Triathlon could be in Pell City's future
by David Atchison
PELL CITY – City officials appear to support hosting a triathlon, which could bring hundreds of people to the city.

“I support this whole-heartedly,” said Mayor Joe Funderburg. “I would suggest we get the Chamber of Commerce involved with this.”

Funderburg made his comments after Pell City resident Ofes Forman talked to the council about the benefits of the city hosting a triathlon, which consists of competitors swimming, running and biking.

“To host a weekend event such as a triathlon would certainly be great for the city,” Forman said.

At Monday night’s council meeting, the council commended Forman for his work and efforts to help bring a triathlon to the city, which could bring people from across the Southeast to Pell City.

“I had the opportunity to witness a triathlon in Peach Tree City, Ga., when my daughter completed there,” Forman said. “I was able to talk with some of the families who were there supporting their loved ones. There were families from across the Southeast Region.

“I began to think about Pell City,” he said. “I believe that we could accomplish the same thing here, why not? Pell City is such a vibrant community. It is continually growing. To host a weekend event such as a triathlon would certainly be great for the city.”

The council authorized Forman and City Manager Patrick Draper to move forward with plans and investigate the feasibility of hosting a triathlon.

“The City Council directs City Manager Patrick Draper to work with Mr. Forman and others in developing a plan to establish a triathlon event in Pell City and to report said plan and proposal to the Council once it is prepared,” states the resolution passed by the council Monday night.

Forman said the city could get sponsors for the event, which would pay for a professional multi-sport event management group called “Team Magic” to help organize and showcase the Pell City triathlon and notify more than 18,000 athletes who participate or attend multi-sport events.

According to the Team Magic website, the Birmingham based company has the equipment to stage up to a 1,500 person triathlon, using state-of-the-art electronic timing systems and is capable of notifying more than 18,000 athletes who participate or attend multi-sport events.

According to the company’s website, Team Magic has helped managed several large multi-sport events, like the Marathon Olympic Trials and the Mercedes Marathon.

Forman told the council that local hotels, restaurants and other businesses would benefit from visitors attending or participating in the weekend event. ‘

“The city would benefit from the additional tax revenue,” Forman said.

He said the event would also spotlight Pell City, and he points to Lakeside Park as the perfect setting to hold such an event.

“This event could also attract more businesses to the city,” Forman said. “Businesses are often attracted to cities that offer varied activities for their residents.”

He said the triathlon would also help promote a healthier lifestyle in the community.

“Who knows, we may one day have a student to qualify for the Olympic try-outs,” Forman said.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com

© 2013