Helpful IRONMAN info
Welcome to Dorchester County, Maryland, home to two IRONMAN events:
- The 70.3-mile IRONMAN Eagleman, set for June 9, 2019
- The 140.6 –mile IRONMAN Maryland, set for September 28, 2019
Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has been hosting triathlons for more than 25 years. The area has become a favorite for triathletes. Here are a few reasons why:
- Flat and fast: Some say that our flat land and occasional high winds are similar to Kona, Hawaii, where the IRONMAN World Championships take place.
- Beautiful landscapes: Dorchester County is a place of natural, unspoiled beauty, with waterways, marshlands, farm fields, woods, and quaint small towns. We have more shoreline (1,700 miles worth) than any other county in the state.
- Blackwater Refuge: Much of the bike portion of both Eagleman and IMMD takes place in and around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a 27,000-acre place of striking marshlands, bald eagles, great blue herons, and more. USA Today has named the refuge one of the best in the country, as well as one of the top 10 places for amazing wildlife watching.
- Welcoming community: Dorchester County’s friendly residents are great supporters of the IRONMAN events. They serve as race volunteers, open their homes to athletes, and cheer mightily on race day.
- Local seafood: We’re also known for our delicious seafood—blue crab, oysters, fish, and more come right from our local waters. Many people here make their living working the water or working the land.
How to register as an athlete
Become a volunteer!
Whether you’re a sherpa for your athlete, a spectator, a local resident, or a would-be triathlete, get a different experience of a triathlon by becoming a volunteer! Eagleman needs upwards of 700 volunteers and IMMD needs more than 1,000. You’ll meet some great people and have fun! Here’s how to see what’s needed and sign up:
About the area
You’ll find lots of visitor information about the area right on this website, and also at the Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge. If you’re arriving from the west, just look for the 100-foot white sail as you cross the Malkus Bridge over the Choptank River. We’re open daily 8:30am-5pm. You can also order brochures to be mailed to you or browse them online (click on the righthand tab near the top of the page, “View or download the PDFs.”)
With input from race director Gerry Boyle, Dorchester County Tourism put together this page to offer up helpful, practical information for the athletes.
If you have questions about visiting the area, feel free to contact us. If you have questions about the races, contact IRONMAN. We look forward to welcoming you!
Hotels & Bed and Breakfasts
For those traveling by plane, it’s easiest to fly into Baltimore Washington International (BWI). There are also smaller regional airports in Cambridge, MD and Salisbury, MD. The region is somewhat rural, so while there are not tons of hotels, there are other options including house rentals and camping. For hotels, your best bet is to focus on these counties:
This is where the races take place, and the lodging fills up very quickly. Largest city is Cambridge.
Explore Dorchester County lodging.
County to the northwest of Dorchester. Includes the communities of Easton and St. Michaels.
Explore Talbot County lodging.
County to the northeast of Dorchester. Largest city is Denton.
Explore Caroline County lodging.
County to the east of Dorchester. Largest city is Salisbury.
Explore Wicomico County lodging.
WARNING: You probably don’t want to consider lodging in Calvert County or St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Google may tell you it’s about 80 miles away, but that’s as the crow flies over the Chesapeake Bay. Actual drive time is more like two hours.
Camping and RV Sites
In addition to traditional campgrounds, a few places in Dorchester County offer campsites only during the races. This varies from race to race, but often includes the Dorchester County YMCA and Cambridge South Dorchester High School. Check your athlete guide for details. Below is a year-round campground:
Taylors Island Family Campground
Location: 4362 Bay Shore Road, Taylors Island, MD. About 30 minutes from transition at Great Marsh Park.
Services: Tenting and transit sites are available by the day, week, or by the month; camper rentals and an apartment rental are also available. Family-oriented campground with 3 bathhouses, 2 trailer rentals, store, and marina. Also offers a store, RV service/repair, propane, phone service at site, laundry, dump station, game room for children.
Cost: Contact the campground for specifics: 410-397-3275
For more info and to reserve: Call 410-397-3275
Browse Airbnb (start with Cambridge or Dorchester as your location for the closest options, then try the counties and towns listed under the Hotels and B&Bs tab) or see Dorchester Tourism’s list of vacation rentals. Keep in mind that local residents may not list their homes on Airbnb until a couple of months before race day, so it may be worth checking multiple times as you get closer to race day.
Dorchester County has a range of restaurants, many of them serving up fresh and local seafood—and all of them welcoming casual (triathlete) wear. Browse our listing of sit-down restaurants or order our Dorchester Dining Guide.
Restaurants offering IRONMAN vouchers
Check your athlete packet when you register during race week for a list of local restaurants that accept the $25 restaurant voucher that you’ll receive (also in your packet). To find out more about local restaurants, browse the Dorchester Dining Guide or pick one up at registration (look for the table with the LOCAL DINING INFO sign) or at the Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Pl., Cambridge.