Struggling TriColumbia relinquishes control of final races

The World Triathlon Corporation, which licenses Ironman endurance races around the world, announced Thursday that it will soon take over four Maryland events that have been run by the nonprofit Columbia Triathlon Association, and two other local organizations will likely continue most other events that are on the CTA 2014 schedule.

In a release, the WTC, a for-profit company based in Florida, said that what had been the 140.6-mile ChesapeakeMan race in Cambridge on Sept. 20 will become the 12th Ironman triathlon in the United States, with some changes in the race course. WTC spokesman Dan Berglund said he expected close to 1,800 athletes to take part, with registration opening on April 17. The race will include qualifying slots for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in 2015.

Berglund said unresolved details of the arrangement expected to be settled soon. The WTC also expects to take over the Iron Girl in Columbia, scheduled April 27, the Eagleman race in Cambridge in June, and the Iron Girl Rocky Gap in September.

He said the charitable role of the CTA would be assumed by the nonprofit Ironman Foundation, which last year contributed $1.6 million in 10 Ironman locations in the United States.

A WTC announcement has been expected, as the chairman of the board of directors of CTA, also known as TriColumbia, said last week that the WTC was taking over its events, as TriColumbia has been struggling for months with financial problems. Todd Jennings, the board chairman, said once TriColumbia had relinquished control of its events, the organization founded in 1983 would shut down.

The WTC release said that the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit that has worked with TriColumbia for years, is in "active discussions with CTA" to take over the Columbia Triathlon in May and the Iron Girl Columbia race in August. Brock Yetso, the president & CEO of the Ulman Cancer Fund, said Thursday he expects the deal to be finalized next week.

A second local group, the Mini Cow Tri Club, is expected to take over the CTA's Kidz Triathlon, scheduled for July 20 in Columbia. It's not clear what will become of the Celebrating Heroes triathlon, scheduled at Centennial Park in Ellicott City on July 27. The Choptank Bridge Swim, a new event that was scheduled for May in Cambridge, had already been canceled.

An earlier version of this story misstated the number of people expected at the Cambridge race. 

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad