COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Triathletes who cross the finish line at IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene in August will do so for the last time. The Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce confirms 2017 will be the last year the city hosts IRONMAN 140.6.
The Chamber of Commerce and IRONMAN have agreed to amend the current contract for "the mutual benefit of all," according to a press release. IRONMAN 70.3, or the half-IRONMAN, will continue in Coeur d'Alene for years to come.
"We look forward to continuing a great relationship with IRONMAN and firmly believe this new agreement is a win-win for everyone," Steve Wilson, Chamber President, said.
The announcement comes amid speculation that the chamber, a major sponsor of the race, was looking to reduce the two races during the summer season to just one. The new agreement is "aimed at cutting down on event fatigue and will ease the strain on the recruitment and steep number of volunteers needed for multiple events."
The World Triathlon Corporation, which owns the IRONMAN franchise, said because of athlete concerns over the challenging nature of the course and the move of the event to August, 2017 will be the "sunset year" for IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene.
"With this decision having been made prior to this year’s full-distance race, we wanted to ensure that any athletes who have enjoyed this event over the years could have the opportunity to come back and cross the finish line one last time," the World Triathlon Corporation said in a statement. "It has been a marvelous 14 years and we want to make this final IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene event a celebration of all the memories that have been made on this course as we look forward to the memories that will be made racing the IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene triathlon in future years.”
The renegotiated contract allows for, "all parties to continue to build on the brand equity linking Coeur d'Alene and the IRONMAN organization. Those that benefit from having an IRONMAN race in Coeur d'Alene will continue to benefit; IRONMAN retains its investment in CDA, and the financial obligations of the Chamber of Commerce and its supporting partners are significantly reduced," according to the chamber's press release.
"We are confident that this change will allow us to continue our relationship with IRONMAN while also creating the space needed to welcome new visitors who are ready to experience all Coeur d'Alene has to offer. Ironman has been very responsive in listening and working with all CDA partners," Wilson said.