COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - With two weeks to go until the Ironman 70.3, many racers were out in the sunshine on Sunday, getting their last few swims, bike rides and runs in before the big day.
The first Ironman 140.6 Race (full Ironman) debuted in Couer d'Alene is 2003 to much excitement. It will be held this year on August 27th.
But last year, The Couer d'Alene Ironman 70.3 (half Ironman) was introduced and will take place this year on June 25th.
In recent days, the future of the two Couer d'Alene races have come in to question.
The Spokesman Review initially reported that the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, a major sponsor of the race, is looking to reduce the two races during the summer season, to just one.
The possible change comes at the end of the Chamber's contract with the for-profit Ironman organization. The city cited concerns about the declining number of tri-athletes participating in the full Ironman.
Past participants we talked to on Sunday were not shocked.
“It really wouldn't surprise me because I feel like the half Ironman has glory,” said Autumn Deda.
Autumn has raced both the Ironman 140.6 and the 70.3 and said the introduction of the half Ironman last year brought out more local participants, taking away from the excitement the full Ironman.
She added, “the half last year was great because there was a lot more people, it wasn't as intimidating, I feel like a lot of people who always wanted to do it were able to come out and do it.”
Caleb Hiebert, who trains a group of racers with the Couer d'Alene Bike Company said, “having both races is somewhat taxing for the community. It requires a lot of volunteers, a lot of time, a lot of set up, as well as taking weekend time away from our other local events."
No racers we spoke to wanted to see the Ironman 140.6 go. Their hope is that Couer DdAlene can follow what other iron man cities have done and hold both races on the same day.