Tulsa Named Among Finalists to Host Iron Man Competition

Thursday, April 18th 2019, 7:01 pm

Tulsa is one of four cities in the running to host an Ironman competition.

The event is scheduled for next year, and an announcement naming the hosting city is expected in early June.

With events like the Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa Tough, the NCAA tournament and Big 12 Wrestling Championship in Tulsa, the Tulsa Regional Chamber said the city is poised to host another big athletic event, the Ironman Triathlon. 

"Ironman's a perfect fit,” Chamber Regional Tourism President Ray Hoyt said. "I think we have a great chance of getting this,” Hoyt said.

"We know that Tulsa can handle large-scale sporting events,” Ironman Vice President of Global Operations Beth Atnip said.

The Ironman competition starts with a 2.4-mile swim, then a 112-mile bike ride. The triathletes finish strong with a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles. The competition lasts about 17 hours.

Atnip said more than 2,000 competitors would come in from all over the world. If Tulsa is chosen, they could be swimming in Keystone Lake or Lake Skiatook.

“You have to have water to start out with,” Atnip said. “And then we kind of looked at the city center. And the distance the water is from the city center or the downtown."

She said they've also looked at bike and running courses in town, but Memphis, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Des Moines are on the radar too.

"Tulsa's looking really good,” Atnip said.

Hoyt said hosting the Ironman would promote Tulsa as a unique destination.

"And that's what's cool about Tulsa, we are unique in ourself,” he said. “When you think about all the cool things we have here that are very unique to Tulsa. Iron Man would just contribute to that uniqueness."

If Tulsa wins the competition to host the Ironman, Atnip said it could have a $10 million economic impact on the city.

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