October 30, 2007 - . The course will utilize a variety of Rhode Island's scenic areas to include Narragansett, the picturesque communities along State Road 102 and downtown Providence. Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island will serve as one of 28 worldwide qualifying events for next year's Ironman World Championship 70.3.
"Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island will be a major summer event for the state, drawing more than 2,000 athletes from around the world and receiving extensive media coverage," said Martha Sheridan, president and CEO of the Providence & Warwick Convention Visitors Bureau. "It is a tremendous opportunity for us to show the world what Providence and all of Rhode Island has to offer."
The swim will be held in the protected waters off Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett. Water temperatures are expected to be 68-72 degrees F. Following the swim, athletes will ride north on State Road 1A through historic Wickford before turning west onto State Road 102.
The majority of the bike course encompasses State Road 102 and the quiet, scenic communities of Exeter, West Greenwich, Coventry, North Scituate and Johnston. The bike route finishes in downtown Providence, with the bike-to-run transition located at Waterplace Park. The two-loop run course takes athletes through the historic East Side of Providence, tree-lined Blackstone Boulevard, Brown University campus and downtown Providence's business district. The race finishes with a backdrop of the State Capitol and Providence Place Mall.
"As the host city for Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, Providence is pleased to welcome these world-class athletes and their supports," said Providence Mayor David Cicilline. "The State of Rhode Island has a strong athletic tradition and looks forward to hosting this international event through 2010."
Athlete Check-in and the Expo will take place in the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence. There will be a professional prize purse of $25,000 and 50 qualifying slots for pro and age group athletes to the 2008 Ironman World Championship 70.3 taking place on November 8, 2008, in Clearwater, Fla. Registration for the event will take place on November 10, 2007 via Ironman's official Web site, www.ironman.com.
"The Ocean State, one of the most scenic venues in the world, is no stranger to hosting major national and international sporting competitions. We are excited to have Ironman 70.3 here in Rhode Island in 2008 and beyond to showcase its outstanding event and athletes," says Executive Director of the Rhode Island Sports Council, John Mousseau.
For media-related inquiries, contact Blair LaHaye at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jessica Weidensall at Jessica@ironman.com. Both may be reached at 727-942-4767. For more information on Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, contact Steve Meckfessel at Steve@ironman.com or visit www.ironmanrhodeisland.com.