The Bend Bulletin reported Tuesday that an Ironman triathlon will not be coming to Bend this year. For the last two months the Oregon Sports Authority had been leading a push to bring an Ironman event to Central Oregon. The problem was, Visit Bend had already signed a contract with Lifetime Fitness Athletic Events to host a Leadman Triathlon in September right around the time the Ironman would have been held. There was even one report that the events could be held on the same weekend. Needless to say, Lifetime Fitness was less than thrilled with the prospect of the bigger Ironman potentially stealing their thunder and who can blame them?
The Ironman is definitely the more well known triathlon and would likely bring more money and shine a brighter light on Central Oregon however the Leadman had already signed a three year deal with Visit Bend. That deal was announced in November. I’m not sure how all the confusion happened exactly but it sounds like communication, or lack thereof was the main cause of confusion and trepidation. Now it appears that all of the local tourism agencies have come together and agreed to put their support behind the Leadman triathlon and the event will proceed as planned September 20 – 23. I realize that a triathlon is not much of a spectator sport but I am definitely looking forward to trying to catch some of the action.
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