Wanda Sports Holding company, IRONMAN, has acquired the annual Across the Bay 10K, beginning with this year’s event, which was held in Maryland this Sunday 6 November 2016. A release from IRONMAN added that it ‘continues to move further into the running market with this becoming its third running event in North America, joining the Santa Cruz Half Marathon/10K/5K and the Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon and 5K, both taking place on April 9, 2017.’
“IRONMAN is excited to add this marquee event to our endurance portfolio as we continue to expand our offerings of running events in North America,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN.
“The acquisition of the Across the Bay 10K furthers our commitment to Maryland and we look forward to building upon the history of such a fantastic venue while delivering an exceptional race for our athletes.”
IRONMAN has made a number of step changes in the run category. This latest acquisition of the annual Across the Bay 10K builds an increasingly international portfolio of run properties, from events such as the Hamburg Marathon and Marathon de Bordeaux in Europe through to operation of the Singapore Marathon and ownership of the Auckland Marathon.
“We are proud to have the IRONMAN organization expand in Maryland with their recent acquisition of the Across the Bay 10K race,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “IRONMAN has a proven track record of achievement and we are excited to see them grow this already successful and sought-after event.”
As Maryland’s largest running event and the fifth largest 10K race in the US, the Across the Bay 10K takes place on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge – officially named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge.
This race becomes IRONMAN’s largest event in North America, and second-largest globally from a participant standpoint, with nearly 25,000 athletes. The 6.2-mile point-to-point course offers one of the longest and highest over-water spans of any road race in the USA, reaching 186-feet high at its tallest point.
Athletes experience sweeping views of the Chesapeake Bay atop the 4.35-mile dual-span bridge that does not allow pedestrian traffic at any other time of the year. Beginning near the base of the bridge on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, the run proceeds directly over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the eastbound span, ending near Terrapin State Park in Queen Anne’s County.
“We have worked very hard over the past three years to make this event something special for our host county, partners, sponsors and more than 20,000 people that come out every year to conquer this unique course,” said Peter Paris, Co-Founder of Across the Bay 10K.
“As the event has outgrown us, we have looked for just the right team to take over and ensure that the event is even more spectacular for years to come. We are so excited to have the team from IRONMAN in charge and we know that this change is a huge win for the State of Maryland, our host county and for all of the sponsors and participants.”
The race originates back to 1975 when locals were given the ability to walk the bridge and enjoy the views. Eventually the annual Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk attracted more than 40,000 walkers each May. Having undergone format and operational changes throughout the past couple of decades, including a recent cap on athletes, the event has been in its current form since 2014, selling out each of the past two years.
“We are so excited that IRONMAN is taking over leadership of the Across the Bay 10K,” said Sparrow Rodgers, Co-Founder of Across the Bay 10K. “Having a world-class team like the one IRONMAN brings will ensure that this is one of the pre-eminent destination events for athletes of all abilities for years to come.”