COEUR D'ALENE, Wash. - To swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon takes dedication: A trait that IRONMAN athletes bring to everything they do.
“We see some awesome dreams. In fact, some of these people out here in the crowd, I've coached that couldn't even swim and now they've seen their dreams several times over,” said John Martinek.
Martinek is a triathlete and a member of The Blaze triathlon team. He's finished the full IRONMAN- in Coeur d'Alene.
Tuesday night, Martinek and a number of other IRONMAN participants and fans brought that dedication to the CDA City Council meeting. Many wearing running shoes, some donning cycling singlets and even one attendee in a wetsuit. Their goal: convince local government to keep the full IRONMAN (140.6) in the Lake City.
“When they moved the half to June, the writing was on the wall that they were going to attempt to close the full IRONMAN and that's unfortunate and I think it's unfortunate to the community,” Martinek said..
Chamber of Commerce President Steve Wilson was at the meeting tonight, to ask the council to approve the amended contract with the World Triathlon Corporation, which operates IRONMAN.
In his remarks, he explained that the decision to keep only IRONMAN 70.3 in Coeur d'Alene came from a financial concern- with the addition of the half, Wilson said registration was lower for the full.
A statement from IRONMAN said that “… the best path forward for all parties is to discontinue the full-distance IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene event and put all of our focus into making the IRONMAN 70.3 race in Coeur d’Alene the best it can possibly be for everyone involved.”
Many of the attendees at the meeting seemed to be under the impression that the deal was not done- and the council asked Wilson to clarify.
The action required from council members was an approval for CDA to provide host services for IRONMAN 70.3. Had they voted against it, which some council members seemed torn over, Wilson said it would be more likely that WTO would pull both events, rather than return the full race.
The council approved the amended contract 4-1, with one abstaining.
But, athletes and fans didn't leave the meeting without at least some hope: the contract isn't permanent.
Council members pointed to the community's ability to get involved in the process, encouraging them to work with WTO and the Chamber of Commerce to see if and how it would be possible to bring the event back down tot road.
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