Chattanooga voted one of the top Ironman cities, again

Chattanooga voted one of the top Ironman cities, again

February 13th, 2018 by Mark Pace in Breaking News

Spain's Javier Gomez gestures after crossing the finish line and winning the Icy Hot Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sunday, Sept. 10, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Chattanooga once again ranked highly in the annual Ironman Athletes Choice Awards.

Ironman announced the winners Monday for 2017 host cities. Chattanooga ranked in the top 10 in more than a dozen categories for Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga.

"It's pretty clear that Chattanooga loves to come out and support Ironman," Ironman Senior Regional Director Keats McGonigal said. "Athletes get that vibe and love racing there."

There are 102 Ironman 70.3 host cities and 39 Ironman cities worldwide. Chattanooga was one of 10 cities in the world to host both races when the events came to the city in 2014. It was also the first city to ever host four Ironman events in a year when the Ironman 70.3 Men's and Women's World Championships came in 2017.

For the awards, Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events were tallied separately. More than 55,000 athletes participated in the survey.

Chattanooga's restaurants were voted the best of any Ironman host city. The city also placed in the top 10 for overall swim, overall bike, best race venue, best host city experience and best post-race celebration.

For Ironman 70.3 events, Chattanooga ranked in the top five for overall bike and best host city experience categories, and placed second for best race venue and the "will recommend to a friend" category.

"This is about Hamilton County and the Chattanooga region. It further shows our capabilities to host major events," Chattanooga Sports Committee President Tim Morgan said. "It showcases that when a major event comes to Chattanooga, we put on a good show."

The city has traditionally placed well in the annual Ironman awards. City officials plan to tout Chattanooga's success hosting Ironman events in bids for other events such as the 2020 Olympic Trials marathon.

"We're going to use the experience with the world championships and the ongoing praise from the athletes regarding the events we host [to lure other events]," Morgan said. "Hopefully, this will ultimately be a tool for other initiatives that we're currently working on."

Chattanooga's contract with Ironman ends after 2018. A new deal has not yet been finalized.

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6361. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook @ChattanoogaOutdoors.


This story was updated Feb. 13, 2018, at 11:55 p.m.