Kim M. Straka
Madison, WI-On September 11, Madison will once again become the stage for one of the most grueling and courageous athletic competitions of all time. This year’s Ford Ironman Wisconsin 2005, complete with 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running throughout Greater Madison, will not only attract more than 2,000 participants, but will also draw tens of thousands of spectators as well, giving Madison one big weekend for tourism.
More than 2,000 athletes, registered to compete in this weekend’s race, will vie for 80 qualifying spots to the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) also estimates that 30,000 spectators will turn out for the race. The estimated economic impact for this year’s race is $2.23 million.
“Hosting Ironman is a great opportunity for our residents and the tourism industry,” said Deb Archer, President and CEO of the GMCVB. “The event attracts participants and fans from around the world and, has become a favorite among community members. We look forward to many future years of hosting this prestigious athletic competition.”
Ford Ironman Wisconsin is one of eight Ironman events that are currently held in continental North America, with seven events in the United States and one in Canada. For more information about this year’s Ironman triathlon please visit www.ironmanwisconsin.com or contact the GMCVB at www.visitmadison.com.