PHOTOS: Ironman brings competitors, millions of dollars to Salem for Sunday event

An attendant casts a long shadow across the grass in Riverfront Park as he moves a bicycle into a large, secured corral for racing bicycles which will be used in Sunday’s Ironman. Each corral contains hundreds of bicycles. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

An estimated 2,500 competitors are expected to be in Salem for Ironman 70.3 Oregon, challenging athletes with a swim, bike ride and run.

Riverfront Park will be the scene for action that starts at 6 a.m. with most competitors expected to finish the event by midday. The events are half the distance of a full Ironman competition and include a 1.2-mile swim in the Willamette River, starting at Minto Brown Island Park, a 56-mile bike ride to Ankeny Hills and back, and a 13.1-mile run through Minto Brown Island Park and finishing at the Riverfront Park.

This is the second year the competition has been staged in Salem. Travel Salem estimates the competitors and their supporters will leave behind about $10 million.

Salem’s Riverfront Park is green and being readied for Sunday’s Ironman event as workers prepare the finish line on Friday, July 8. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A bike mechanic on Friday, July 8, tunes up a racing bicycle for a participant in the 2022 Ironman. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Participants in the 2022 Ironman event in Salem form long lines Friday as they registered for the event at the Salem Convention Center. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

After long drives to Salem from points in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and California, participants in the 2022 Ironman event relax with massage machines at the Salem Convention Center. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

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Photographer Ron Cooper and his wife Penny moved to Salem in 1969 to take a job as photographer at the Oregon Statesman (later the Statesman Journal). Their three children, Monica, Kimberly, and Christopher, attended and graduated from Salem public schools. Cooper retired from the Statesman Journal in 2001 but, has continued his passion for photography in many ways, including as a photographer for the Salem Reporter.