On behalf of the Virginia’s Blue Ridge hospitality and tourism industry, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge would like to sincerely say “thank you” to the IRONMAN team and, especially, the title sponsor Carilion Clinic for three very successful Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon sporting events held in our region during June 2021, 2022, and 2023.  

The events brought in thousands of visitors from all 50 states and many countries around the world. Many of these athletes had never experienced our part of Virginia, and the reviews we received would make everyone in our region proud. Hosting IRONMAN has also elevated Virginia’s Blue Ridge as an already well-known destination for a variety of sports, including nearly 100 NCAA tournaments, USA Cycling championships, and many other athletic events.

The IRONMAN organization has announced a pause on future events in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The primary reason given was the pending, much needed improvements planned for the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is part of the event’s 56-mile bike course.

Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge advocates strongly for the continuation of our IRONMAN event and has received several verbal assurances from the organization’s leadership that it is their intent to come back, once the Blue Ridge Parkway improvements have been completed.

It takes an incredible team of organizations, governments, sponsors, and volunteers to make an event of this magnitude a success. We are grateful to Carilion Clinic, who made the event possible. Without Carilion, it would have been impossible to make this event a success. Carilion provided much needed medical support, volunteers, and generated the community spirit and teamwork needed to make IRONMAN possible. We can truly tout unprecedented regionalism with multiple governments and agencies, who stepped up emphatically in support of IRONMAN, including Botetourt and Roanoke Counties, the City of Roanoke, Town of Vinton, National Park Service, and Western Virginia Water Authority. All worked together across borders as one collective, highly-motivated Virginia’s Blue Ridge team!

Hosting IRONMAN helped everyone in Virginia’s Blue Ridge realize that we can work to set higher goals and achieve them TOGETHER! We look forward to the eventual return of the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge as our region continues to grow in acclaim as a national and international sports destination.

Landon C. Howard
President, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge