Pell City hopes to bring multisport event to area
by ELSIE HODNETT
PELL CITY – City officials and residents interested in bringing a multisport event to the city, such as a triathlon, met Friday to start the ball rolling.

“We are looking for people to serve on the committee and volunteers to help,” said Ofes Forman, who chaired Friday’s meeting at the Pell City Civic Center.

Forman said a second meeting is set at noon Friday, Feb. 22 at the Pell City Civic Center Conference Room II to elect officers for the committee. Anyone interested in serving on the committee or volunteering is welcome to attend and can call Forman at 205-338-1863 for more information.

Therese Bynum, owner/director of Team Magic, Inc., a multisport event management company, spoke at Friday’s meeting about the benefits to holding a variety of events for people of all ages.

“This is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S.,” Bynum said.

Bynum said it usually takes about one-and-a-half years to get things set up for a community to host a triathlon, which is a swim, bike, run event.

“We have $700,000 in equipment and a staff of 40, and it also takes 60-100 volunteers to put it on,” she said.

Bynum said Team Magic had more than 18,000 athletes race with their events in 2012 including representatives from 42 states and several foreign countries.

“For cities starting out, like Pell City, I would recommend a Cyclo Cross (off road bike) Race and a Cross Country (trail) Run,” she said. “These are two of the fastest growing single sport participant events. These folks love being fit, but more important they love having fun.”

Bynum said the two events could be combined in one day in one course.

“We would build the track around the Pell City Civic Center,” she said.

Bynum said events like this create a good economic impact for the community that hosts them.

“For a one-day cross race event, with 300-500 people attending, the low side would be about a $300,000 economic impact,” she said. “We try for family fun fitness weekends. I want people coming into my sport to feel welcome and make sure beginners feel comfortable.”

Mayor Joe Funderburg said he wholeheartedly supports the idea.

“Projects like this would help Pell City,” he said. “It might be the tip of the iceberg. It would help get the Pell City name and reputation out there.”

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.

© 2013