Posts tagged with "adventure sports"

IRONMAN 2020 Course Announced

THE 2020 CARILION CLINIC IRONMAN 70.3 VIRGINIA’S BLUE RIDGE TRIATHLON ANNOUNCES COURSE DETAILS WITH A MAJOR PORTION OF THE BIKE COURSE SET TO TAKE PLACE ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Swim to take place in Carvins Cove Reservoir; bike portion from Roanoke County to Botetourt County and along the Blue Ridge Parkway into the Town of Vinton ending in Roanoke City and run portion along the Roanoke River Greenway

The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced today course details for the inaugural Carilion Clinic IRONMAN® 70.3® Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon taking place on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The center piece for the 70.3-mile route includes the bike course that will roll along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service filled with scenic views of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Adding to the long history of endurance events throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge region, this year’s Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon will feature epic locations for the swim, bike and run portions of the first year event,” said Keats McGonigal, Head of Operations, North America for The IRONMAN Group. “Specifically, for the bike portion of the event, the scenic byway will offer athletes a picturesque view like no other along America’s Favorite Drive. This event presents a unique opportunity for recreational access to the park and invites participants to share in the stewardship of this special place — the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of our nation’s treasured landscapes. We are excited about the course that athletes will have the chance to experience as they achieve their dreams of crossing the finish line at the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge. We are also grateful to everyone who responded in support of the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, realizing the overall economic benefit of the competition and recognizing the limited access of motor vehicles ensuring a safer experience for bikers.”

The 2020 Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, taking place on Sunday, June 7, 2020, will begin with a rolling start format. The 1.2-mile swim will take place in the clear waters of Carvins Cove Reservoir. After careful consideration, the Western Virginia Water Authority is partnering with IRONMAN to hold its swimming event in Carvins Cove Reservoir because of the extraordinary opportunity this event will have to showcase the entire region to a worldwide audience. The Authority worked closely with IRONMAN to make sure that the water quality and beauty of Carvins Cove will be preserved for the benefit of all residents.

Once out of the water, athletes will take on the 56-mile bike course that is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Athletes will depart from Carvins Cove in Roanoke County and continue east into beautiful Botetourt County towards the Town of Buchanan, a quaint, walkable town with antique shops and a great view of the James River. It is the starting point for an epic four-mile climb on Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s 469-miles links Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Athletes will experience breathtaking views of the valley, as they ride and descend 21-miles of completely closed roads to the Town of Vinton at Route 24; Vinton is a gateway community to the Blue Ridge Parkway with small town charm and is adjacent to the City of Roanoke. The ride will end at the beautiful River’s Edge Park, next to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, in the heart of Roanoke, Va.

“On behalf of the National Park Service, we are delighted to welcome triathlon participants to the Blue Ridge Parkway as part of their experience this June,” said J.D. Lee, Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway. “Organizers and sponsors have embraced a shared stewardship ethic in their planning approach, and we are excited to be part of this exceptional regional event.”

After transitioning to the run at River’s Edge Park, athletes will experience the Roanoke River Greenway, a paved trail alongside the Roanoke River Blueway for the run course, providing athletes shade while running through several parks along the course. The finish is conveniently located on the streets adjacent to River’s Edge Park.

Located in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is the largest metropolitan area in Virginia’s beautiful mountain region. It is a hub for outdoor recreation, arts and culture, and business west of Richmond. Roanoke is best known for the iconic Roanoke Star, which sits atop Mill Mountain and is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. For outdoor lovers, Roanoke offers a bevy of hiking and biking trails convenient to downtown and was designated a Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Virginia’s Blue Ridge has staked its claim as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital and is the perfect setting for an IRONMAN 70.3-branded event.

“Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is poised to welcome IRONMAN athletes and fans as the host destination,” said Lee Wilhelm, Chair of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “The outpouring of support from athletes, longtime residents and community stakeholders who took the time to contact the NPS was truly remarkable. We are grateful to live in a region where the people are passionate about tourism. Visit VBR is committed to working collaboratively with our regional partners and IRONMAN to ensure the race is a success.”

Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, Carilion Clinic, a not-for-profit health care provider that serves more than one million people in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Southwest Virginia regions, has been named title partner of the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon.

“Carilion Clinic is excited about collaborating to sponsor the IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” said Dr. Thomas K. “TK” Miller, vice chair of orthopaedics and chief of sports medicine at Carilion Clinic and Chairman of the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board. “Inclusion of the Blue Ridge Parkway on the bike route completes a trio of scenic natural settings for the triathlon course with unparalleled beauty at every turn. Carilion is looking forward to this unique opportunity to team with IRONMAN to promote the benefits of exercise and fitness and advance our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve.”

For more information on the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, visit www.ironman.com/im703-virginia-blue-ridge. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries can be directed to virginia70.3@ironman.com.

The course maps will be available here.

About the IRONMAN Group:
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group:
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.

About Carilion Clinic:
Carilion Clinic is a not-for-profit health care organization serving more than one million people in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Southwest Virginia regions. Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, Carilion’s comprehensive network of hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices, and other complementary services deliver high quality, patient-centered care close to home. Carilion has a robust partnership with Virginia Tech through its creation of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, both located in Roanoke. Carilion’s commitment to advance care through education and research elements in partnership with Virginia Tech and Radford University improves the health of the communities we serve. From leadership in electronic health records and investments in and applications of digital health to developing new and innovative methods to promote health and wellness, Carilion Clinic leads advances in health care that continue to transform the regions we serve and help deliver better patient care, better community health, and lower costs. For more information, visit www.carilionclinic.org

About Virginia’s Blue Ridge:
Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is located on the East Coast of the United States in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Known as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital, Roanoke has a wide array of metro-mountain adventures. Along with our hundreds of miles of thrilling mountain bike trails, Virginia’s Blue Ridge is best known for the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most visited national park systems and memorable scenic drives. The region also offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, which includes the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The running scene in VBR has an expansive greenway trails system along the panoramic routes of rivers and creeks. VBR offers a multitude of water sports activities including kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding on the Upper James River Water Trail, Roanoke River, Philpott Lake, Carvins Cove and Smith Mountain Lake. Roam the region’s many farmer’s markets or sample the craft beverage scene while exploring the VBR Cheers Trail. After a fun day of adventuring in the great outdoors, visitors can enjoy a farm-to-table experience at one of our many local restaurants. To cap off an adventurous day, catch the sunset from the scenic overlook at the iconic Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain. Come be a #Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge: www.visitvbr.com/ironman

Saddle Skeedadle’s Cycling Myths Unlocked:

Busting the Roadblocks Keeping Travelers out of the Saddle

Leading cycling operator Saddle Skedaddle sets the record straight on cycling’s biggest misconceptions.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Feb. 3, 2020: Cycling tours have become increasingly more popular in recent years thanks to North America’s focus on wellness travel, sustainable transport methods, and getting away from centers of overtourism. As such, cycling operators are adapting to the modern traveler.

Saddle Skedaddle, the world’s leading bike tour operator with itineraries in nearly 40 countries, recognized a 140% increase in bookings from North Americans between 2014-2018, according to Paul Snedker, director and co-founder. But even as cycling tours are on the rise, Snedker says there are still a lot of misconceptions about this kind of travel that limits new riders from hitting the road.

“There’s are these ideas that you have to be a really fit athlete to do a cycling trip, or that it would feel more like going to the gym than a true vacation,” says Snedker. “But actually, they’re quite accessible for all fitness levels and a great way to explore a destination in an even deeper way.”

Here are some common cycling misconceptions, unlocked:

Myth 1: You have to be an Olympian to do a cycling tour

According to Snedker, the biggest customer concerns are that they won’t be fit enough to do it, or they’ll be the slowest one of the group. While some bike trips are designed for hard core cyclists, there is quite a range in terms of level of difficulty, and many of the tours designed for family or leisure purposes are quite gentle. 

