For a seventh consecutive year, World Triathlon Corporation will conduct its annual Ironman auction with eBay, designed to benefit a variety of charitable organizations worldwide. The Ironman Foundation has raised more than $2,500,000 through the initiative since its inception in 2003.
This year's auction will include four slots to the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship taking place on October 10 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The auction will begin on Sunday, April 19 and will incorporate four phases with one slot available per week. The minimum bid for slots to the event will begin at $10,000.In 2008, Ironman recognized a multitude of groups that lent their support in each of the event market in addition to those organizations located in the two World Championship host cities. For example, a donation of $50,000 was extended to Clearwater for Youth (CFY), an organization that celebrated 40 years of service last year. With a mission of building character through sports, CFY provides support to area youth programs and participants in need, allowing children from all levels of society to play and learn together.
Grants and donations were also made to the West Hawaii chapters of the following national organizations: The Ronald McDonald House, Boy Scouts of America, American Cancer Society and the Special Olympics, among others. Additionally, more than $40,000 in cash and supplies will be provided to The Hospice of Kona, PATH (Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii) and Kamakana Children's Playground in Kailua-Kona. Details on the organizations are below:
The Hospice of Kona will receive gear and apparel for Camp Erin, a bereavement retreat for children who have lost a parent or sibling.
PATH, striving to promote active living in a healthy community, will be acquiring a cargo van for use with camps and clinics that promote a bicycle education program to local families.
Kamakana Children's Playground, located at Higashihara Park was created in 1997 and is in desperate need of repair. The children's area is now being refurbished and will include 2,200 sq. ft. playground.
In addition to the opportunity to compete at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship, winners will also receive private athlete registration in Kona and four VIP packages, including race-day passes and invitations to race-week functions. Funding for the eBay auction does not have to be generated through one source, as fundraising efforts are acceptable. According to World Triathlon Corporation's President and CEO, Ben Fertic, all funds are tax-deductible and all proceeds go to The Ironman Foundation, which will in turn make donations to the organizations. Ironman covers all administrative costs to ensure all monies raised will directly benefit the selected charities.To place a bid in this year's auction beginning on April 19, 2009, visit www.ironman.com . All athlete inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Triathlon Corporation will implement a new finish line policy for all domestic Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Beginning with Ironman 70.3 California (April 4, 2009), friends and/or family members will no longer be permitted to cross the finish line or enter the finish chute with participating athletes.
"Safety is paramount at all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. Allowing non-participants to cross the finish line compromises event security, serves as a distraction to other finishers and disrupts our secure finish line operations. Family and friends are encouraged to reunite with their athlete in the photo/post-race area just beyond the finish line," said Steve Meckfessel, Ironman's Chief Operating Officer.
In response to ongoing athlete feedback, Ironman has chosen to adopt this policy to ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and fans. As with other sporting events, Ironman strives to provide a competitive and memorable event, one that allows all parties to enjoy the entire Ironman Experience.
This policy will allow each competitor adequate time to celebrate their accomplishment without interfering with other finishers. Athletes who choose not to respect the new policy will receive an automatic disqualification (DQ).