Thursday Sept. 24, 2009
Augusta, Ga--Final preparations are underway for one of the largest single day sporting events Augusta has seen, the ESI Ironman 70.3. Over 3000 people will be taking part Sunday morning representing 44 states and 15 countries.
Swimming is up first as they'll take off from the marina and go 1.2 miles to the boathouse where they'll get out and head over to this transition area where all the bikes will be set up. That's where they'll do a quick change, get on and head out on the open road for 56 miles into Aiken County.
They'll head out Sand Bar Ferry Road into Beach Island. Could be a good place to watch seeing they should still be grouped together at this point They'll go through Jackson and eventually go north onto Highway 1 Into New Ellenton and eventually bike onto Gray Mare Hallow Road which is about a 400 foot elevation change from Jackson. Then it's a long stretch to Pine Log Road where they'll turn south as they start to head back to the city. Then it's eventually back south to Atomic Road in Petitecoat Junction. To Beach Island and Sands Bar Ferry and back to the boat house for the transition to the run which will weave its way through a 13 mile loop in downtown Augusta. Some first time Ironmen today and they're not nervous but it's more the anticipation of Sunday arriving.
It's just anticipation" said Augusta native John Owen "They talk about how to train and train and train and enjoy it as much as you can. The race, if you put the time in, it'll go by quickly."
The first swimmers hit the water at 7:30 Sunday morning and the pros should finish up around 11:30 at the Augusta Common, but they'll be coming in pretty much all afternoon. The awards ceremony is at 3 at the common.