Lake Stevens keeps world qualifier race amidst tough competitionRacers, supporters and spectators
Known for its mild climate, beautiful scenery, and competitive course, the Lake Stevens Ironman world qualifier has become a favorite among many of the racers.
Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori says that having the race in Lake Stevens is a sound investment to the local economy, and the proof was in the number of people standing outside of Jay’s Market and Main Street Coffee on Sunday morning.
“It has a tremendous economic impact not only for Lake Stevens, but for Snohomish County as well,” he said.
With nearly 1,500 athletes from all over the world and the countless numbers of spectators, all of whom require hotel rooms to stay in and food to eat while they are here, add up to nearly one million dollars in projected revenue.
Over the past couple of years Barclays North had been the major local sponsor for the event, but with the bad economy and downturn in the real estate market, Barclays North has since closed their doors in Lake Stevens.
Not wanting to give up the Ironman event, the chamber and city counsel did everything possible to keep the event in Lake Stevens and succeeded.
“It’s an event now that a lot of places want, including Canada,” Celori said.
However, the event has been secured and will be held in Lake Stevens until 2012 according to Celori.
This year a surprise entry into the race consisted of a relay team with Celori, Dave DeLorm and Marcus Tageant, all locals.
Each of them will take a leg of the race that they have been training for since deciding to participate in the triathlon.
DeLorm will start the race by swimming the 1.2 miles, then switching off to Tageant who will bike the 56 mile course, which is considered to be one of the toughest 70.3 bike routes.
Finishing the relay will be Celori who will run the 13.1 mile leg of the triathlon.
“We’re all confident we’ll finish,” said Celori.
Out of town supporter from Portland, Ore. Sandra Bly came to cheer for her son Erin Aas of Seattle. Bly said her son is in the 30-34 age bracket.
“He’s 33,” she said.
Co-worker and friend Pam Boyer, who is competing in the Seattle marathon in November, also came out to support Aas who wore number 199, saying he just had knee surgery in February.
“He does something at least everyday,” Boyer said of Aas and his fitness ethics for conditioning. “He’s really strong in running and biking.”
Anyone wanting to compete in the Ironman 70.3 can do so as either an individual or as a relay team. The competition doesn’t discriminate either allowing for amputees and the visually impaired to compete -- with a guide.
“This is a good opportunity for the locals to compete, you don’t have to be a pro,” commented Celori.