The inaugural Ironman 70.3 Raleigh on June 2 was a tremendous success by any measure.

More than 2,300 athletes from around the world (43 states, 15 countries) traveled to Raleigh, and thousands of people lined the streets of Raleigh and Wake County to cheer them on. Since then, the Raleigh area has received an outpouring of accolades, as participants have taken to social media to tell the world about our Southern hospitality, the unmatched enthusiasm of our 1,700 volunteers, the stunning natural beauty of our region (a theme we are hearing repeatedly), the amazing community support all along the route, and the event's impeccable logistical organization and attention to detail. Many veteran athletes proclaimed it the best triathlon they have ever experienced.

And not only did Ironman 70.3 Raleigh further strengthen our brand as a leading national sports event destination, and one with a healthy, active lifestyle, but it also made its mark in economic development. Visitors to Raleigh generated more than 5,000 hotel room nights, filled our restaurants and left behind more than $2.5 million in direct spending.

It took a full year of preparation and a superb partnership to pull this off. While I certainly can't name everyone, I'd like to recognize and thank the organizations who played crucial roles not only in making Ironman 70.3 Raleigh a reality, but a smashing success. They include: the City of Raleigh (and its police department), Wake County (and its sheriff's office), the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Raleigh Sports Council, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the town of Holly Springs (and its police department), Jordan Lake, the Chatham County sheriff's office, the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation, Meredith College, the N.C. Museum of Art, Capitol Broadcasting Company, more than 1,700 incredible volunteers, the thousands of locals who lined our streets and roads to support the athletes, Mr. Jim Lavery (our local coordinator), and Mr. Brian Myrick of the World Triathlon Corporation, the race director who oversaw all planning and operations and did so with great expertise and professionalism.

Kudos and thanks to all ! It was a wonderful day for our region, and a day we can all be proud of. We have set a high standard for the second annual Ironman 70.3 Raleigh, and we look forward to matching it and even surpassing it on June 1, 2014.

Scott Dupree
Executive Director
Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance