“Boost Your Business” Information Briefing

IRONClub MD to host “Boost Your Business” Information Briefing: Restaurants & Retailers Invited to Roll Out Welcome Mat & Rev-Up Economic Engine

IRONClub Maryland, the local nonprofit organization supporting IRONMAN Maryland, together with the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce and Cambridge Main Street, will host “Boost Your Business,” a free reception and information briefing on Thursday, August 4, 5:30-6:30 pm at Chesapeake College’s Cambridge Center, 418 Race Street. In anticipation of a record number of athletes participating in the third annual IRONMAN Maryland, more than 10,000 visitors will be in Cambridge September 28-October 2 and race organizers want to help local businesses roll out the welcome mat, provide first-class service, and generate exceptional sales.

“For more than three decades, Dorchester’s economy has been strengthened by thousands of athletes who come here to swim, bike, and run along our beautiful vistas,“ said Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director. “IRONMAN Maryland is a crown jewel of our endurance events and this world class race is worthy of a worldclass welcome.”

CaptureTo help businesses plan and prepare for “Race Week,” IRONClub board member and Chamber Executive Director Bill Christopher will share specific strategies retailers can employ to boost business. “From extended hours and welcome signs to athlete-tailored specials, these gestures not only leave a lasting positive impression, but they’re tremendous for businesses bottom line.”

IRONClub Board Member Heather Rosato and Mid-Shore Graphics business owner Jason Warfield will unveil new flags, banners and window signs that retailers and organizations can display to welcome the athletes in IRONMAN’s signature red, white and blue crab logo.

“We want to paint the town red, white and blue to welcome thousands of athletes from 37 countries and 48 states to our historic and vibrant community,” Rosato said. “We are excited to partner with Mid-Shore Graphics to make these beautiful, affordable graphics available.”

“Based on our experiences in 2014 and 2015, we know there are many ways our businesses can support and benefit from IRONMAN Maryland,” said Tom Hutchinson, Cambridge Main Street President. “I encourage everyone to join us August 4 to share their experiences and plans for 2016.”

For information and to RSVP for “Boost Your Business,” visit http://bit.ly/2aeTaV3.

IRONMAN Races Contributed $5.5M to Local Economy in 2015

Events generate large sales, foot traffic for Eastern Shore businesses

Board introduces new sponsors, unveils signature sculpture at Visitors Center

Cambridge, MD – May 9, 2016 –-IRONClub Maryland, the non-profit organization formed to support large-scale, high-impact endurance events in Dorchester County, today released the results of an economic impact report revealing that the 2015 IRONMAN races attracted 3,500 participants and generated almost $5.5 million for the region. The findings were announced at the Dorchester Visitors Center during a morning reception recognizing new sponsors and board members including an unveiling of a locally fabricated metal IRONMAN sculpture.

Cambridge International President and CEO Tracy L. Tyler joined area business and government leaders to applaud the economic benefits and reveal the large, three-dimensional IRONMAN sculpture with a new, Maryland design.

“On behalf of Dorchester County and IRONClub Maryland, thank you for rallying behind IRONMAN and enthusiastically supporting our local booster club,” said Tourism Director and board member Amanda Fenstermaker. “Over the past two years, more than 300 members raised over $100,000 in private contributions toward licensing fees and leveraged that support with donations, in-kind services and volunteerism. Together, we’ve increased our investment 100-fold, generating $10 million for our economy in only two short years.”

Produced by Salisbury University’s BEACON Center under the direction of Memo Diriker “IRONMAN Races in Dorchester County: 2015 Economic Impact” reveals the June 14 Eagleman and October 13 IRONMAN Marylnad (IMMD) contributed $5.47 million to the local economy. An estimated 10,000 athletes and guests from around the world came to Dorchester County last summer and fall. Visitors stayed longer and spent more than the average tourist. The study found:

  • Two events collectively drew 3,500 participants: Eagleman (2,100) and 1,400 for IMMD*
  • 88% of IMMD athletes and 70% of Eagleman entries traveled distances greater than 100 miles to participate
  • IMMD athletes were accompanied by 2.5 guests on average; 1.7 for Eagleman
  • Direct spending by the athletes locally during the IRONMAN events was significant with 56% of IMMD participants reported spending at least $1,000 in Dorchester county and 54% of Eagleman athletes reported spending at least $750 in Dorchester
  • IMMD athletes/guests stayed an average of four nights; double that of Eagleman
  • 1,400 volunteers supported IMMD; another 800 volunteered for Eagleman

Testifying to the events’ importance to local businesses, Patrick Fanning, Chef and Co-Owner of High Spot, Stoked, Black Water and Rock Lobstah said, “The days around the races bring my restaurants the biggest crowds we get all year. The racers bring their friends and family and many athletes come back to visit or train.”