“Many travelers think the whole group will be decked out in lycra and be world-class cyclists on a bit of a holiday,” says Snedker. “The reality is most of our guests are over 50 and are simply looking for a way to stay active on vacation. So long as you’re reasonably fit in your daily life, you’ll be able to keep pace on a lot of our trips.”

Snedker says one of the biggest game changers and gateways to cycling holidays for people who are nervous about their endurance level has been the introduction of electric bikes to Skedaddle’s roster.

“E-bikes are so fantastic at leveling the bike lane, so to speak,” Snedker says. “Not only do they provide that extra push when you need it the most, but they take away the fear factor in the build up to a trip, so travelers can really get excited without being nervous about the physical side of things.”

Responding to strong client demand, Saddle Skedaddle has been steadily introducing self-guided and guided electric bike trips over the last few years, including several to far-flung destinations including Vietnam, China, and Chile.

Myth 2: You won’t have time to explore off your bike

North Americans typically get very little vacation time, so when they do get away, they want to see more, do more, and experience more. According to Snedker, there’s a common misconception that cycling trips don’t give you time to explore the destination. In reality, Snedker says the opposite is true.

“At Skedaddle, we’ve always said we prefer pedaling through, not passing by,” he says. “What that means is your bike can take you so many places your car or a coach bus can’t, so you’re able to really bike deep into the culture and check out the little nooks and crannies of a village or a rural stretch of a dirt path you may never otherwise encounter.”

Some of Saddle Skedaddle’s most popular trips include activities like remote camping under the stars in the Simien mountains, hiking in the jungle of Jordan’s Ajloun Forest Reserve, spotting orangutans on a family-focused journey through Borneo, and hunting for the best tapas bar in a small Spanish village.

“Our customers have evolved; they want cycling to enhance their travel experience, not the other way around,” Snedker says.

Myth 3: International cycling travel is complicated

According to Snedker, many potential bike travelers get antsy about the logistics behind a bike trip, from how to transport their bike to how to read road signs in a different language. The reality is, though, it’s never been easier to cycle in other countries than this decade thanks to technology and updated airline policies.

Just last year, American Airlines dropped their overweight charges for traveling with bicycles, and thanks to apps like the one Saddle Skedaddle has developed, road signs and directions for self-guided trips are simple as keeping your phone mounted on your handlebars.

Of course, rentals and guided trips make all these logistics even easier. “While we have a full-service team on the ground that’s ready to greet guests – and their bikes – the moment they arrive, we also offer bike rentals throughout each trip to make things as seamless as possible,” says Snedker.

Myth 4: You can’t bring kids on a cycling trip

It’s no longer just empty-nesters – family cycling travel continues to grow in popularity as parents look for active ways to keep the whole gang engaged on vacations. However, a common misconception is that group cycling trips don’t really work for families, something Snedkern says couldn’t be more wrong.

“Cycling provides a memorable way to bond as a family on holiday – and I daresay is more exciting than driving around in the rented minivan!”

Saddle Skedaddle makes sure all its family trips include a variety of activities out of the saddle that interest teenagers as well as younger children. They welcome kids as young as two on its family adventures, ranging from exploring Viking history on the Lofoten Islands of Norway to zip-lining and camping through the Moroccan Desert , and rent bike trailers, tag a longs and kids’ bikes so the whole family can keep up at their own pace.

For more information and to pedal through your next adventure, please visit: www.skedaddle.com

About Saddle Skedaddle

Saddle Skedaddle is the UK’s leading independent cycling vacation specialist that is all about doing something wonderful on two wheels. Our team of experts have searched far and wide for nearly 25 years to bring you some of the world’s most incredible locations and enchanting cultures to enjoy at the speed of the bike. It’s time to really meet a place, and its people, you’ll never want to forget.