MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - IRONMAN is bringing the newest IRONMAN 70.3 to the Mid-South.
Organizers were in Memphis Tuesday to announce Shelby Farms Park is hosting Tennessee’s first IRONMAN 70.3 Oct. 3, 2020.
“We’re excited about what we’re going to be able to do to showcase Memphis and this area and this venue to the rest of the world," said Keats McGonigal with IRONMAN.
IRONMAN organizers and city leaders gathered in Shelby Farms Park for the announcement. The organization also named St. Jude as their partner for the event.
Leaders with Memphis Tourism said it could have an economic impact of about $10 million.
The IRONMAN website says the inaugural event will have activities for competitors and those not racing -- paddle boarding, horseback riding and playground fun to name a few.
“The musical and nightlife of Beale Street. The southern smoke of Memphis BBQ. We’re looking forward to showing off our hospitality and culture," said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.
Last week, IRONMAN Triathlon teased the announcement on Twitter with a cryptic message saying anything is possible.
Shelby Farms is made up of more than 4,000 acres and has a number of lakes and trails. It’s one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
“This is exactly the kind of thing we hoped Shelby Farms Park would bring to Memphis," said Jen Andrews with Shelby Farms Park.
The St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 is a 1.2-mile swim at Hyde Lake, a 56-mile bike course and 13.1-mile run throughout Shelby Farms Park.
Memphians like Lisa Boysen have traveled to other parts of the world to compete in IRONMAN events. They’re excited to have it here.
“My hometown will finally have an IRONMAN I can do because I don’t have to do anywhere. I’m right here," Boysen told WMC Action News 5.
Memphis was one of four finalists for an IRONMAN Triathlon earlier this year, but the event went to Tulsa, Oklahoma instead.
Those who wish to participate in next year’s race can register online beginning Dec. 10.