AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – The 12th annual Augusta Ironman 70.3 Triathlon is happening this weekend.
Starting Friday, thousands of visitors are descending on the Garden City for one of the world’s largest half-Ironman races.
The Augusta Sports Council had to cancel the event in 2020 because of COVID, but this year it’s back. They limited the number of competing athletes to three thousand for safety purposes.
The race will start at 7 a.m. Sunday morning with a 1.2 mile swim in the Savannah River, followed by a 56 mile bike race and ending with a 13.1 mile run.
The Augusta Sports Council said that this race is important to Augusta’s economy.
“And it’s pretty substantial. Outside of the Masters Golf Tournament, Ironman is the largest sporting event in Augusta in terms of economic impact. It brings about $5 million of economic impact to our community each year,” said Brian Graham, CEO of the Augusta Sports Council.
The council told NewsChannel 6 that the race will impact people out on the road this weekend, especially in downtown Augusta.
“Probably the biggest impact to Augustans will be the traffic. The run course encompasses Broad Street, Reynolds Street, Greene Street,” explained Graham. “So downtown Augusta between 13th street and East Boundary, it’ll be pretty hard to get through that area, although, there is a way to get through.”
Graham said that the Augusta Players have a performance on Sunday afternoon. The Sports Council is working with them to shuttle patrons to the Imperial theatre.