate the total economic impact to the region to be approximately $8 to $15 million over the course of the event,” said Chief Marketing Officer Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, the host destination and an official sponsor of IRONMAN Lake Tahoe. “More than 2,500 athletes are expected to take part with each bringing three to four guests and staying five to six nights.”
According to Chapman, the relationship with IRONMAN developed because of a connection with the Amgen Tour of California. Lake Tahoe hosted Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California in May 2011. The IRONMAN Lake Tahoe contract is a multi-year deal. The IRONMAN series also plays well with North Lake Tahoe’s human-powered branding campaign that encourages visitors to experience the area firsthand whether by getting out on regional trails or via the lake.
IRONMAN Lake Tahoe will start with a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in the pristine waters of Kings Beach, California, which has an average water temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in September. Athletes will enjoy a lakeside transition before starting a two-loop 112-mile bike course that is comparable in difficulty to the bike routes at IRONMAN Lake Placid, IRONMAN Canada and IRONMAN Wisconsin. Cyclists will travel along the lake into Tahoe City, California before following the Truckee River past Squaw Valley and into the Old West town of Truckee, California.
From there, the course turns south back toward Lake Tahoe, has a short loop in Martis Camp, continues past Northstar California and climbs to Brockway Summit. After a decent back down to Kings Beach, athletes will complete a second loop, and then a final, flat 17 miles to finish the bike course at Squaw Valley, home to the 1960 Winter Olympics.
With a transition at The Village at Squaw Valley, runners will proceed along the Truckee River bike path into Tahoe City, and continue south along the shores of Lake Tahoe to a turnaround in historic Homewood, California. The largely flat run course traverses one of the most scenic lake vistas in the world before finishing back along the cobbled corridors of The Village at Squaw Valley.
IRONMAN Lake Tahoe will be a P-2000 race with a $75,000 USD professional prize purse. Additionally, the race will offer 50 age group slots to the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship taking place October 11, 2014.
Registration for the inaugural IRONMAN Lake Tahoe will open Monday, June 18 at noon PST on www.ironmanlaketahoeCA.com. For more information about the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries may be directed to email@example.com.