Spectators can catch Ironman competitors in action



The fourth annual ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta brings thousands of world-class athletes to town.

If you’re not participating, you still have ample opportunity to enjoy the race. Spectators can find many great viewing spots throughout the three-leg race, which begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.

“I think a lot of people know we have the event here, but they don’t necessarily come downtown and experience it,” said Augusta Sports Council CEO Brinsley Thigpen. “Being a spectator, you’re part of the event.”

The ironman event begins with a 1.2-mile swim in the Savannah River, continues with a 56-mile bike ride into South Carolina and finishes with a 13.1-mile run through downtown Augusta.

Spectators can find plenty of viewing spots along the river to cheer on the competitors for the swim, which begins at 7:30.

Then, fans can stake out a spot along Broad Street to watch entrants begin their bike ride into South Carolina before circling back to the transition area at The Boathouse.

Last, spectators can find a spot near the Augusta Common as triathletes finish the race. The first competitor is expected to cross the finish line on Broad Street between Eighth and Ninth streets about 11 a.m.

With 3,466 participants, the Augusta event, which is in the first year of a new three-year deal with World Triathlon Corp., remains the largest Ironman 70.3 in the world.

And it’s arguably the most popular, with the event selling out two months ago.

“We’re in an awesome location to draw from the Southeast,” Augusta Sports Council sports development manager Randy DuTeau said. “There’s a real big convenience factor.”

Location isn’t the only draw for the event. DuTeau said the Augusta Ironman is well-organized and the course is scenic.

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