Chattanooga wants more Ironman

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Chattanooga hosted its first Ironman competition, and many are calling it a huge success. Visitors from around the world came to the Scenic City to watching the grueling triathlon.

"An awesome site to have it at."
"The fans were awesome."
"You guys were so awesome out there."

Awesome was one word most used to describe the Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga.
In its first year, the turnout exceeded everyone’s expectation.

While downtown Chattanooga hosted the large crowd around the finish line, many in Chickamauga say it was just as exciting on the bike trail.

"They cheered them on," said Georgia resident Lionel Claridy. "There was a lot of people out cheering them and everything, watching them, and they really enjoyed them."

But someone tried to sabotage the event in North Georgia by placing tacks and oil on the course, causing 30 bikers to get flat tires.

Ironman Officials said it’s something they didn’t expect.

"It doesn’t happen often," said Ironman Course Director Brian Myrick. "New events you never know really what to expect."

North Georgia residents were disgusted when they heard about it.

Terry DeLancett said, "It could hurt somebody."

Daine Johnson said, "I was kind of embarrassed that it happened."

Through the minor attempted sabotage, these residents still look forward to seeing more of the Ironman.

Terry DeLancett went on and said, "I think it be pretty good, I mean it brings a lot of money to the area."

Daine Johnson added, "Absolutely would love to have them come back. I hope that didn’t discourage from coming to our area."

These were feelings Chattanoogan officials like Chris Anderson share.

"I was proud of Chattanooga this weekend," said Anderson.

Chattanooga has made a five year commitment to the Ironman competition.

Anderson added this may be the best thing going forward for the city.

"People get exposure to our city for the first time, and now maybe we’ve made life-long fans out of them."

This is something the Scenic city will not shy away from.

"People enjoyed it, people really enjoyed it," said Claridy.

This was the first of five Ironman competition. Officials say they expect even bigger crowds now that in these next four years.

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