World-Class Athletes, NBC Converge on Clearwater for Ironman 70.3

Fourth annual event draws national spotlight, $100K prize purse

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (November 12, 2009) – One of the St. Pete/Clearwater area’s most popular events returns this weekend with more than 1,600 athletes testing the limits of fatigue and fortitude.

Presented by Ford, the 2009 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 takes place Saturday, November 14, with participants swimming, biking and running 70.3 miles through Clearwater and its surrounding areas. 

Competitors earn the right to compete in the World Championship by qualifying at one of more than 30 Ironman 70.3 events held worldwide.

—We’re honored to be the continued home of the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3,” said Kevin Smith, Director of the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission. —Hosting an event of this magnitude reinforces St. Pete/Clearwater’s place as a leader in the sports tourism industry.”

Beginning from Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60 at 6:45 a.m., the 70.3-mile long route takes athletes along a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run.

Universal Sports, a division of NBC Sports, will be on hand to tape the entirety of the race and will air a 90-minute special on NBC on Sunday, June 6, 2010. 

Professional athletes will compete for a $100,000 prize purse. The top 10 professional male and female finishers and each age group champion will automatically qualify for the 2010 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, taking place on Saturday, November 13, 2010 in Clearwater Beach. 

In addition to serving as the race launch point, Pier 60 will host the Ironman retail store and a free expo throughout the week leading up to the race.

A welcome dinner Thursday night and a post-race awards banquet Saturday night will be held at Sand Key Park. Tickets for either event can be purchased here

Event organizers have also announced that celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito will participate for the first time. The 42-year-old who garnered fame by owning and operating several high-profile New York City restaurants has competed in a number of triathlons across the globe.

There is no admission fee and spectators are encouraged to come out and root on these incredible athletes. 

Fans can also follow all the action on the Ironman Web site from their home. 

For detailed event information, including road closures and alternate routes, visit the City of Clearwater’sOfficial Web site

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

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For more information:
Contact: CVB Assistant Director David Downing:
Phone: 727.464.7213

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