published Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Triathlon to officially be called Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga

  • photo
    Bob Doak speaks during a press conference at Coolidge Park announcing McKee Foods is the title sponsor for the inaugural Ironman Chattanooga.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

McKee Foods will be signing on as the main sponson for the Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga which will begin a five-year run in the Scenic City this fall.

McKee will be the sponsor through 2016.

City tourism leaders made the announcement Thursday morning at Coolidge Park on the city' North Shore.

The debut Chattanooga Ironman will be held Sept. 28 and competitors will battle over a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle section followed by a full-marathon 26.2-mile run. The top finishers will be competing for 50 spots in the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the race features a $25,000 prize purse, according to the event's website.

Officials with the Chattanooga Sports Committee estimate that the Chattanooga Ironman will bring an estimated $40 million in revenue to the city over the next five years.

When registration opened online last September, the race's 2,500 spots sold out in minutes despite some technical problems with the event's web registration, and the competitors as well as friends and families are expected to spend several days in Chattanooga prior to race day.

Last summer’s announcement of the Ironman triathlon coming to the scenic city for a five-year commitment is just the latest in big-ticket outdoor competitions that now call Chattanooga home. Last Memorial Day weekend, the USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial Championships made their first of a three-year run in the Scenic City.

Check back later for more on this story or see Friday's Times Free Press for a story and photos from Thursdays announcement.

Contact Jim Tanner at jtanner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6478. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JFTanner.

about Jim Tanner...

Jim Tanner has worked as assistant sports editor at the Times Free Press since late 2006. He started at the Times Free Press in 2001 and worked as a news copy/design editor from 2001 through 2006. In addition to working as a night and weekend editor producing local and national sports coverage for print and online readers, Jim occasionally writes local sports and outdoors stories. Jim grew up in Ringgold, Ga., and is a graduate ...

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