Greg Bennett of Boulder, Colo., let out a "Whoo!" after winning the pro male division of inaugural ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta about 11:20 this morning. Thirty minutes later, Laura Bennett, Greg's wife, claimed the pro female division.
The event kicked off at 7:30 this morning with a 1.2-mile swim that started at the Fifth Street Marina and ends at the Boathouse.
Athletes moved to the transition area at the Boathouse and hop aboard bikes for a 56-mile ride into Aiken County and back. Then, the athletes returned to the transition area, where they embarked upon a 13.1-mile run, which included two loops through downtown Augusta and ends at the Augusta Common.
Greg Bennett, 37, won the pro male division with a time of 3:47:06. He raised his arms as he crossed the finish line at Augusta Common.
"I started training about three weeks ago for this," Bennett said. "I think I'm pretty fortunate to come away with a win."
Laura Bennett, 34, finished seven seconds ahead of Kelly Williamson of Austin, Texas. Bennett made her first Ironman 70.3 appearance.
"This is fantastic," Bennett said. "I don't take anything for granted. This was a very hard race today."
The rest of the field will cross the finish line over the remaining six hours. The course closes at 5:06 p.m.
The awards ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the Augusta Common.