Armstrong Headlines Ironman 70.3 Hawaii on Saturday
It’s not often that one man can overshadow an entire field in a triathalon, but when that man is a multiple-time Tour de France champion, triathalon winner, and cancer survivor, it’s only natural that the field’s star gets much of the attention.
Lance Armstrong’s entrance in the Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i (Honu) Saturday is just part of a long list of Ironman related events for the former cyclist. Back in February, the Lance Armstrong Foundation announced a partnership with Ironman to raise a million dollars for those affected by cancer. Armstrong has also raced in numerous Ironman events in the last year, most recently winning the Ironman 70.3 Florida less than two weeks ago, defeating Maxim Kriat of Texas by over 11 minutes.
Armstrong is one of approximately 1,600 athletes, both male and female, to compete in the 70.3 mile event, which is a qualifier for the Ironman World Championship in October. The action begins with a 1.2 mile swim at Hapuna Beach Park, followed by a 56 mile bike ride taking competitors from Hapuna to Kawaihae and Hawi before wrapping up the second leg of the trek on Mauna Lani Drive. The finale is a grueling 13.1 mile run completely done on the property of the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i Resort, with the finish line located at the Honu Pointe.
There will be a new men’s champion of the event this year. Last year’s winner, Luke Bell of Australia, is not in the field this year. Local athlete Bree Wee, however, will return to defend her 2011 Honu crown.
There will be several delays and road closures on race day. First, entry into Mauna Lani Drive will feature several delays between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Safety of the triathletes will determine how traffic will be let into the area. Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway will be closed during that time between Mauna Lani Drive and the Kawaihae / Waimea junction. And, Akoni Pule Highway will be closed betweeh 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. between the Kawaihae / Waimea junction prior to Hawi. Motorists are advised to use Kohala Mountain Road as an alternate route to Hawi.
For live audio coverage on the day, go to our dedicated page at: http://www.bigislandnow/ironman/ and click on the “Live Stream” button.