For about a year there has being rampant speculation among the Triathlete community in SE Texas that the WTC has been trying to bring a full Ironman race in the The Woodlands, TX.
Seriously, not a race went by that you wouldn't hear some rumblings in the background about this. Everyone had a theory or heard something but nothing ever seemed to be anything other than a rumor. The two big Triathon forums, BeginnerTriathlete and Slowtwitch , both had numerous threads just fanning the rumor mill fires and not letting this die. Well, yesterday the rumor mill got another kick to its proverbial butt with the latest news that on June 23rd The Woodlands Township Board of Directors is meeting to discuss the economic ramifications of bringing Ironman to their community. Here is an excerpt from the public document (or click here ) SUBJECT MATTERReceive and consider a major event coming to The Woodlands BUDGET IMPACT:World Triathlon Corporation is seeking an advertising sponsorship fromThe Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as in kind trade commitment from The Woodlands Township.
FACTS:Memorial Hermann – The Woodlands approached The Woodlands Township and The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau about establishing a major triathlon competition known as “Ironman®,”produced by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), with the event to take place in and around The Woodlands. WTC has been working diligently to secure all the necessary approvals to produce its newest domestic Ironman event in and around The Woodlands with various entities including local law enforcement, county commissioners, railroad authorities, local hotels and businesses, and The Woodlands Township and Convention & Visitors Bureau. WTC points out the following information:
•Opportunity for residents of The Woodlands to see some of the greatest enduranceathletes in the world;
•The Woodlands is attractive to WTC as the venue for this premier event as TheWoodlands is known as a world class community – home to hundreds if not thousands of world class athlete that would welcome the opportunity to host and participate in such a renowned event as Ironman
;•There will be hundreds of volunteer opportunities for residents of The Woodlands toparticipate in the event and Ironman will commit to providing $100,000 annually to local charities;
•The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile runcompleted in succession within a 17-hour timeframe
.•The event would serve as one of 23 global qualifying races for the Ford Ironman WorldChampionship that takes place each October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
.•Throughout its 32-year history, Ironman has transformed from an event into a lifestyleand sports brand that continues to inspire millions each year to take on new personal challenges and demonstrate the mantra, “Anything Is Possible?”;
•Attract 2,500 participants from nearly all 50 states and 25+ countries
;•Nationally and internationally televised, creating 1.5 million in advertising impressionsfor The Woodlands on a global scale; and
•Create an economic impact of $15.9 million through the sale of thousands of hotel roomnights, retail shopping, food and beverage dinners and sales. Venues for an Ironman event in The Woodlands would include Northshore Park, Lake Woodlands, The Woodlands Waterway, Town Green Park, Waterway Square, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center and numerous restaurants and retail shops.
A full report will be presented to The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 4:30 p.m. and for The Woodlands Townships Board of Directors at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, 2010.
Let me now show you why this would be so darn cool for yours truly: View Larger Map Point A is where I live and Point B is the center of The Woodlands. How cool would it be to have an Ironman in your backyard? Now the real question is what month will they hold the Ironman. The weather in SE Texas can be extremely hot and humid as early as May and as late as October. The same crazy rumor mill has the race being help on Memorial Day weekend - it was 95 degrees this Memorial Day weekend! This area could easily accommodate an Ironman. Plenty of hotels, shopping, restaurants, bike shops ..etc are available. There are some excellent farm roads featuring both flats and rolling hills and the swim could be done in Lake Woodlands. It might have to be a two loop swim which easily could be done in Lake Woodlands.
I guess we will all see what happens but whatever does this has been extremely fun to follow.
Oh, get your reservations in now to stay a Casa de Carrot for Ironman Texas 2011! Thanks for Reading, Jeff