Atlantic City officially welcomed an international triathlon series today, unveiling an event next year that will send swimmers into the bay, bicyclists onto the Atlantic City Expressway and runners onto the resort town's iconic Boardwalk.
The annual event run by the Roth, Germany-based Challenge Family is projected to draw 2,000 athletes from around the world when it kicks off June 29, organizers announced today at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The 141-mile race will be the group's U.S. debut, an event that's being cheered by stakeholders amid efforts to boost the city's tourism profile.
NJBIZ first published news of the race in its Grapevine column Monday.
Published reports said the course will start with a 2.4-mile swim "in the back bays of Atlantic City," followed by a 112-mile bicycle course along the highway, roads and prominent sites around Atlantic County. And the 26.2-mile running course will finish in front of Boardwalk Hall, the reports said.
The event is another coup for the city as it tries to reinvent itself amid sliding casino revenue. The resort just welcomed the return of both professional volleyball and the Miss America pageant, which wrapped up Sunday.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees real estate and tourism efforts in the city, is expected to vote on a subsidy package for the race.
Challenge Family hosts 21 long-distance triathlons in 13 countries. Its founders were once involved in the prominent Ironman Triathlon series, but broke away in 2001, hosted their first race a year later. The group's flagship race takes place annually in Roth, drawing more than 5,000 athletes and 200,000 spectators, according to the website.