The inaugural ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta drew rave reviews from participants and spectators.
Hundreds of fans lined the streets of downtown Augusta to watch the final leg of the event, a 13.2-mile run. With spectators ringing bells and yelling out words of encouragement, the atmosphere was festive for the more than 3,300 athletes who had already completed the swimming and biking portions of the half Ironman.
It's been wonderful, said Fran Wigham of Sanford, Fla. It is so well organized and all the people are so nice. And so helpful.
Wigham was among four people who came to watch her son's girlfriend, Christine Zimmerman of Orlando, Fla., run in her first half Ironman. They set up camp in a shady spot on Broad Street near Augusta Common.
We watched the swim and then we went to the transition area, Wigham said. And then after she got on her bike we ate breakfast and walked back up here. We're hoping to catch her as she goes by here.
Kelly Williamson, a pro from Austin, Texas, also enjoyed the downtown atmosphere.
The run was by far the most spectator-friendly I've ever done for a half Ironman, said Williamson, who finished second in the women's division. It's awesome.
Her only quibble with the course setup was the distance between the first two aid stations on the bike course.
It seemed a bit long, but everything else was awesome, she said.
Tony White was surprised by the toughness of the bike course.
It was really windy. The last 15 or 20 miles was almost directly into the headwind, said White, who is from Lexington, Ky. That made for a tough day.
Other than the sun coming out late in the morning, White said it was a good day.
The swim was fast. Good temperature, point to point swim, he said. The clouds kind of went away once I got on the run course and it just got hot. It was a great race, put on very well.
Were you Spotted?: See photos from Ironman Augusta 70.3.