October 21, 2014
Local residents will see an increase in traffic this week as Ironman GNCC participants and fans start arriving in Crawfordsville for Saturday and Sunday’s national racing event.
Local hotels and restaurants are expecting to be full this weekend as Montgomery County pulls out the welcome mat to the estimated crowd of over 10,000 fans for the 20th running of the event.
Nikki Copeland, general manager of both the Hampton Inn Suites and Comfort Inn, said her staff has already brought in guests.
“We have people already in the hotels who are here for the Ironman,” Copeland said. “We will be full once again for the weekend with racers and race fans.”
Copeland said she and her staff look forward to Ironman weekend each year and will even be working at the event.
“I encourage my staff to go out and work the gates for Ironman, and we have had good participation for several years,” Copeland said. “We want our visitors to feel welcome to Crawfordsville and we are willing to spend time at the track making sure it is a success. We believe the events at Tom Shaver’s farm are important to our community.”
The Montgomery County Visitor’s Bureau is gearing up for a busy week. The bureau will be open to help race fans with questions about the area and will promote area dining facilities, museums and other events.
“We will help direct people to area events that are happening and to local places to eat,” MCCVB director Sharon Kenny said. “It seems we have a large amount of Fall events happening from the Kiwanis Bazaar at the Fairgrounds to several Halloween themed events. We hope to move some of the race fans to our local events while they are here.”
Race Director Tim Cotter said he is excited for another Ironman Race and is always confident Crawfordsville will impress weekend visitors.
“I have come to know Crawfordsville first-hand and have all the confidence in the world that our fans will be well taken care of,” Cotter said. “I am confident everyone associated with the race will have nice things to say about Crawfordsville as always.”
Local police are preparing for the additional people and will supply security on the Ironman Raceway grounds. Unlike the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Race, when there was very little problems with fans, Montgomery County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ryan Needham said the Ironman GNCC race usually demands a little more attention.
“After 19 years of this race we have a pretty good idea what to expect,” Needham said. “There are a lot more fans that camp on the grounds and that can cause a few more issues, but really, considering all the people, it is not bad. The pro motocross racers and fans are a different crowd than the one we will have this weekend, but we do not expect anything major or anything we have not seen before.”
Tom Shaver, who owns Ironman Raceway located on C.R. 1389 W. 200 S., said the national ATV giant Polaris is adding a new featured race. The company is unveiling 18 Ace ATV’s and will sponsor a race just for their new product. Cotter said this is a big plus for the Crawfordsville race.
“Polaris is going to be at the track in force this year and they have provided 18 models of their new Ace all-terrain machines,” Cotter said. “This is a big deal for Crawfordsville because all the eyes from across the world is interested in this new Polaris product. The race is going to bring even more excitement to the weekend’s festivities.”
Local vendors will be on hand to offer food and drinks to the race crowd.
Race teams will be allowed on the grounds Thursday and the scheduled races, which features four different classes, will commence Saturday and run through Sunday.