October 17, 2014, Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, N.C.: On Saturday, Oct. 25, the seventh annual PPD Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon will bring nearly 2,300 athletes, along with their friends, family and trainers to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. An additional 300 runners are expected to participate in the inaugural New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 5K, held in conjunction with the triathlon. An estimated 8,000 spectators will cheer the athletes.
The USAT-sanctioned PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, and offers a half iron distance triathlon. The full triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the half distance begins at 8:30 a.m. with a swim in the channel at the southern tip of Wrightsville Beach. The full bike course takes competitors from Wrightsville Beach, through sections of New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties. The run begins at the riverfront Wilmington Convention Center, winds through downtown, loops around Greenfield Lake and ends on the riverwalk with a stunning view of the iconic Battleship North Carolina.
This year Michellie Jones, a legend in the sport of triathlon, will serve as the honorary host of the race weekend. Jones is a Kona Ironman world champion (2006), ITU world champion (1998, 1999), XTERRA Triathlon world champion (1996) and Olympic silver medalist (2000). The Australian triathlete has more than 175 wins to her credit across all race distances, both on- and off-road. Jones will be on hand for a meet-and-greet and autographs Friday at the Wilmington Convention Center’s race expo and on Saturday at the finish line. She will also attend the athlete kickoff dinner and celebration brunch.
PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Heroes, everyday people who overcame illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research, compete in the race to raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials. PPD Hero Wendy Chioji, a breast cancer survivor and triathlete, will speak at the kickoff dinner at the convention center Friday.
The PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon is an internationally recognized iron distance and half iron distance triathlon, ranked among the top five iron distance events in the world by Triathlete magazine.. Competitors from around the country and the world have traveled to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach to experience the race and enjoy the coastal setting. Set Up Events, producer of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, reports that approximately 95 percent of the participants travel to the event from outside the local area. This year’s athletes are from 45 states and six countries, with an average stay of three nights. During their visit, competitors and their guests will stay in hotels, dine in restaurants, and shop at retailers as they experience Wilmington’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.
High-profile sporting events like PPD Beach2Battleship provide a welcome economic boost for Wilmington and the island beaches, especially during the shoulder season. Event organizers estimate that the total economic impact of events in previous years was approximately $4 million. This year’s event is expected to bring even more athletes to the area who will participate in the 5K and experience the destination.
A new component to this year’s event is the New Hanover Regional Medical Center 5K. This USA Track & Field certified 5K event will allow athletes to enjoy the festivities of PPD Beach2Battleship while experiencing a world-class, fast and flat 5K race. This point-to-point 5K will start at Legion Field and run along the streets of Greenfield Lake and downtown Wilmington before finishing at the PPD Beach2Battleship finish line on Water Street.
From the river to the sea, lodging partners involved in this year’s PPD Beach2Battleship race include: Hilton Wilmington Riverside, Bryant Real Estate, Blockade-Runner Resort, Courtyard by Marriott-Downtown/Historic District, Silver Gull, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Best Western Plus University Inn, Baymont Inn, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort, Towne Place Suites by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites Landfall Park, Residence Inn by Marriott Landfall, Shell Island Resort, Hampton Inn University Area/Smith Creek Station, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hampton Inn Medical Park. Check-in and a kickoff dinner will take place at the riverfront Wilmington Convention Center. A finish line celebration will take place Saturday afternoon and evening along the riverfront. Sunday, an athlete celebration/awards brunch will take place at the Wilmington Convention Center. According to event organizers, all of the event’s net proceeds are contributed to the Wilmington Family YMCA. Both the half iron and full distance races are sold out. Registration for the 2015 event will open in early November. For details about the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, please visit www.ppdi.com/beach2battleship or www.beach2battleship.com.
PPD, a leading global contract research organization, serves as the event’s title sponsor to support the YMCA and the local community and to educate the public on the vital role of clinical research and participation in clinical trials to deliver new medicines to improve health and save lives. For more info, please visit www.ppdi.com/beach2battleship/our-mission.asp.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, serves as the title sponsor of the 5K race.
The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County charged with enhancing economic growth and development through the promotion of travel and tourism. For a free official visitors guide for Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, call 1-866-266-9690 or visit: www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com.
Review of the 2013 PPD Beach2Battleship Iron and Half Iron distance triathlon: