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HomeNewsArchivesST. CROIX HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON FILLING UP FAST

ST. CROIX HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON FILLING UP FAST

If early interest is any indication, the first-ever St. Croix Half-Ironman Triathlon in May is going to be a record-breaker.
Over its 12 years of existence, the annual triathlon has always been a favorite among hard-core triathletes. But the 2001 race, set for May 6, will attract even more racers because it is a qualifier for the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, the grueling sport’s revered world championship.
"There is going to be significant buzz about the event, here and elsewhere," said Tom Guthrie, the St. Croix race director.
The relationship with the Ironman is already paying off not just for race organizers, but for St. Croix’s tourism industry, said Guthrie. As of mid-January almost 500 off-island entrants had signed up. That’s already 150 more than last year’s race.
Guthrie said he expects 750 entrants for this year’s event, which will comprise the full half-Ironman and a shorter sprint triathlon. That many entrants will come close to filling up the island’s approximately 950 hotel rooms.
"We’re getting 10 entrants a day," Guthrie said. "If we get some hotels built here we could have 1,000 entries for this race."
And that goal isn’t out of the realm of possibility. More than 1,800 racers are expected to compete in this year’s Ironman California, one of the four full Ironman races in North America. Three of those races are already sold out.
A bonus for the St. Croix race is the fact that athletes shooting to qualify for the Hawaii Ironman don’t have to go the full Ironman distance in order to do so, which is a big incentive when one considers the lengths involved.
For most of the life of the St. Croix race the distance has included a 1.25-mile (2 kilometer) swim, 34-mile (55 kilometer) ride and a 7.4-mile (12 kilometer) run. To be an Ironman qualifier, the ride will increase to a total of 56 miles and the run to 13 miles. The swim distance will remain the same.
Guthrie said the winning time for the male pro will be in the neighborhood of four hours.
An actual Ironman race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 122-mile bike and a marathon-distance, 26.4-mile run.
There are currently 21 events in the Ironman Triathlon series of races – either full-length races or half distances – leading up to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship on the island of Hawaii in October.
Besides being a qualifier for the grandad of all races in Hawaii and the California Triathlon, the St. Croix race has been and will continue to be a qualifier for the Lake Placid Ironman and the Canadian Ironman. The local race will offer 30 spots for the Hawaii race, which will likely go to the top two finishers in each age group.
For the pros, the draw of St. Croix is the $50,000 purse, one of the largest in the sport. It is equally distributed between men and women through 10 places, with the first-place finishers walking away with $7,000.
For more information on the race, check out the official Web site at St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon.

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If early interest is any indication, the first-ever St. Croix Half-Ironman Triathlon in May is going to be a record-breaker.
Over its 12 years of existence, the annual triathlon has always been a favorite among hard-core triathletes. But the 2001 race, set for May 6, will attract even more racers because it is a qualifier for the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, the grueling sport’s revered world championship.
"There is going to be significant buzz about the event, here and elsewhere," said Tom Guthrie, the St. Croix race director.
The relationship with the Ironman is already paying off not just for race organizers, but for St. Croix’s tourism industry, said Guthrie. As of mid-January almost 500 off-island entrants had signed up. That’s already 150 more than last year’s race.
Guthrie said he expects 750 entrants for this year’s event, which will comprise the full half-Ironman and a shorter sprint triathlon. That many entrants will come close to filling up the island’s approximately 950 hotel rooms.
"We’re getting 10 entrants a day," Guthrie said. "If we get some hotels built here we could have 1,000 entries for this race."
And that goal isn’t out of the realm of possibility. More than 1,800 racers are expected to compete in this year’s Ironman California, one of the four full Ironman races in North America. Three of those races are already sold out.
A bonus for the St. Croix race is the fact that athletes shooting to qualify for the Hawaii Ironman don’t have to go the full Ironman distance in order to do so, which is a big incentive when one considers the lengths involved.
For most of the life of the St. Croix race the distance has included a 1.25-mile (2 kilometer) swim, 34-mile (55 kilometer) ride and a 7.4-mile (12 kilometer) run. To be an Ironman qualifier, the ride will increase to a total of 56 miles and the run to 13 miles. The swim distance will remain the same.
Guthrie said the winning time for the male pro will be in the neighborhood of four hours.
An actual Ironman race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 122-mile bike and a marathon-distance, 26.4-mile run.
There are currently 21 events in the Ironman Triathlon series of races – either full-length races or half distances – leading up to the Ironman Triathlon World Championship on the island of Hawaii in October.
Besides being a qualifier for the grandad of all races in Hawaii and the California Triathlon, the St. Croix race has been and will continue to be a qualifier for the Lake Placid Ironman and the Canadian Ironman. The local race will offer 30 spots for the Hawaii race, which will likely go to the top two finishers in each age group.
For the pros, the draw of St. Croix is the $50,000 purse, one of the largest in the sport. It is equally distributed between men and women through 10 places, with the first-place finishers walking away with $7,000.
For more information on the race, check out the official Web site at St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon.