Ironman Roanoke is coming to Virginia 2020 reads headlines! As an athlete living in a neighbor state, I am excited. Currently the closest Ironman event to me is Louisville, Kentucky. However, Ironman may not be a boon for Virginia. Ironman, run by the World Triathlon Cup (owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group) purchased one of their competitor races, Rev3 Tri, a triathlon in Williamsburg, only to run it one year (last year) and then to kill the race.

To add insult to injury, Ironman chose to hold their Willamsburg race May 5th, the same weekend as Monticelloman, an independently-run triathlon. Not everyone has the time and resources to train for a full or half Ironman, but more can manage smaller distances put on by local events, such as sprints, duathlons or aquabike events. I hope Ironman does not push out more of these options. Triathlon racing is already expensive. Ironman makes it more so, often charging over one-hundred dollars more for similar events. The Roanoke Ironman is falling within a month of another half ironman, the Kinetic race which happens in May. The Kinetic offers smaller event options at less cost. Do not forget about Kinetic, and other, even smaller independent races, while Ironman toots its horn.

PAULA KAUFFMAN

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA

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