He added that IRONMAN events benefit the entire community and are a win-win for everyone. Fanning passed out cookies from his Black Water bakery featuring IRONMAN’s signature red M-Dot logo.

Fenstermaker recognized new 2016 IRONClub members including the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay and the Nathan Foundation, who each contributed $5,000 to support the event. She welcomed Cambridge Multi-Sport President Michael Keene who introduced new Club member Sara Lettelleir. Keene and Letteleir used the occasion to announce the recipients of CMS’s scholarships to Patrick Geleta and Austin Loeffler.

IRONClub board member and Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Christopher explained that the IRONMAN sculpture overlooking the Choptank Lighthouse was one of the most photographed spots of the race – as well as the featured cover image on the Chambers 2016 Member Directory. He invited Tracy Tyler to help ‘cut the ribbon’ on the new sculpture with Race Director Gerry Boyle.

“Cambridge was proud to partner with IRONClub to create this iconic sculpture. Once we saw how popular it became — as athletes and visitors posted photos of our beautiful community around the world — we knew we had to make our Maryland marks even more special,” said Tyler. “This year, our team of talented fabricators and engineers remade the façade painting one side with the Maryland flag and powder-coating the other red creating a three-dimensional, one-of-a-kind sculpture.”

Tyler recognized Matt O’Connell, Cambridge’s Director of Operations, a long-time company engineer and endurance athlete, for coordinating design, labor and construction. The sculpture was powder coated by Metal Arc of Cambridge and metal flag printed by Plak That of Ocean City.

To learn more about the economic impact study or to join IRONClub Maryland, visit: www.visitdorchester.org.

Photos from the unveiling event, courtesy of Jill Jusuta:

IRONMAN Races in Dorchester County 2015 Economic Impact

Dorchester County is one of the few communities in the world to host two IRONMAN races in one year. In 2015, IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman in June and IRONMAN Maryland (IMMD) in October brought thousands of athletes and their
supporters from around the world to Dorchester.

While IMMD requires a licensing fee, the return on investment is powerful—both events brought an estimated $5.47 million to the regional economy. That number likely would have been even higher had Hurricane Joaquin not forced the rescheduling of IRONMAN Maryland; many participants were unable to make it on the rescheduled date.

The community rallied behind IRONMAN Maryland by enthusiastically supporting the IRONClub Maryland booster organization. Over the past two years, more than 300 members raised more than $100,000 in private contributions toward the licensing fees and leveraged that support with donations, in-kind services, and volunteerism.

These IRONMAN events make more than an economic impact. They introduce people from around the world to Dorchester, its people, and its places. Some athletes visit again to train; others return with their families to explore; some have even considered purchasing homes here.



Save the Date: May 9th 10am

Please join us as we kick off the 2016 IRONMAN race season with an unveiling of the iconic M-Dot which was fabricated and generously donated by our friends at Cambridge International.

Monday, May 9th 10 AM

Dorchester County Visitor Center
2 Rose Hill Place
Cambridge MD 21613

Nathan Foundation donates to IRONClub Maryland

The Nathan Foundation is the first donor to the 2016 IRONClub Maryland campaign. The donation will go toward the $100,000 licensing fee that must be paid to IRONMAN for the event. In 2015, IMMD pumped about $2.74 million into the local economy. From left, Gerry Boyle, IMMD race director; Edward Nabb, Jr., and Rob Collison of the Nathan Foundation; and Amanda Fenstermaker, chair of IRONClub Maryland.

