The Columbia Triathlon Association, which is also known as TriColumbia and has managed events such as the Columbia Triathlon and Eagleman throughout Maryland for 30 years, will shut down and dissolve and turn all its events over to the World Triathlon Corp. (WTC)
TriColumbia has been experiencing financial difficulties, and its founder and former race director Robert Vigorito were sued last week in a suit filed in Howard County Circuit Court by two former employees, Linda Congedo and John McAuliffe, for wrongful termination as a result of them exposing alleged improper use of association money for the founder's personal expenses, including two houses and a Porsche.
The suit claims that "improper financial dealings" between the TriColumbia board and organization founder Robert Vigorito and his wife, Sharon, go back several years and ended in an audit, board dissension and, in December 2012, Vigorito's resignation.
Todd Jennings, chairman of the board of directors for the Columbia Triathlon Association, states that the organization's financial problems are a result of sloppy record keeping and increased competition from other endurance races.
WTC licenses the Ironman races and already shows some TriColumbia events on its website. It is expected that eight out of the nine TriColumbia 2014 races will continue; the new Choptank Bridge Swim in May has already been canceled. The 2014 TriColumbia races will start with the Iron Girl half-marathon on April 27 and end with Chesapeake Man on September 20.