Iron­man re­turns to Cam­bridge next weekend

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Dorch­ester County will host 2,000 en­durance ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fifth an­nual Iron­man Mar yland.

Iron­man Mary­land will be the first full-length triathlon in the mid-At­lantic re­gion and one of only 12 full Iron­man triathlons in the United States.

Ath­letes from 59 coun­tries are ex­pected to at­tend, which is the largest in­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tion for the race to date. Con­tes­tants will take to the 140.6-mile course start­ing Satur­day, Sept. 29. The awards cer­e­mony will take place the fol­low­ing day. Ath­lete check-in will start Wed­nes­day, Sept. 26

“For five years, the East­ern Shore has em­braced Iron­man Mary­land, cat­a­pult­ing it to the top of en­durance events na­tion­ally,” race direc­tor Gerry Boyle said. “In April, we were named ‘Ath­lete’s Choice’ for best full dis­tance Iron­man race in the world by par­tic­i­pat­ing ath­letes thanks to the wel­come they re­ceive from the com­mu­nity.”

Dorch­ester County Tourism Direc­tor Amanda Fen­ster­maker said com­mu­nity in­vest­ment from Iron­club Mary­land, the lo­cal booster club for the event, gen­er­ates more than $1.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally for the county. The club also is do­nat­ing $100,000 to non­profit and ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The li­cens­ing fee for the event also is gen­er­ated by the club. The $100,000 fee is funded through com­mu­nity events and dona­tions from lo­cal busi­nesses and other agen­cies.

Bill Christo­pher, Dorch­ester County Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent, said dona­tions from the Iron­man foun­da­tion di­rectly ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity. In the past, the foun­da­tion has do­nated to the lo­cal county fire depart­ment, along with other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Iron­man events ob­vi­ously pro­vide tremen­dous eco­nomic value to Dorch­ester County and the sur­round­ing ar­eas,” Christo­pher said. “How­ever, they also cre­ate a sense of com­mu­nity for the large group of vol­un­teers who help show off

the beau­ti­ful place we live to the vis­it­ing ath­letes and their fam­i­lies.”

Iron­man Mar yland also will sup­port Dorch­ester Goes Pur­ple, a cham­ber ini­tia­tive to raise aware­ness of opi­oid ad­dic­tion. About 1,700 vol­un­teers will be out­fit­ted with pur­ple shirts to draw at­ten­tion to the event and the is­sue.

Five dozen Dorch­ester County el­e­men­tary and mid­dle school chil­dren will carry in­di­vid­ual flags rep­re­sent­ing ath­lete’s coun­tries dur­ing the wel­come cer­e­mony at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay. The event will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27.

“Iron­man Mary­land’s high recog­ni­tion and ath­lete sat­is­fac­tion is a tes­ta­ment to ev­ery res­i­dent, vol­un­teer and donor who helps cre­ate a flaw­less, friendly and first-class ex­pe­ri­ence,” Dorch­ester County Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ricky Travers. “Dorch­ester is the heart and soul of Tri-County.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

This month, Dorch­ester County will host 2,000 en­durance ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fifth an­nual Iron­man Mary­land.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

This month, Dorch­ester County will host 2,000 en­durance ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fifth an­nual Iron­man Mary­land.

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