Cambridge Businesses Busy Planning for IRONMAN Maryland

July 22, 2015, CAMBRIDGE, MD – Last month, Carol Levy Ruark, owner of The Wine Bar (formerly A Few of My Favorite Things) and Jack Helgeson, owner of Choptank Charlies, attended a seminar designed to help local retail businesses prepare for this year’s IRONMAN Maryland. The message to business owners was clear: “IRONMAN weekend is going to be bigger (1000 more racers + families) and better (improved course and a coordinated downtown block party) than last year! Let’s be prepared to show our visitors what makes Cambridge special and make the most of the weekend for our local businesses.”

Levy Ruark and Helgeson listened. Light bulbs went off.  And now they are busy planning ways to welcome the expected 4,000 visitors who will be in town for the October 3rd event, with unique offerings tailored to the participants eager to experience this race and our community.

Levy Ruark, who changed the name of her gourmet wine and lite fare business to The Wine Bar last week, got right to work.

“One of the reasons we rebranded so quickly was because of IRONMAN,” she said.  “This year we are going to be a lot more prepared in terms of our menu, and we’ll have more Cambridge branded items that families can purchase as mementos of their time here.”

Wine-BarThe Wine Bar manager and chef, Matt and Kate General, named a number of health conscious menu items they’re considering for the weekend, including gluten free, vegetarian and protein-rich “paleo” dishes. They’re also planning to use the sidewalk in front of the store to bring people inside, and extend business hours for early risers and late night noshers.

Levy Ruark summed up how she wants her business’s brand to be perceived. “We want IRONMAN people to know that The Wine Bar is a comfortable and welcoming place to relax and chill for a while that weekend.”

Down the street, Helgeson has plans of his own. After hearing that IRONMAN Maryland racers call themselves “crabbies,” he decided to create a promotion just for them.

“I make these crabs out of recycled buoys that I call “Crabby Charlie”, he explained. “I’m going to create a window display of them for IRONMAN Maryland. For every one I sell that weekend, I’m going to donate twenty dollars to IRONClub Maryland.”

After witnessing the race up close last year—his store is feet from the run course on Race Street–Helgeson became convinced of the benefits of the race for the community.

“IRONMAN is the most professional organization I’ve ever seen, and they give back by donating to organizations in our community,” he said. “I can’t write a check but I can support the event and promote my business at the same time. I want everybody to succeed.”

If you’re preparing something special for IRONMAN Maryland, let us know at www.facebook.com/IRONClubMD or by email at info@ironclubmd.com so we can post it on the IRONMAN Maryland racers’ Facebook page. Support the event by becoming a member of IRONClub Maryland at www.ironclub.md.

And, if golf’s your game, sign up for the IRONClub/CSD Vikings Golf Tournament on August 3rd at the River Marsh Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay! Prizes include growlers from Ocean Odyssey Seafood Restaurant, and gift cards from Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill and Cambridge Car Wash. Sign up now at https://ironclubmd.com/ironclub-golf-tournament/

About IRONClub Maryland

IRONClub Maryland is the booster club for IRONMAN Maryland, the first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon in the mid-Atlantic region. For information or to join IRONClub Maryland, visit www.ironclubmd.com or facebook.com/IRONClubMD.

IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman Brings Diverse Athletes & Inspiring Stories to Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE, MD,  June 1, 2015 – This year’s IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon on Sunday, June 14 will attract 2,600 athletes from 25 states and 7 countries to Cambridge. Considered one of the premiere half-distance triathlons in the country, Eagleman is a “must-do” race on many athletes’ wish list. Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to cheer on these inspiring racers and learn more about what drives them to take on a grueling physical challenge like Eagleman 70.3.

Among this year’s field of athletes, Rob Verhelst–known as Fireman Rob–will certainly stand out.  Rob is a career firefighter from Waunakee, Wisconsin who spent eight days doing search and recovery after 9/11. Since 2011, he has completed over 15 full and 7 half IRONMAN races wearing 50 pounds of firefighter gear with a mission to inspire others to define and pursue their life passion.

Rob explains, “I participate in each event to help raise awareness and show people that they are able to do more than they think if they are willing to take the first step.”

Through his Fireman Rob Foundation, Rob raises money for one of his passions–children–sending Gund bears to patients in children’s hospitals all over the world. Rob hopes his example will motivate others to be part of something bigger than themselves and to make a difference through their actions.

