Editor’s Note: The following article is being republished due to a minor correction.
The Marianas Visitors Authority is expanding its repertoire of annual signature events to include Ironman 70.3 Saipan, slated for March 11, 2017.Registration opened on Dec. 1 at www.ironman.com.
“Ironman is a prestigious, worldwide event that is a household name to athletes and non-athletes, alike, and we’re ecstatic to be bringing the Ironman brand to the Northern Mariana Islands,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “The ad exposure the Northern Marianas is going to receive, in addition to the actual number of athletes attending, is expected to eventually exceed any other sporting event the MVA organizes, as we grow the event. We’re expecting several hundred athletes in the first year, alone.”
An Ironman 70.3 is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corp. Half the length of an Ironman, Ironman 70.3 features a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.
In organizing the event, MVA is once again partnering with Kiyokazu Fitness Club and KFC president Kiyokazu Onishi, who helped bring the Tinian Turquoise Blue and Rota Blue Triathlon to the NMI.
“It’s been several months in the planning with Onishi-san, but we’re pleased that we now have a date and confirmation that Ironman 70.3 Saipan is a go!” said Concepcion. “We encourage all our tourism partners and MVA members to join us in getting behind this worldwide event and putting the Northern Marianas on the Ironman map with an unforgettable experience for the competitors in March.”
Ironman 70.3 Saipan will also offer 30 age qualifying slots for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, TN.
The swim will be held in the crystal clear waters of Pau Pau Beach. The mainly flat bike course follows the western and northern coast of the island from Bird Island south to Pacific Islands Club Saipan. The run course features the quiet nature and historic and scenic sites of Marpi.
In addition to Ironman 70.3 Saipan, the MVA will still hold the XTERRA Saipan Championship on March 18, the 12th Saipan Marathon on March 25,and Tagaman later in 2017. (MVA)