Ironman work continues
To the editor:
In response to the recent letter to the editor (“My take on the Ironman Task Force,” Enterprise, Aug. 8) the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism would like to provide some clarification. The Ironman Task Force is composed of community members from each of the communities along the race course, and was established to take a hard look at the event, get feedback from those communities about the race, and then address the challenges that such a large event pose.
The contract discussions had been ongoing with the various municipal interests for months prior to the village of Lake Placid board meeting and there was general agreement supporting the renewal. (www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2022/02/ironman-group-requests-three-year-extension and www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2022/03/town-council-supports-3-year-ironman-contract, dated March 2022.)
To suggest that the recommendations of the task force were an afterthought diminishes the important work this group has accomplished. ROOST worked diligently to ensure that the recommendations of the task force were taken seriously, and in fact many of the recommendations set forth by the task force are already being implemented:
¯ A video highlighting the region and all of the communities along the course was created by Ironman and shared by Ironman via email and social media. ROOST also shared the videos.
¯ A code of conduct was created and shared with all participating athletes and all the training camps Ironman has contact with. In addition, it was added to the new Ironman map.
¯ Communities were represented at Ironman Village to promote local businesses and assets. Some of the towns and community groups were at the Village promoting their communities – we hope to see more of our communities in the future.
¯ The creation of a community contact to help with questions about the event, road closures, and delays.
¯ An Ironman map was created, highlighting the towns along the course, the code of conduct, and alternative biking routes.
In regard to the survey, it provided vital feedback to understand the pressure points from the community. The community survey was undertaken in a manner consistent with survey development and administration. All task force members, ROOST’s data analyst, and other members of the ROOST team worked diligently to ensure that the survey questions were relevant, worded appropriately, and that results were interpreted impartially. The results of this survey helped the task force understand and pinpoint challenges and to provide a list of recommendations to help alleviate some of those challenges.
It is true, members of the task force found one member’s contributions hindered the productivity of the group as a whole. At the same time, we encouraged other members to continue sharing their thoughts respectfully to forward our momentum and progress toward a shared goal.
The task force has donated a tremendous amount of time, and done an impressive amount of work, over the past several months. It is a testament to the task force, Ironman, and ROOST that this progress has been made. Anecdotally, community feedback has been supportive; and feedback from athletes has also been positive.
Our work is far from done. We will continue to seek valuable community feedback about Ironman to make the event more beneficial for our communities. We look forward to working together with race organizers, the municipalities, and community members to meet this goal.
Mary Jane Lawrence
Chief operating officer, ROOST