And, if you’re cheering this year, you’ll no doubt be inspired by the Pease brothers from Atlanta, Georgia. The brothers race as a team, with Brent carrying or pushing his younger brother Kyle, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, the entire way. Theirs is a story of brotherly love, courage and a fighting spirit that proves anything is possible.

The brothers have completed numerous races together, including a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon, making these “IRONMEN” an inspiration to thousands of athletes–and others who dream of doing something extraordinary–around the world.

They started The Kyle Pease Foundation to help others with disabilities enjoy sports and competition. Programs include scholarship opportunities, purchasing adaptive sports equipment, and participating in educational campaigns around Cerebral Palsy.

To learn more about the adventures of Kyle, Brent and Kyle’s twin brother Evan, check out their blog at kpeasey.blogspot.com, or, better yet, come to the finish line at Great Marsh Park on Sunday and ask them how they do it.

Sharon Borg Wall Steps Up as First “Elite” Member for 2015

IRONClub announces IRONMAN Maryland kick-off event April 7 at LivAgain

IRONClub MD, the booster club for the IRONMAN Maryland triathlon, today announced that Sharon Borg Wall of Different Drummer Farm in Hurlock has signed on as the IRONMAN Maryland endurance season’s first “Elite” member. Ms. Borg Wall’s membership at the Elite level represents a significant increase in support from her 2014 “Triathlete” level sponsorship.

“I was a volunteer for IRONMAN Maryland last year and saw what a positive impact the race had on our community,” Ms. Borg Wall said. “With support, I believe the IRONMAN events will grow each year, bringing more exposure and economic benefit to Dorchester County and the region. I’m really excited to help organize another great race weekend this fall and show off all our community has to offer.”

Earlier this year, IRONClub release its Community and Economic Impact Report from the 2014 inaugural IRONMAN Maryland race. The study, conducted by BEACON, the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University, found that the September 20, 2014 event generated an estimated $2.8 Million in economic impact for Dorchester County and $3.4 Million for the region. When combined with the impact of the IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon, the impact numbers total $4.1 Million for Dorchester County and $5.4 Million for the region.

“Our community really worked hard to host two world-class IRONMAN events last year, and we were able to attract not only dollars, but also a huge amount of goodwill and “buzz” about Dorchester County,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, Director of Tourism for Dorchester County. “The IRONMAN Maryland race has already sold out for this fall, so we can expect more visitors, many of whom have heard great things about our community from last year’s participants. They are excited to come here. We will need a broad base of support from sponsors, volunteers and spectators from around our region to put on another spectacular weekend.”

IRONClub will host a kick-off event for IRONMAN Maryland 2015 on April, 7 at 6:30pm at LivAgain on High Street in downtown Cambridge. Anyone who is interested in supporting this year’s race as a sponsor or volunteer is encouraged to come. Visit www.ironclub.md or facebook.com/IRONClubMD for more information.

The 2015 IRONMAN Maryland triathlon will take place Saturday, October 3rd. The IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon is scheduled for June 14, 2015. To become a sponsor, a volunteer, or to learn more, visit www.ironclubmd.com.

About IRONClub Maryland

IRONClub Maryland is the booster club for IRONMAN Maryland, the first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon in the mid-Atlantic region. For information or to join IRONClub Maryland, visit www.ironclubmd.com or facebook.com/IRONClubMD.

2014 IRONMAN MD Economic Impact Report Released

Endurance Events Generated $5.4 Million to the Mid-Shore Region

CAMBRIDGE, MD, January 23, 2015 - IRONClub Maryland, the non-profit booster organization created to support the IRONMAN Maryland triathlon and the IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon, released its 2014 Community and Economic Impact Report. The report indicates that the inaugural IRONMAN Maryland triathlon, which took place on September 20th, generated an estimated $2.8 Million in economic impact for Dorchester County and $3.4 Million for the region. When combined with the impact of the IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon, the impact numbers total $4.1 Million for Dorchester County and $5.4 Million for the region.

“We are so pleased to announce these findings today,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, Director of Tourism for Dorchester County. “In five short months, with the support of over 200 founding members of IRONClub Maryland, Dorchester County was able to orchestrate a world-class event that attracted an estimated 4,600 visitors from across the world. We saw a 54x return on our investment in endurance events last year. That’s very encouraging as we work to grow the economic impact of these events in 2015 and beyond.”

