Hengst reviews Eagleman, Ironman contributions

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Race Director of Eagleman and Ironman Maryland Angie Hengst spoke to the county council on Aug. 6.

CAMBRIDGE — The new Race Director of Eagleman and Ironman Maryland, Angie Hengst, introduced herself to members of the county council on Aug. 6. Ms. Hengst assumed leadership of the events following the death this spring of Gerry Boyle.

A native of Chesapeake City in Cecil County, she attended graduate school at Horn Point. “I quickly fell in love with this area, and after graduation, decided to make it my home,” she said.

It was Mr. Boyle who asked her to volunteer for the Eagleman, which proved to be a good fit, considering Ms. Hengst’s own interests and activities in sports and fitness. After working in the environmental field for many years, she joined Ironman last month as a full-time employee.

“In the past 16 years I’ve lived here, I’ve been a witness to the revitalization of Cambridge and Dorchester County,” she said. “I take pride in calling this my home, and I want everyone who visits to see and experience what is so special about this area.”

In the Ironman community, she said, Cambridge has a reputation for unique hospitality towards the many athletes who compete here. “I’ve actually been told that it’s rare to find a town that is so invested in the success of a race, and I think that speaks volumes about the type of community we are,” she said.

The races have been a shot in the arm for the local economy. “Over the past five years, a combined $25 million between Eagleman and Ironman Maryland have been brought back to our community,” Ms. Hengst said.

There are more than 2,300 athletes registered for Ironman Maryland on Sept. 8 – with their families, friends and fans, that means local restaurants, hotels and other businesses will do some of their own racing to keep up with the activity. The popularity of the county and the event can be seen in the numbers registered, with 2,300 already more than attended last year.

And while it’s true that locals are hospitable and enthusiastic, there are times when a bit of patience is required, as hours-long lines of runners and cyclists pass by, sometimes causing delays on the roads.

“One improvement I hope to implement for this year’s race is a reversal of the bike course. This will allow for less traffic congestion, as well as increase safety at the Route 16 and Dailsville intersection,” Ms. Hengst said, “by eliminating the left turn athletes make as they head back into town.”

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