TAMPA, Fla. - The Ironman Foundation has given $5,000 and is collecting donations to help Essex County, which it calls one of the most supportive Ironman locations, after Tropical Storm Irene caused creeks and rivers to rise drastically and devastate riverside communities on Aug. 28.
Fourteen miles of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course and 4 miles of road on the run course are no longer passable, according to the Ironman Foundation, which is taking online donations to help with relief efforts.
"Try to imagine that River Road became the river for about 3 miles," Race Director Jeff Edwards of Lake Placid said in a prepared statement, describing the road that is part of the Lake Placid Ironman course. "The famous red barn was an island in a raging stream that was probably a half-mile wide. Everything is just mud now, way up into the trees. The bridge at the ski jumps had trees and logs pushed against the upstream side above the railing. At its peak, the river was flowing about 8 feet above the level of the road there. A FEMA crew is clearing the debris so they can assess the structural status of the bridge."
The Ironman Lake Placid triathlon became the first official full-distance Ironman world championship qualifier in the United States in 1999.
For more information or to make a donation, visit Ironman.kintera.org/lakeplacidrelief.