It is Ironman Chattanooga indeed

Quite a few cities in the Southeast of the USA were vying to get a new fall Ironman event into their community and when the hype and dust all finally settled today it was announced that there will be an Ironman Chattanooga.

Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach and Greenville in South Carolina; Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Asheville in North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee were among those communities who had submitted proposals to World Triathlon Corporation and initially it was said that the announcement would be made earlier in the summer. But there was utmost silence and while their were quite a few rumors out there, and a clever ST forum member had done some great detective work, nothing was officially confirmed until today.

"We selected Chattanooga as it is a beautiful city and a premier outdoor sports destination. We are thrilled to bring IRONMAN here and to partner with the city to deliver a top level event," said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN in a press release.

The 2.4 mile swim will take place in the Tennessee River and that venue is also used in the popular annual Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon. Swim splits in that event are typically quite fast since it is a down river swim and that should be true for this newest Ironman swim course. The bike segment is reported to be two 56 mile loops through scenic farmland and offer some mountain views. The run course will be a two-and-a-half loop to make up the 26.2 mile distance and will feature downtown Chattanooga, the South Side, Riverview and the North Shore. Although Chattanooga is nestled between Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain and Missionary Ridge the bike and run sections should be reasonably flat and fast.

While there are likely a few mayors in other cities who are bummed by today's announcement, Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke must have had a last few good night sleeps.

"Chattanooga was a natural fit for this event, and while we are already home to a thriving athletic community, this event will help put Chattanooga in front of a whole new sector of athletes. Our collaborative efforts to promote Chattanooga’s physical assets, like our mountains and river, help us attract world class events like this," said Berke.

IRONMAN Chattanooga will take place on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and have a $25,000 USD professional prize purse and will be a P-2000 race. The race will offer 50 age group slots to the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship taking place on Oct. 10, 2015 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

General registration for IRONMAN Chattanooga will open at noon ET Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at