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City, Ironman Officials Iron Out Course Changes

By July 13, 2008

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Ironman officials and the city of Clearwater recently announced modifications to this year’s Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 set for Saturday, Nov. 8, in Clearwater.

Athletes competing in the third annual event will be challenged by a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. The competition will begin and end at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.

According to the city’s press release, in order to reduce impact to local vehicular traffic, certain changes were required. The new course will offer athletes a more competitive, more scenic experience on the bike segment of the championship. Notable changes include:

  • Moving the northbound route from Fort Harrison Avenue to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
  • A soft road closure at State Road 580 allowing travel to and from Mease Countryside Hospital.
  • A hard road closure at Curlew Road for northbound traffic only; athletes will be traveling southbound in the northbound lanes to Curlew Road.
  • The course will no longer impact Park Boulevard; instead, the route will travel westbound on 82nd Avenue from 49th Street to Belcher Road.

Athlete check-in and the Ford Ironman Village will be relocated at Pier 60. Sand Key Park will still host the Welcome Dinner and the Awards Banquet.

Research conducted by Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater indicate that last year, the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship attracted more than 1,400 athletes and 6,000 out-of-state spectators, providing a tidy economic boon for the area.

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