Fort Lee Chamber, Committee Begin Planning for 2012 Ironman in Borough
The 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship is expected to draw more than 15,000 competitors, spectators and visitors to the Fort Lee area, providing sponsorship, vendor and volunteer opportunities to businesses and individuals in the Fort Lee area.
The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce (FLRCOC) kicked into high gear Thursday, when they welcomed area businesses to their 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship volunteer, sponsorship and vendor presentation.
Fort Lee is playing a big role in hosting the Ironman competition on Saturday, August 11, the first time the event will be held in such a metropolitan area.
Previous venues include Lake Placid, NY; Madison, WI and Tempe, AZ, and the course here is logistically challenging in comparison, according to Ironman volunteer director Sarah Labowsky.
The demand to compete in Ironman events is always unprecedented, and Fort Lee 2012 is no exception, as registration sold out in 11 minutes.
“The race begins at 6:50 a.m., and typically, professional athletes finish in 8 to 8.5 hours,” Labowsky said. “It’s a championship level course.”
With 2,500 elite triathletes from around the world, more than 10,000 spectators and more than $50 million in revenue expected, all eyes will be on the borough.
During the competition, the FLRCOC will have event rights to the transition area at Bruce Reynolds Boulevard and Hudson Terrace. An Ironman aid station will also be at the location, which the Chamber will man with the help of volunteers—they need 100 people, who are at least 14 years old, per two six-hour shifts. Vendors and sponsors will also benefit from the prime locale.
The Chamber will be providing fluids and nutrition from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the day of the race. Former Chamber president Craig Weinstein is aid station captain and said they’ve been involved with Ironman since the beginning and really want to make this an exciting hub.
As a showcase for Fort Lee, Weinstein said, “I don’t know when we’re ever going to get this chance again.”
“From the civic side, we plan on having a lot of events—maybe a battle of the bands or a chili cook-off—so there’s going to be a lot of interest,” he said. “And the fact that it’s going to be televised nationally and internationally, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The 140.6-mile Ironman course starts at Ross Dock in Fort Lee with a
2-hour, 20-minute timed, 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River. The 112-mile bike ride spans a double loop on the scenic cliffs of the Palisades Interstate Parkway followed by a 26.2-mile marathon over the George Washington Bridge and culminating in Riverside Park at 83rd Street in New York City.
The cutoff time for the whole event is midnight on the New York side.
Ross Dock will only be accessible by ferry on race day. NY Waterway
in Weehawken at Liberty Harbor and 39th Street in Manhattan will transport athletes over, then volunteers and spectators, who can view the event in the transition area or park in the Fort Lee municipal lot and walk over, according to Labowsky.
Official Ironman hotels are the Hilton DoubleTree in Fort Lee, Sheraton Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken and Sheraton New York in midtown.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich thanked the Chamber for “grabbing the bull by the horns from a grassroots, volunteerism, community perspective” and said that without folks like them, things could get a little chaotic.
“Ironman continues to put Fort Lee on the map and I want everyone to be involved, to be a part of it—we’re the host community,” Sokolich said.
For more information, visit the FLRCOC online.