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12 April 2013

Great excitement for Spec-Savers IRONMAN SA weekend

Thousands of spectators will be lining the routes to cheer on the nearly two thousand Spec-Savers IRONMAN SA 2013 participants.

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Thousands of spectators will be lining the routes to cheer on the nearly two thousand Spec-Savers IRONMAN SA 2013 participants on Sunday, April 14.

Sunday’s race, which has attracted a record entry of 1 783 male and female athletes from around the world, will be the high point of a weekend of action in Nelson Mandela Bay.

It will be the ninth year Nelson Mandela Bay has hosted the event, which is known internationally for its friendly and enthusiastic crowds lining the route, says Keith Bowler, managing director of World Endurance Africa Holdings, which runs the only IRONMAN event in Africa.

Over six thousand athletes will be participating in the weekend’s events, which start with the IRON GIRL South Africa Fun Run on Friday, April 12, starting at 16:00 near Hobie Beach.

“Our field of 1 500 runners makes it one of the biggest IRON GIRL events in the world,” he says.

Saturday’s action starts with the Vodacom Corporate Triathlon Challenge, powered by Algoa FM, at 07:50, followed by the Pritt IRONKIDS South Africa, which will start at McArthur’s Pool and Leisure Centre at 12:00.

It is the biggest IRONKIDS aquathlon event in the world, attracting around a thousand entrants, according to Bowler.

The main race, the Spec-Savers IRONMAN South Africa, starts with a 3.8km swim from Hobie Beach with a PRO swim start at 06:45 on Sunday morning, followed by the age group swim start at 07:00. The first male athlete is expected to cross the finish line at approximately 15:00, and the first female at approximately 15:45.

By that time athletes will have covered a total of 226 km – 180.2 km by bicycle, and a 42.2 km marathon.

Competition will be tough, with foreign athletes making up nearly a quarter of the field, according to Spec-Savers IRONMAN SA race director Paul Wolff. The pace will be set by the 47 professional athletes participating in the race.

At this point, no rain is predicted for Sunday, which should make for good conditions for both racers and spectators.

Taking part will be 1 493 male athletes, and 289 females. Of this total, 646 will be taking part in IRONMAN for the first time.

All the necessary safety and security precautions are in place for the events over the weekend, according to Wolff. “At all our events we meet and usually exceed the statutory and recommended safety precautions and systems,” he says.

 
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