Next Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 Saipan in The Marianas has a 50 percent increase in registrants from last year, showing great growth potential for the world-class race event in this western Pacific archipelago that brands itself as a “sports paradise.”
Exactly 281 athletes representing 23 countries and territories have registered for the event, which drew 181 participants during the inaugural race in 2017.
“Ironman is a brand with worldwide recognition, and thanks to advanced and consistent promotions by our partner organizer, Kiyokazu Fitness Club of Japan, and our overseas offices, we have attracted a strong and diverse representation of athletes for Ironman 70.3 Saipan next weekend,” Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Christopher A. Concepcion said. “This is an accomplishment the entire community can take pride in, and we encourage residents to show their Ironman spirit on race day by cheering for athletes, coming out to the finish line, driving carefully on race morning, and extending the warm island hospitality that The Marianas is known for.”
Registered competitors hail from Japan (86), China (44), Guam (32), Republic of Korea (25), USA (19), France (13), Hong Kong (11), Taiwan (10), Australia (8), United Kingdom (8), Singapore (6), the Philippines (5), Spain (3), and Macau (2), while Belgium, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Monaco, Marshall Islands, and Malaysia are also represented in the Oct. 27 race.
Ironman 70.3 Saipan will offer 30 age qualifying slots for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France. An Ironman 70.3 is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. Half the length of an Ironman, Ironman 70.3 features a 1.2-mile (1.9K) swim, a 56-mile (90K) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1K) run.
This year’s Ironman 70.3 Saipan will feature a new course with the event beginning with a swim race of two loops in the crystal-clear waters off Micro Beach at the American Memorial Park. AMP will also be the transition site for the three-loop bike route to the quiet nature and historic and scenic sites of Marpi. The mainly flat, two-loop run course follows the western lagoon of the island from Micro Beach to the MVA office in San Jose and back.
“The course location of Ironman 70.3 Saipan is the most beautiful all over the world,” said KFC president Kiyozaku Onishi.
Meanwhile, major sponsors of Ironman 70. 3 Saipan include Hyatt Regency Saipan, Powerade/Coca Cola/Foremost, DFS Saipan Limited, and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC. Supporters include American Memorial Park, Dept. of Public Safety/Boating Safety, Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Public Works (Roads and Grounds) Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Hawaiian Rock Products, and MARPAC. (PR)