Athletes, spectators pack area for Ironman

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The third annual ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta triathlon will be held today. More than 3,000 athletes are scheduled to compete in the 1.2-mile swim in the Savannah River, followed by a 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. Here’s what you need to know:

WHO TO WATCH FOR

Maksym Kriat won the 2010 Augusta event with a time of 3 hours, 46 minutes, 54 seconds, which was 18 seconds faster than Richie Cunningham. Kriat will be back today to defend his title, and he is wearing bib No. 1.

Jessica Meyers was the top female with a time of 4:15:31, more than a minute faster than her nearest competitor. She, too, is scheduled to compete today and will be wearing bib No. 31.

HOW TO WATCH

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. and consists of three parts. Athletes will be sent off in groups, and start times will be staggered:

SWIM: 1.2-mile swim from Augusta Riverwalk Marina to the Boathouse Community Center begins the day.

BEST VIEWPOINT: Fifth Street Bridge to see start line and swimmers pass under the bridge.

BIKE: 56-mile ride from the transition area at the Boathouse into South Carolina, including Jackson and New Ellenton, with top competitors beginning about 8.

BEST VIEWPOINT: Transition area at the Boathouse.

RUN: 13.1-mile run from the transition area to a double-loop on Greene, Broad and Reynolds streets with race leaders expected to begin about 10.

BEST VIEWPOINT: Augusta Common finish line.

WHAT TO AVOID

• Gordon Highway ramps (until 6 p.m.) and the Fifth Street Bridge (until 10 a.m.) will be closed.

• No parking will be allowed to 5 p.m. on Broad Street (East Boundary to 13th Street) and Reynolds Street (East Boundary to Bay Street).

• Arrive early to find parking on side streets and at the Augusta Municipal Building on Greene Street. No parking is available near the spectator spot at the Boathouse.


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