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Ironman 70.3 Kansas on tap today

June 10, 2012

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The 2012 Ironman 70.3 Kansas triathlon might lack the overall star power of previous years, but a former champion is set to return for another crack at the Lawrence course.

Winner of the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Kansas, in 2008, New Zealand native and professional Terenzo Bozzone will be among the approximately 1,500 triathletes competing today on the course that begins with an early-morning swim (men’s professionals start at 6:30 a.m.) in Clinton Lake and includes treks through the surrounding countryside on both bike and foot.

At Bozzone’s most recent race, he finished fifth at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands on May 6. Prior to that, Bozzone took sixth at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Ryan Robinson, race director for Ironman 70.3 Kansas, expects the former champ will have a couple of triathletes fighting him for the 2012 title.

“We’re looking at a really good race,” Robinson said, “with Tom Lowe from Great Britain, Ben Hoffman from Boulder, Colo., and Terenzo Bozzone, from New Zealand.”

Earlier this year, Lowe finished third at Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. In Hoffman’s last time out, he won Ironman St. George, in Utah.

Other projected contenders include Australians Paul Ambrose and Clayton Fetell, as well as Hungary’s Jozef Major.

Followers of Ironman Kansas 70.3 won’t see today what has become the familiar finish in the women’s field. Three-time defending champion Chrissie Wellington won’t be back to defend her crown. In a press release from earlier this year, Wellington announced she would take a break from Ironman competitions in 2012 “to explore other opportunities.”

A native of Green Bay, Jessica Jacobs, winner of Ironman 70.3 Florida in May, could be the woman to beat in the professional ranks.

As for the hundreds of amateur triathletes competing today, Robinson said the most serious of them have a common goal in mind.

“They’re competing for qualification spots in the world championships,” he said.

That race is scheduled for Sept. 9 at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev.

This is the fifth year Clinton State Park has hosted the Kansas race, and Robinson said the course hasn’t changed in that time. The race begins in waves from 6:30-7:34 a.m. for the different divisions of triathletes, opening with a 1.2-mile swim in Clinton Lake, followed by a 56-mile bike ride and, finally, a 13.1-mile run.

Spectators arriving after 6:30 a.m. can take 1500 Road west from K-10 and turn south onto 700 Road to find parking, which is about a half-mile from the finish line.

Comments

James Minor 1 year, 10 months ago

The triathlon continues to grow worldwide. Lawrence should consider a downtown kick off event like the inaugural to attract more attention.

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 10 months ago

Agree, the LJW sport page could use some help, not just hawk things----------

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Ronnie24 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope the LJW will cover and post Pictures as well as the winners.... It takes alot of time to train, as well as attend .

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JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

you didn't notice 1500 people on bicycles?

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workm996 1 year, 10 months ago

Does anyone know how to get in touch with the person in charge of the race or possibly direct me toward the right person with in the county to speak with about the race? I live out in the middle of where the race takes place and though it takes place every year I do not place it on my calender and seeing that there was little coverage on it this year I had no idea it was taking place. I personally think they should advertise it more and place proper signage up at all entrances leading to the race at least a week ahead of time. Driving home today I was unaware the race was taking place and the sheriff's in no way led me astray from entering the path of the race. I ended up being smack dab in the middle of all the bikers maneuvering around me while trying to drive, I was left worrying about mine and their safety. I would have turned around and gone another way home, but that is quite difficult when there are bikers, cars, and motorcycles on both sides of the rode. Then when I tried to stop and ask someone who was working the race on advice or who to speak with he just brushed me off. Placing proper signage, enforcing more safety precautions ahead of time, or setting up a detour would undoubtedly save many from stressing or possibly someone's life as cars are trying to drive and bikers are trying to complete the race. I fully believe that this race should take place, but I also fully believe that there is a much better way to handle and conduct the whole scenario.

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kubmg 1 year, 10 months ago

When one considers the economic impact on the local economy, it's unfortunate that this is the extent of press this event receives. This is a big event for Lawrence. I hope Ironman continues to come back.

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Ronnie24 1 year, 10 months ago

My daughter is doing this today. I am so proud of her!!

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