The group engaged BEACON, the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University, to conduct the economic impact studies. The report also highlights feedback from race participants, local residents and business owners.

“IRONMAN Maryland exceeded our expectations as a first-time event,” said Philip LaHaye, Vice President of North American Operations for IRONMAN. “The support from the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County, as well as the residents and business community, was amazing. The feedback from participants has been very positive and there is a lot of interest from athletes in the 2015 race. We look forward to working with the community to organize many more exceptional events.”

The 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman triathlon will take place on Sunday, June 14th and the IRONMAN Maryland triathlon will take place on Saturday, October 3rd. According to Race Director Gerry Boyle, planning is underway to improve the experience for the athletes and spectators for both endurance events.

“One of the features the racers liked most about IRONMAN Maryland was how integrated it was in the community,” said Boyle. “We’ve received fantastic feedback about the kindness and enthusiasm of the volunteers and spectators and we are planning ways to make it even easier for people to enjoy the event. The community came together to make last year’s race special. We want even more residents and visitors to come out to cheer, have fun, and most importantly support our local economy this year. The whole world is watching and they have heard what a welcoming place this is.”

Volunteers can register for both 2015 IRONMAN events by visiting www.ironman.com.

Download the Community & Economic Impact Report

The IRONMAN Foundation Gives Back to the Greater Cambridge Maryland Community

Local Businesses Prepare to Welcome IRONMAN Maryland

As athletes from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond anticipate IRONMAN Maryland later this month, business owners in Cambridge are busy making plans to roll out the red carpet.

Welcome to Cambridge IRONMAN Maryland!Registration for the race begins Thursday, September 18, so visitors will have a couple of days before the Saturday event to explore the area, eat in local restaurants and shop in boutiques and galleries.

“IRONMAN Maryland will see an influx of visitors during race week as many of the athletes will be accompanied by their families,” said race director Gerry Boyle. “Families will have a lot of “down” time and we hope that our merchants, their businesses and other attractions will significantly benefit from these visitors.”

Bernie Elliott of Elliot’s Baking Company is planning to offer new menu items beginning Thursday before the race, including multigrain muffins, baked potatoes, and pasta dishes. “As a business owner, I’m counting down the minutes until IRONMAN Maryland begins,” she said with a smile. “I think it’s going to be great for downtown businesses.”

A Few of My Favorite Things is creating a special IRONMAN cheese board and grilled cheese menu and sangria slushies in addition to their signature selection of wine, cheese and chocolate. Owners Carol Levy Ruark and Joe Ruark hope to provide a peaceful experience during what promises to be an energy-filled weekend. “This is a place to relax, regroup and socialize peacefully,” said Joe. “We’re thankful that IRONMAN chose to come to Cambridge and we’re excited to welcome them.”

Further up the street, two non-food establishments are working to create special experiences to attract visitors into their stores.

Ashley Banks of the children’s boutique Sur Jeudi will create a themed window display and offer interactive activities for kids. “Friday, September 19, is International Talk like a Pirate Day,” she explained. “My daughter thinks it’s a great idea to have Pirate-related crafts, so that’s one thing we’ll be doing Friday and Saturday in the shop.” In addition, the turnaround for the run portion of the race will be right in front of the Sur Jeudi entrance on Poplar Street, Ashley pointed out. “That’s why my window design is going to bring it!”

At LIVAGAIN, co-owner Jermaine Anderson and manager Armah Dashiell have plans for a fitness-themed, live music performance by local artist Antone “The General” Ennels from his new CD, “Blood, Sweat and IRON.”

“When I heard IRONMAN Maryland was coming I said, we’re going to find a way to fit into this,” explained Jermaine. “I grew up with Antone here in Cambridge. He is doing something really special through music and his organization IRON ARMY to transform fitness into a way of life. And it fits in with our message here at LIVAGAIN—that life is all about mind, body, soul and spirit. Saturday evening everyone is invited to see The General perform his first single, “Never Give Up” in the upstairs gallery. If we can touch one kid that weekend with this message that means a lot.”

