Ironmen to pump up Provo

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    By Joli Williams

    National eyes will be turned once again to Utah County when the Ironman competition runs in June.

    Organizers are expecting 4,000 volunteers to participate in the world-class event that features top athletes from around the world.

    Volunteers, who thought their service was completed when the Paralympics ended, will once again be called upon to step forward.

    Nikki Purdy, volunteer coordinator for the triathlon, said the volunteer base was one of the reasons Utah was chosen.

    “The event directors felt Provo was a small enough community to get involved and embrace the event,” she said.

    Purdy said most volunteers will not have to make a huge time commitment and will only be required to work the week of the race.

    Coordinators will welcome all volunteers; this will be a great opportunity for BYU students to offer service to the community, Purdy said.

    Considering a portion of the event will be held on BYU”s campus, she said it will be convenient for students to assist and observe.

    Besides offering volunteer opportunities, the Ironman is expected to bring income to Provo City.

    Leland Gamette, director of economic development for Provo, said, “The projections for potential revenue have been substantial.”

    Michael Mower, spokesman for Provo City, said the city is not overly concerned with costs, but is monitoring it closely.

    Chris Bowerbank, the run course captain, said athletes need local places to stay.

    “We are hoping Provo residents will open their homes to the athletes and their families,” he said.

    Petr Vabrousek, his wife Vera and three-year-old son, are one of the families seeking accommodations.

    International athletes like Vabrousek will need assistance navigating around Provo and surrounding areas.

    The triathlon will begin with the swim event in Utah Lake.

    The bike course is expected to utilize Route 189 then head toward the Sundance Resort.

    The run will be a two-loop course passing the venue area four times.

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