America’s Award Winning Beaches Ban Relaxation for Weekend

Thousands Descend on St. Pete/Clearwater for Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3

Friday, November 7, 2008

Grab your beach chairs and get ready to soak up a day of inspiration at Clearwater Beach. 

That’s because starting Saturday morning at 6:45 AM sharp, 1,500 triathletes from around the globe will swim, bike, and run their hearts out in an attempt to claim victory in the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3. 

The competition will begin at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach with a 1.2 mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by a 56 mile bicycle trek that winds through northern Pinellas County before returning to the pier. The running portion of the competition consists of a 13.1 mile half marathon, for a total distance traveled of 70.3 miles, which must be completed in under 7 ½ hours in order for an athlete to be considered an official —Ironman” finisher. Competitors hail from 55 countries and 46 states, and earn the right to compete by qualifying in one of the 30 Ironman 70.3 events held worldwide. 

For the third year in a row, the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission is an official co-sponsor of this prestigious competition, which offers a prize purse totaling $100,000. 

This weekend’s event-related activities include the Ironman Expo at Pier 60, a welcome dinner at Sand Key Park for contestants, a Volunteer Appreciation Party at Bright House Networks Field, and much more. For a complete list of events, visit

Athletes, organizers and fans of the event will be patronizing area hotels and restaurants, as well as local sporting good stores and various other suppliers. More than 2,000 volunteers will be on hand to help manage traffic and crowds, ensuring a successful and exciting event. 

This event is co-hosted by the VSPC Sports Commission; for more information 

Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater is the official destination marketing organization for Pinellas County.
For more information:
Contact: PR Director David Downing: 
Phone: 727.464.7213