With less than three weeks to go until IRONMAN Maryland, Cambridge is abuzz with planning. One thing is for sure…when the estimated 4,500 visitors begin arriving on Thursday, September 18, they will find a welcoming town with lots of fun and interesting things to do.

Are you planning something special for IRONMAN Maryland weekend? Let us know at www.facebook.com/IRONClubMD.

IRONClub of Maryland wishes to thank its founding members: At the Elite Level: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, the Triathlete Level: R. Brooks & Son, Whitten Insurance Agency, MTS Broadcasting, The Dorchester Banner, Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery, Mike & Dale Scharder, Chad Malkus, Sharon Borg Wall, at the Eagelman Level: Brad & Debbie Bolino, M&T Bank, Cambridge International, BBSI, Holiday Inn Express, Bay Country Communication, Preston Automotive Group, Cambridge Family Eye Care, Upper Shore Regional Council, H&M Bay Inc, Dorchester County Family YMCA, Language Works, Inc., Addie Eckardt and Tri Gas & Oil.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort Becomes Inagural “Elite” Sponsor

IRONClub Maryland, the booster club for the IRONMAN Maryland triathlon, today announced that the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina has signed on as the first “Elite” sponsor.

“The Hyatt is such a positive force in our community,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, Dorchester County Director of Tourism. “We are proud and excited that they are stepping forward to help make this IRONMAN event a success. We’ve come to expect nothing less.”

Since opening in 2002, the AAA Four Diamond waterfront resort has been an active supporter of numerous community-driven events, including Cambridge Neat Street, Taste of Cambridge, the Great Chesapeake Bay Wellness Race, and IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman.

“As the headquarter hotel for both the Eagleman and now the IRONMAN Maryland triathlons, we are proud to be an Elite sponsor of IRONClub Maryland,” said Christopher Levine, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. “We highly value our partnerships with Cambridge and local organizations and our support of this event is part of that commitment.”

Over the years, the popular resort has become a home base for hundreds of Eagleman athletes and their families who visit the Eastern Shore area not only for the race, but for pre-race training. IRONMAN Maryland is expected to attract a similar following of repeat visitors.

“IRONMAN Maryland really puts a spotlight on Cambridge, drawing a crowd that might not have known about our area or the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay,” said Levine. “I expect that Cambridge as well as other communities like Easton, Salisbury and Annapolis will see an ancillary benefit throughout the year. We certainly do.”

Come race day, the resort will tailor its services to the IRONMAN Maryland athletes by making staff available in the early morning hours, stocking energy-boosting snacks and carb-rich meal options, and hosting a number of kids’ activities.

As a 2014 Trip Advisor “Winner of Excellence,” the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay knows how to deliver a special experience. So does IRONMAN.

“One thing I have learned from living in a lot of places is that you shouldn’t take these events for granted,” said Levine. “I’ll take my kids to see the finish line. I’ve heard it’s an unforgettable experience.”

IRONClub Maryland

IRONClub Maryland is the booster club for IRONMAN Maryland, the first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon in the mid-Atlantic region.  For information or to join IRONClub Maryland, visit www.ironclubmd.com or facebook.com/IRONClubMD.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina is the premier four-diamond resort of the Chesapeake Bay. The property is nestled on 342 magnificent acres along the Choptank River, and features 400 luxurious rooms and suites. Among amenities are six superb dining options; an award-winning, 18-hole championship golf course; the 150-slip River Marsh Marina; the Sago Spa & Salon; multi-level indoor and outdoor swimming pools; a fitness facility, and a children’s recreation center. For more information on the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake bay, please call (800) 633-7313 or visit www.chesapeakebay.hyatt.com. Follow Hyatt Chesapeake Bay on Facebook at facebook.com/hyattchesapeake; Twitter @hyattchesapeake; or Instagram #HyattChesapeake.

Local Scientist Digs Deep to Compete

Bob Wood stood on the side of Hambrooks Avenue, his young son on his shoulders. They had walked a few blocks from their house in Cambridge’s West End to check out what all the noise was about. They soon discovered it was Eagleman, the 70.3 mile triathlon that draws a couple thousand competitors to Cambridge each year. And it was exciting.

bwood This was several years ago, not long after Wood had moved to Cambridge and not long before his 45th birthday. As he watched competitors race by, Wood, a scientist at NOAA, knew he was seeing something special. He decided then and there that he wanted to be a part of it.

