Christopher Tech, a software design engineer from Dayton, Ohio, arrived in Waco on Wednesday and made a beeline to Ironman Village at Indian Spring Park. He will join the mostly buff thousands registered to swim, bike and run this weekend, giving the local economy an energy boost.
Tech said he and his family are visiting Texas for the first time. They are staying in a hotel near Waco’s traffic circle, well away from Ironman’s nerve center at University Parks Drive and Washington Avenue. One might say his choice in room accommodations suggests Ironman is spreading the wealth.
“We’re excited. We always turn these races into little vacations,” said Tech, whose familial entourage plans trips to the Dr Pepper Museum, Waco Mammoth National Monument and, of course, Magnolia Market at the Silos.
The Tech squad inquired about good places to eat, both downtown and beyond, specifically interested in tacos, a Texas thing, and pizza because Tech follows a carb-consuming routine leading up to race day.
The ripped are making their presence felt at dining and entertainment venues dotting the inner city. A family wearing Ironman gear strolled across the Washington Avenue bridge Thursday morning. A participant who parked near the Waco Convention Center was painstakingly removing her bike from a vehicle’s interior. Crowds gathered under tents at Ironman Village, where competitors signed in, collected swag bags and browsed Ironman-branded merchandise, much featuring a red-and-black color scheme and including T-shirts, caps, goggles, backpacks, hoodies and swimwear.