Nearly 2,300 athletes will be at the starting line for the Eighth Annual PPD Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon set for Saturday, October 17.
The USAT-sanctioned event includes a 2.4-mile swim in the waters near Wrightsville Beach, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The event also offers a half-iron distance triathlon and an additional 300 runners are expected to participate in the Second Annual New Hanover Regional Medical Center 5K, held in conjunction with the triathlon.
The full triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the half distance begins at 8:30 a.m. with a swim in the channel at the southern tip of Wrightsville Beach. The full bike course takes competitors from Wrightsville Beach, through sections of New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties. This year’s route includes a new finish line and post-event activities at the new Port City Marina, located adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center along the Cape Fear River.
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center 5K, also held on Saturday, October 17, enters its second year as a popular point-to-point running event. This fast and flat 5K event will start at the Greenfield Lake Hugh Morton Amphitheatre and follow the last mile of the PPD Beach2Battleship course before finishing at Port City Marina.
With a 9:30 a.m. start, athletes will enjoy perfect racing temperatures and the excitement experienced by the PPD Beach2Battleship Iron and Half Iron distance athletes. PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Heroes, everyday people who overcame illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research, will also compete in the race to raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials.
The PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon is an internationally recognized iron distance and half iron distance race, ranked among the top five iron distance events in the world by Triathlete magazine. Competitors from around the country and globe travel to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach to experience the race and enjoy the coastal setting. Set Up Events, producer of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, reports that approximately 95 percent of the participants travel from outside the local area. This year’s athletes are from 44 states and seven countries.
While many motorists should see little to no effect during their Saturday commute, normal traffic flow will be disrupted temporarily to facilitate the participants of this event. Traffic delays will particularly affect the residents and businesses in the area of Causeway Drive (Highway 76), Old Causeway Drive, Dock Street, Seacrest Drive, Keel Street, Short Street, and Marina Street on Wrightsville Beach. Signs have also been posted along the course route to make motorists aware of the event.
High-profile sporting events like PPD Beach2Battleship provide a welcome economic boost for Wilmington and the island beaches, especially during the shoulder season. Event organizers estimate that the total economic impact of events in previous years was approximately $4 million.
On Sunday, an athlete celebration/awards brunch will take place in downtown Wilmington. According to event organizers, all of the event’s net proceeds are contributed to the Wilmington Family YMCA. Both the half iron and full distance races are sold out.