“I can do this,” he thought as he made a personal pledge to compete in a triathlon before he turned 45.

Having never cycled or swum, Wood bought a bike, started running, and joined the Dorchester YMCA.

“Every time I went to the pool,” he remembers, “I promised I wouldn’t leave until I beat my old record.” So he swam a ½ lap…then a lap…then 2 laps. Eventually he built up to 10 laps.

On his 45th birthday, Wood competed in his first sprint triathlon at Colonial Beach, a race consisting of a 750m swim, a 5k run and a 15 mile bike. It was tough.

“This was my first open water swim and I panicked,” he explains. “I was hyperventilating and thought about going back but I just couldn’t let down my 5-year-old son. He was sitting on the beach, watching. So I rolled on my back, tried to relax, and pushed through.”

Wood was one of the last competitors out of the water but says it was one of the happiest feelings of his life. As he got on his bike for the second leg of the race, Wood noticed his son was upset. “He realized his Dad wasn’t going to win,” Wood says with a smile.

Since that day, Wood has completed six half-distance triathlons. And his son Bailey, now 10 years old, competes in junior triathlons, including the annual Firecracker Kids Tri his Dad and Cambridge Multi-Sport founded 3 years ago in conjunction with the YMCA.

Baily is too young to compete with his Dad, but he will be a volunteer at this year’s IRONMAN Maryland when Wood goes for his first full-distance, 140.6 mile race.

“Triathlons are all about setting your sights on a goal, getting healthier and achieving something that enhances your life and your family,” says Wood. “I just turned 50 and I said to myself, I’m not dead yet–I can do new things.”

Baily Wood

When asked about IRONMAN Maryland, Wood doesn’t talk about the challenges he will face on September 20th, but about what he hopes the world-renown race will bring to Cambridge.

“Here is an event that will let people know us,” he says with excitement. “And it will make us a more robust community. We have Blackwater, The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad, and now, IRONMAN Maryland and so much more. We can all be proud of that.”

On race day, Cambridge will be proud of one of our own as Wood joins 1,700 other athletes digging deep to complete the grueling test of will and endurance, IRONMAN Maryland.

IRONClub of Maryland wishes to thank its founding members: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, The Dorchester Banner, MTS Broadcasting, Mike & Dale Scharder, Chad Malkus, Sharon Borg Wall, Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery, Dorchester County Family YMCA, Language Works, Inc., Addie Eckardt and Tri Gas & Oil.

For Local Athlete, IRONMAN Teaches an Important Lesson

Tracy MaccherolaCambridge resident and triathlete Tracy Maccherola believes that the experience of a triathlon is a lot like the experience of life. “It’s not about speed,” she says, “it’s all about having the mental fortitude to keep moving forward.”

And she would know. Maccherola is a seasoned athlete, regularly competing in 5k and 10k runs, marathons, and even this year’s Eagleman. She is also a USA Triathlon certified coach. She works with others to help them reach their goal of completing one of the world’s most daunting physical challenges—a triathlon, a race that consists of a swim, a bike ride and a run.

“I’ve learned that if I can help someone change their physical side then their health, fitness and attitude get better,” she says. “Accomplishing tough goals can be life-changing.”

This summer, as Dorchester County prepares to host the inaugural IRONMAN Maryland triathlon on September 20th, Maccherola is busy coaching another local competitor, as well as herself.

It’s been years since Maccherola competed in her first triathlon, or “tri” as it’s fondly called in the sport, and she says each race is as exciting as the first.

“Many years ago I did my first sprint tri in my neighborhood in Mount Airy, Maryland,” she remembers. “I road my bike from college, I got lost on the run, and I still won. It was so much fun…not the winning, just doing the race. It’s so inspiring.”

After moving to Cambridge, Maccherola volunteered at Eagleman just to be part of the atmosphere. In 2013, she competed in and finished IRONMAN UK. For Maccherola, the experience and comradery of a triathlon are only heightened at an IRONMAN event.

“IRONMAN has a way of organizing that day so it’s the ultimate enriching experience for racers and spectators,” she explains. “The finish line is overwhelming. It’s different from anything else you’ve ever seen.”

