Support needed for Ironman event Wednesday evening on the Fayetteville square


Anyone who’s excited about a potential Ironman triathlon in Northwest Arkansas is encouraged to show their support from 5:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 on the downtown Fayetteville square.

Fayetteville was named as one of four finalist cities in the running to host a new annual Ironman triathlon event beginning in 2020. Other finalists include Des Moines, Iowa; Memphis, Tennessee; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hazel Hernandez, director of marketing and communications for Experience Fayetteville, said organizers are in town this week to scout the area as part of the decision-making process for which city will host the new annual event.

The process includes a live Facebook broadcast on IRONMAN now in which tourism officials plan to make their case for Fayetteville.

Hernandez said Gordon Haller, a local resident who was the first Ironman winner in 1978, will be at the event Wednesday to give an athlete’s perspective on why Fayetteville would be a good fit.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will take place in front of the Enjoy Local mural at the Town Center plaza on the south side of the downtown square.

There are 41 Ironman locations across the globe where professional and amateur athletes compete in order to qualify for the world championship event held annually in Kona, Hawaii.

Ironman races are considered to be one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile marathon run. The swim, ride and run are raced in that order and without a break.

The winning city is expected to be announced in mid-June.