The weekend lineup includes:
• three triathlons of varying length and endurance, a Half-Iron, International distance and Sprint distance.
• an aquabike, which includes a swim and a bike leg.
• an aquathlon, which includes a swim and run leg.
Two of the three triathlons are already full — both the Half-Iron and International distanace. This year was the first year a Half-Iron was added to the line-up, making it all the more impressive to fill all 650 slots before race day.
“The impact of this event will be felt all over Haywood County in terms of contributions to the local economy and as the athletes race through Bethel, Canton, Clyde, Crabtree, Ironduff and Lake Junaluska area on the bike courses,” said Greg Duff of Glory Hound Events, which organizes the race weekend.
More than 75 percent of the races will be coming in from more than two hours away, requiring a nights stay which translates to an estimated economic impact of $300,000 from room nights, meals, and other purchases.
Of the 650 athletes competing in the gnarliest Half-Iron, 95 percent are coming from areas more than two hours away from Haywood County.
In total, athletes from twenty-three states will be racing in Haywood County.
The route goes from Lake Logan, through Bethel and the Pigeon River Valley toward Canton and Clyde. Expect to see bicycles on roads from 7:30 a.m. to noon and use extreme caution when passing them and at intersections. All major turns and intersections on the courses will be staffed with public safety officers.
The eastbound lane of N.C. 215 from Little East Ford Road to the Sunburst Campground will be closed to vehicles on Saturday, Aug. 2. Pilot cars will escort vehicles down the open lane on an alternating basis but those who don’t live on the road are encouraged to use other roads during this period of time.