Weather, low turnout cancels two Wis. events
Uncooperative weather and lake water temperatures put a damper on participation at two Wisconsin endurance events, leading to their cancellation this year.
Summer storms marred the first two editions of the Centurion bike race staged in Middleton. About 1,100 cyclists registered for the 2010 and 2011 events but weather limited participation to 700 riders - far fewer than the 3,000 hoped for by organizers. Consequently, the event has been canceled for 2012.
Centurion U.S. race director Tim Hyland would not say whether the event, with race distances of 25, 50 and 100 miles, would return, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The Centurion format was similar to large-scale European races and was created by Ironman North America founder Graham Fraser. Middleton officials had hoped the event would generate $1.2 million for the local economy, but Middleton director of tourism Val Steele said the economic impact "wasn't a whole lot," according to the newspaper.
The Centurion competed with other long-running area biking events in August, such as Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Ride out of Pewaukee and the Dairyland Dare out of Dodgeville. Those events were said to have lower entry fees than the $120 it cost to do the Centurion.
The Iron Girl race series has also canceled its Racine triathlon after it failed to meet its participation goals the last two years.
Organizers said the swim in the cold water of Lake Michigan chilled the enthusiasm among local athletes, the Racine Journal Times reported.
Because of the water temperature, participants are required to wear wetsuits. That can be cost-prohibitive for a short race, the equivalent of a sprint distance triathlon.
Iron Girl and Real Racine said the Iron Girl triathlon attracted 300 participants to the inaugural female-only sprint race in 2010 and about 450 last summer. Iron Girl and Real Racine wanted that number to be closer to 1,000.
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