With race day just seven weeks away, Maccherola is close to the peak of her training. In a few weeks, she’ll start to taper off to be ready for the race that she and her fellow competitors must complete in under 17 hours to earn the title of “IRONMAN.”

When asked why IRONMAN is such a special race, Maccherola doesn’t hesitate.

“IRONMAN shows you what the everyday man or woman can do,” she says. “If you can do it at IRONMAN, you can do it in life. It’s such a great lesson.”

IRONClub of Maryland wishes to thank its founding members: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, The Dorchester Banner, Mike & Dale Scharder, Chad Malkus, Sharon Borg Wall, Layton’s Chance Vineyard & Winery, Dorchester County Family YMCA, Language Works, Inc, Addie Eckardt and Tri Gas & Oil.

IRONMAN Maryland Logo

Registration Open

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Inagural IRONClub Golf Tournament.

Sign up today!

Taking place on August 18th, enjoy a round at the River Marsh Golf Course at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay and support IRONClub Maryland at the same time. Prizes and lunch included.

Click here to sign up.


IRONClub Maryland Launches

Booster Club Launches to Support First Mid-Atlantic IRONMAN Triathlon

Club invites individuals and businesses to help host premier sporting event

Sailwinds Inc. and the Dorchester County Office of Tourism announced today the launch of IRONClub Maryland, a non-profit booster organization created to support World Triathlon Corporation’s newest event, IRONMAN Maryland.

Formed by an advisory committee of business owners, community leaders and government officials, club membership is open to any individual or organization interested in supporting IRONMAN’s debut on Maryland’s Eastern Shore September 20, 2014.

IRONMAN Maryland is one of only 38 IRONMAN Triathlons held in the world, with Dorchester County joining elite destinations such as, Boulder, CO, Lake Tahoe, CA and Tempe, AZ. Club contributions will help fund the required licensing fee to retain the event. Other communities that host IRONMAN events estimate an average annual economic impact of $12 million.

“IRONMAN Maryland presents an incredible opportunity for Dorchester to showcase the area’s unparalleled beauty and amazing reputation for endurance sports. The event will also generate significant economic impact in the County and surrounding areas, from extended stays by the athletes and their friends and families,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, the County’s director of Tourism.

IRONMAN, one of the most recognized and respected global sports brands in the world, is a three-part endurance event that attracts both professional and amateur athletes. Participants swim a 2.4 mile course, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon of 26.2 miles. The 140.6-mile IRONMAN Maryland course winds through Dorchester, attracting an anticipated 1,500 participants and 3,000 supporters who are expected to spend an average of three days and nights in local hotels, restaurants and shops for the September event.

“As a lifelong resident, I’ve seen firsthand the vital economic contribution tourism and sporting events make to our community,” said Victoria Jackson-Stanley, mayor of the City of Cambridge and one of IRON Club’s inaugural member. “I encourage businesses and individuals to join the City by showing their support as we prepare to host this exciting event.”

The club’s founding members include all 20 people who serve on the organizing committee. These IRONClub members contributed over $10,000.

“I’m encouraging my friends and family to join because I see an amazing community of people coming together around this world famous event,” said Chad Malkus, President of Sailwinds Inc. “This is an easy and fun way to bolster our area economically and showcase all we have to offer to thousands of new visitors.”

The club offers six membership levels ranging from $24 to $5,000. Each of the membership levels is inspired by a leg of the race. Join as a “Swimmer,” at $24, “Cyclist” at $112, “Runner” at $262, “Triathlete” at $1,400 or an “Elite Athlete” at $5,000. Club benefits range by contribution level and can include media recognition, access to VIP parties, private viewing areas along the race courses and briefings with race officials.

The Club’s founding members include: Phillip & Amanda Fenstermaker, Gerry Boyle, Addie Eckhardt, Chad Malkus, Valerie Brown, Jeff Powell, Michael and Heather Rosato, Dion Banks, Brent Burkhardt and Andrea Vernot, Mari Stanley, Dean, Nita and Trevor Goodwin, Tom and Lynn Hutchinson, Susan Banks, Terry Hasseltine, Kisha Petticolas, Frank Narr and Deborah Divins .

To become a member please visit us on the web at www.ironclubmd.com and click “Join Us.”