Local IRONMAN ranks No. 1 in overall satisfaction

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The local IRONMAN competition is adding another feather to its race cap as athletes from Canada to Mexico and everywhere across the United States have said it is the most satisfying place to participate.

The Bicycle World Texas IRONMAN 70.3 Waco was ranked #1 in overall satisfaction in all of North America in the IRONMAN Athlete Choice Awards. (World Triathlon Competition photo)

The Bicycle World Texas IRONMAN 70.3 Waco was ranked #1 in overall satisfaction in all of North America in the IRONMAN Athlete Choice Awards.

"It was such an honor to find out we were ranked number one in overall satisfaction in North America just because of all the hard work that we've put into this event to try and make it great for the participants and the athletes," said Will Phipps, executive director of the Greater Waco Sports Commission.

"It's really just a testament to all of the things Waco has to offer that are so good for participants."

The survey looked at everything from lodging to restaurants and of course the overall experience of the course which consists of a 1.2-mile swim in the Brazos, a 56 -mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run through the hills of Cameron Park.

"They really love the course. The roads out on the bike are really great. The swim course is fast downstream and then running through Cameron Park is second to none," Phipps said.

"Our location is amazing in the state and people can get here easily. We have great restaurants. The energy and the development downtown have just been amazing. People just love everything we have to offer and it's quite an honor."

The event moved from Austin to Waco in 2018 and Phipps said the success has been evident since day one.

Participation more than doubled from Austin's 1,500 athletes in 2017 to more than 3,000 in in Waco in 2018. 2019 had even more athletes come out leaving the event at max capacity both years.

"When you look at the competition between sports commissions in other cities, for us to be able to say we have one of the five largest IRONMANS in the world and it's number one in overall satisfaction, I let my counterparts in other cities know that we're doing this really well."

Phipps credits a group effort for making the event stand out.

"From our title sponsor in Todd Behringer to Nancy Goodnight our volunteer coordinator to the city council and all the city staff to the county judge and the county commissioners everyone has come together to participate and make this great and it's an honor for all of us," Phipps said.

Registration for The Bicycle World Texas IRONMAN 70.3 on Oct. 18 is underway but Phipps said, for obvious reason, you better act fast.

"We have to turn people away every year so it's really amazing."