Austin to flex economic muscle with first-ever Ironman collegiate competition
The first-ever Ironman 70.3 U.S. Collegiate Championship will be held this October in Austin in conjunction with the Ironman 70.3 Austin, according to World Triathlon Corp.
The collegiate competition will feature U.S. collegiate teams and individuals—all of them full-time students for the 2010-11 academic year.
World Triathlon Corp. owns the global Ironman and 70.3 events.
“This is exciting news for Austin on a number of levels,” says Matthew Payne, executive director of the Austin Sports Commission. “First, it will bring an additional 250 athletes to our annual Ironman 70.3 event and help boost the economic spending to nearly $3 million into the Austin economy.”
“Second,” Payne adds, “it increases awareness of Austin as a triathlon destination, and triathlons are an event segment we’ve been working to expand. Finally, it serves as another example of Austin’s success in the youth and student sports markets. Events like this are part of the reason Austin is able to maintain relative stability in a shaky economic climate.”
The Ironman 70.3 Austin, formerly known as the Ironman 70.3 Longhorn, will take place Oct. 17. Athletes will complete a one-loop, freshwater swim in Decker Lake, followed by a one-loop bike course and concluding with a two-loop run through Walter E. Long Park and along the shores of Decker Lake.
Athletes will compete for a total of 50 slots at the 2011 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3.
“Austin is an obvious fit for the Collegiate Championship,” said Keith Jordan, race director for the Ironman 70.3. “It is a great city that is easy to get to with a vibe unlike anywhere else. Having the University of Texas in our backyard will surely enhance the experience for all the athletes.”