One of the largest Ironman events in the world is set to return to Augusta this weekend.
The ninth annual Ironman 70.3 Augusta will be held Sunday, Sept. 24, throughout the area, including downtown Augusta, along the Savannah River and into South Carolina.
The event again sold out quickly after last year produced an estimated 3,600 registered athletes. Participation in Augusta is usually among the best for Ironman events, and expectations remain high for this year.
The first wave of competitors will enter the Savannah River around 7:30 a.m., and waves will continue until 9:22. The first competitor typically crosses the finish line just after 11.
The Ironman 70.3 will start with a 1.2-mile swim from the Augusta Riverwalk Marina to the Boathouse Community Center. From there, athletes will transition to the 56-mile cycling leg into South Carolina before returning to Georgia.
The final transition again occurs at the boathouse to begin the 13.1-mile run through downtown Augusta. The finish line will be located at Augusta Common.
Spectators can find many great viewing spots. One of the best will be along Broad Street as athletes complete the run portion of the triathlon. Friends and family members of participants are commonly found holding signs and cheering on the athletes throughout the course.
Competitors will begin crossing the finish line from just after 11 a.m. through the afternoon. Christopher Douglas won the overall event last year with a time of 4:08:04, while Helle Frederiksen claimed the women’s pro division at 4:10:45.
Ironman takes over downtown throughout the weekend, beginning Friday with an Ironman village and store at the Augusta Convention Center. An Ironkids Augusta Fun Run will take place at Augusta Common on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by the main event Sunday.