Armstrong, Wee Highlight Ironman 70.3 Pro Panel Presser

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Challenging conditions and a beautiful location was the recurring theme in a Pro Panel  press conference Friday afternoon for IronMan 70.3 Hawaii (Honu) at the Fairmont Orchid.  The panel consisting of Lance Armstrong, Greg Bennet, Maik Twelsik, Chris Lieto, Bree Wee, Linsey Corbin and Melaine McQuaid answered questions and talked about the challenges of this race.

All replied that the wind, the humidity and the change in altitude make this a very difficult course and they gave tips to amateurs about riding in the wind, hydrating, nutrition and overall strategy. Wee, a Big Island resident,  discussed the great field on both the men’s and women’s side but emphasized the luxury she had of sleeping in her own bed before the race. Lieto (Lee-a-toe), also from the Big Island, felt a sense of pride in living and racing here now that he has a better sense of the culture and the island. Armstrong was asked why he moved from cycling to triathlon, and he responded by saying that he needed a continued challenge and wanted to stay fit. He said he asked himself every day if it was worth it, to which he answered “hell yeah.”

To a man and woman, they agreed that a pro can  race wherever they want, but a lot of the top pros came here because of the challenge and the beautiful location. Armstrong remarked that this is a great island to train on and an amazing place to ride. Greg Bennet commented on how excited he was to be on the Big Island.

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii starts Saturday at 7:00 a.m. with a 1.2 mile swim from Hapuna Beach Park to the Fairmont, followed by a 56 mile bike ride up the Kohala Coast to Hawi and back, and finishing with a 13.1 mile run.


Catch race results and information on where to watch the race in person along with road closures at Big Island Now. Tune into KAPA Hawaiian FM and ESPN Radio for coverage and live race updates Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


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