TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Next year, North Lake Tahoe will host the first full-distance Ironman event in California since 2001, officials announced Friday.
The event will take place Sept. 22, 2013, according to a press release from Pettit Gilwee Public Relations, sent on behalf of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
“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, owner and operator of the Ironman series, in a statement. “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, said Andy Chapman, chief marketing officer of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, the host destination and an official sponsor of Ironman Lake Tahoe.
“We estimate the total economic impact to the region to be approximately $8 (million) to $15 million over the course of the event,” Chapman said in a statement. “More than 2,500 athletes are expected to take part with each bringing three to four guests and staying five to six nights.”
The Ironman Lake Tahoe contract is a multi-year deal, Chapman said, and 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,” according to the press release.
Ironman Lake Tahoe will start with a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in the lake in Kings Beach. Athletes will enjoy a lakeside transition before starting a two-loop, 112-mile bike course along the lake into Tahoe City, before following the Truckee River past Squaw Valley and into Truckee.
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 descent back down to Kings Beach, athletes will complete a second loop, and then a final, flat 17 miles finish the bike course at Squaw Valley.
With a transition at the Village at Squaw Valley, runners will proceed along the Truckee River bike path into Tahoe City, and continue south to a turnaround in Homewood, before finishing back at the Village at Squaw Valley.
Ironman Lake Tahoe offers a $75,000 prize purse. Additionally, the race will offer 50 age group slots to the 2014 Ironman World Championship taking place Oct. 11, 2014.