Ironman event still in need of volunteers

By Brandon Klein -

There are still plenty of spots open for volunteering at Delaware’s inaugural Ironman 70.3 Ohio triathlon, which is less than a month away.

The “Ironman 70.3 Ohio” is the 30th such event in the United States, and the first of its kind in the state, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim in Delaware Lake; a 56-mile, bike ride through Delaware, Marion and Morrow counties; and a 13.1-mile run that starts and finishes at Selby Stadium in Delaware. The event runs Aug. 19-21.

“I think the Ironman is going to be such a great event for the Delaware community,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle, including not only the city but the county as well.

The event is expected to have $2.3 million economic impact on Delaware’s local economy. Riggle said she plans to reach out personally to businesses in the downtown area to make sure they are open during breakfast hours for the athletes and families.

The event has nearly 600 volunteers signed up, but Riggle said she’s now over half her goal of reaching 2,000. The mayor has signed up 24 captains that recruit volunteers and have reported to her that they can meet their own goals.

Becoming a captain for the event is also a grant opportunity, she added.

The Ironman has provided the city $18,000 to be distributed as grants to nonprofit organizations. Captains who meet their recruiting goals will receive a portion of the grant money.

“There are still plenty of jobs,” Riggle said.

The Tampa-based World Triathlon Corp., which owns the rights to the event, will send 40 to 60 staff members to coordinate the event and the 4,500 athletes expected to compete, she said.

Riggle said she may have to reach to Columbus if the city cannot get enough volunteers, but hopes the incentives and the event itself will entice more people to get involved. All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and — if they worked at least two hours — free food.

“We try to take care of our workers,” Riggle said.

By Brandon Klein

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.