Triathlete plans fundraising Ironman race at Lake Norman, after storm cancels Wilmington and Panama City events

Local triathlon to help hurricane victims

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Some local Ironman athletes train all year for two events – one in Wilmington, the other in Panama City Beach.

Both are cancelled, because of the storms, but one of those athletes lives in the Lake Norman area, and wants to still make it happen.

“It’s hundreds of hours committed, long weekends, thousands of miles,” Scott Robinson says of his triathlon training.

He’s been hard at work in that training for the Panama City Ironman, for six months.

“It’s a sacrifice,” he says. “Nothing like what people have gone through now in the midst of the storms.”

It’s those storms that have now cancelled the races triathletes like him have trained so long for, first in Wilmington earlier this month, and now on the Gulf Coast.

Like many, Robinson stays glued to the images of devastation across both areas.

“I can’t imagine having to deal with that,” he says.

But when it comes to the triathlon, a new cause is encouraging him to make it happen in his area.

“We won’t have the police escorts, the fans, the people on the sidelines like you would in a big event,” he says. “But we feel like we can do it.”

He is partnering with Ironman’s nonprofit to organize an event along Lake Norman. It will be November 3, the same day, the same race, as what would have taken place in Panama City, but it will now raise money for those impacted by the serious storms both there, and in Wilmington.

“At this point, it’s much bigger than ourselves,” he says. “It’s not about doing this race for us anymore, it’s about doing it to try to raise awareness.”

The race will be a 1.2-mile open water swim on Lake Norman, 56 miles on a bike, and a 13-mile run.

It’s early in the planning process, so Robinson is not sure if there will be one, or 100 athletes there.

“If I have to do it by myself, I will,” he says.

Those who would like to be involved should visit www.crowdrise.com/IronmanHurricaneRelief.

Ironman Foundation is matching donations made through November 4, up to $100,000.

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