A big event is coming to Maple Valley, thanks to the work of the city and City Manager Laura Philpot.
Maple Valley will be the host of the 70.3 IRONMAN triathlon in September 2020. A spokesperson with Ironman said the race will be the “most exciting” and newest race in the Iron Man series.
“We are very excited about this community for a lot of reasons,” Dave Christen with IRONMAN North America said. “One of those reasons is the community that is here in this community tonight. The lifestyle that has made Maple Valley famous is the active lifestyle. This year IRONMAN has had a lot of exciting announcements … this is just another example of us celebrating tonight another place for athletes to come to join, race and enjoy.”
Bringing the IRONMAN 70.3 was a regional effort, Maple Valley Mayor Sean Kelly told a crowd at Crockett Public House on Thursday, Sept. 12. The City of Renton, Covington, Black Diamond, the local school districts and local Rotary Clubs also pitched in or promised funds to help bring the event to Maple Valley. The City of Renton will be providing some funding to the event through its lodging tax since many participants will likely rent hotels in surrounding areas.
“I need to recognize the City of Maple Valley staff,” Kelly said. “On behalf of the 26,000 residents here … we are welcomed to have you.”
Kelly credited Philpot for being the main organizer of the partnership.
“I just want to say thank you for being here tonight,” Philpot said. “I am so excited to bring the world into Maple Valley. I love triathlons, I love IRONMAN, I love Maple Valley … I remember the first time I saw Lake Wilderness and thinking it’s so amazing. Our roads for biking are incredible, our trails are incredible, and I can’t believe we are going to have this event on some of the greatest bike routes, trails and in the greatest city.”
The IRONMAN races are some of the most well-known races in the world of athletics. The IRONMAN sports 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, the Epic Mountain Bike Series and other multisport races, according to the group’s website.
This will be the first IRONMAN event in the state since it left Lake Stevens around six years prior.
Philpot said she has trained and ran in IRONMAN events before. For her, Maple Valley had the perfect trail system and space for training. Triathlons are held in Lake Wilderness already, which helped give Maple Valley an edge while being considered for next year’s event.
The September event will include a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and then a running portion around Lake Wilderness, Christen said.