The inaugural Ironman 70.3 Ohio triathlon isn’t until next August, but there’s already a buzz about the event that’s coming to Delaware.
Local hotels are already selling out the third weekend of August 2016, City Public Service Group Director Dan Whited said at a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting earlier this week. That’s before registration has even begun — at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
It isn’t cheap to be called an Ironman if you finish the 1.2-mile swim in Delaware Lake, a 56-mile bike course in three counties, and a 13.1-mile half-marathon run that starts and finishes at Selby Stadium. Entry fees are $225 if you register the first week, $250 from Nov. 3 to Jan. 4; $275 from Jan. 5 to July 6; and $290 after July 7.
The World Triathlon Corp., which recently announced the 70.3-mile event is coming to Delaware, may be best known for the Ironman World Championship. The event, held in Kona, Hawaii, attracts competitors from 56 countries. It is considered a full Ironman, with a 2.4-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, a 112-mile bike ride through lava fields and a 26.2-mile marathon run. In other words, it’s a 140.6-mile event, twice as much as the 70.3.
Lauren Wright, a graduate of Hayes High School and Ohio Wesleyan University, competed in the world championship on Oct. 10, completing the course in 13 hours and 15 minutes. Her mother, Cindy Wright-Whiteside, said Lauren was able to finish despite crashing on her bike at mile 88 and receiving a second-degree sunburn on her hands from the 115-degree temperatures.
In contrast, the top female finisher completed the course in just under nine hours; and the top male in a little over eight hours.
Speaking from her home in Washington, D.C., Wright said she has competed in other Ironman races and received a lottery position to compete in Kona. She credits her training partners for helping her prepare for the world championship, although she prefers the 70.3 events.
“I don’t know why you’d want to do a full Ironman, but a 70.3 is much more manageable and not too much of a time commitment,” Wright said. “You can run 10 miles in training, but do 13.1 miles in the race.”
The Ironman World Championship is scheduled to air at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 14 on NBC.
Wright said she plans to return to her hometown to compete in the Ohio 70.3.
“Because it’s a flat course, it will be a fast course,” she said.
The Ironman 70.3 Ohio will take place Aug. 21, 2016. For more information, visit www.ironman.com
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.