IRONMAN triathlon in PCB expected to bring big boost to local economy
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -It’s a big race expected to bring big bucks to the area. Racers from across the world will be competing in the Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast, but before the start line and after the finish these racers and their families are bringing in millions.
“Oh ballpark, I would have to say between four to seven million dollars,” Ben Rausa, Visit Panama City Beach Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast Race Director said.
It’s the 40th year the swim, bike and the run event has been in Panama City Beach, good for the competitors and the community.
“This event doesn’t happen without the support of the community and the volunteers within the community,” Rousa said.
It’s a community effort with school groups and non-profits helping out.
“These groups that do our volunteering, they receive grants to their non-profit through our foundation, Rousa said.
It’s an event that brings competitors to the area from all across the world.
“I was told this morning we have 34 countries represented, 49 states, and the District of Columbia. You know we have a huge following. I have athletes that have been here. I know I have two athletes that have raced for 21 and 27 years in this race and their local athletes, Rousa said.
Athletes like Sarah Allen will be her first time participating in an IRONMAN competition. She said Panama City Beach is a great place to start.
“Well the location, it’s sea level, I’m from Colorado like I mentioned. I figured this would be a great starting point for me. It’s a good flat course, so it’ll be perfect to transition into,” Allen said.
Like Allen, many athletes have trained vigorously for the last several months.
Nearly 1,800 will start with a 1.2-mile swim, then a 56-mile bike loop before finishing with a 13.1-mile run.
For a list of the race routes and any other general information involving the race, visit the race’s website.
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