martes, octubre 25, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Panama 12 /02/ 2012

Ironman 70.3 Panama Preview: The Course
Kevin Mackinnon checks out the course for next year's Ironman 70.3 Panama

Published Monday, October 24, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Panama Preview: The CourseSet in beautiful Panama City, Ironman 70.3 Panama promises to be one of the most exciting additions to the Ironman 70.3 series next year. The race takes place on February 12, 2012 and serves as the Ironman 70.3 Latin America Pro Championship with a $75,000 professional prize purse and 35 age group slots for the Marine Corps Ironman World Championship 70.3 at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. In addition to being an impressive destination event, athletes are sure to enjoy the unique and beautiful racecourse.

Panama is a popular tourist destination that offers incredible beaches, some of the world’s most premier eco-tourism opportunities and, of course, the chance to check out the famous Panama Canal. Race organizers Arturo Diaz and Alejandro Velasquez have come up with a course that takes in some of the sights and beautiful countryside of the Central American country.

The day begins with a warm-water swim (78° Fahrenheit, 26° Celsius) on the banks of the Eighth Wonder of the Modern World, the Panama Canal. The tides around Panama City are dramatic, with the waters of the Pacific Ocean rising and falling between eight and 17 feet at different times, so the swim course is designed so it will follow the current on race day. As athletes complete the point-to-point swim course they, and the spectators, will enjoy some spectacular views of the Bridge of the Americas, which connects Central and South America, and the new Biodiversity Museum, a truly unique building designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

After the swim, the athletes will head into the “linear” transition area, which is set up along a path next to the canal, and then head out onto the bike course.

The challenging bike course is perfect for a championship event. The opening miles of the course are relatively flat, but things quickly get interesting as the course heads westward over the Bridge of the Americas. As a sign of how much the government of Panama is supporting the race, the roads for the bike course will be completely closed to traffic. Athletes will enjoy both some beautiful scenery and a few technical climbs and descents through the first 10 miles of the bike course as it heads towards Playa Bonita, a popular tourist spot with beautiful beaches.

The bike course eventually gets onto the Pan American Highway (yes, one side of the highway is closed for the race!) and the hills continue as the course heads through the spectacular Panama countryside that offers an interesting mix of jungle and rain forest. The long climb up Loma Coba (Coba Hill) is likely to live up to it’s nickname “The Monster,” but the upside will be the incredibly fast descents on either side of the climb. There are four aid stations along the bike course, so athletes will have lots of opportunity to stay hydrated and fueled.

The bike course ends with another out-and-back section that heads along Panama’s Cinta Costera (Coastal Ribbon) and offers a glimpse of the incredible development happening in Panama right now. Athletes get to take in the impressive hotels (including a new Trump Plaza that’s under construction) and other state-of-the-art buildings that mark the unique and beautiful city.

Once back to transition, athletes begin the two-loop run course that follows a path along the Amador Causeway. It will be a hot run, for sure, but one filled with lots of distractions as athletes get to check out the many ships entering the canal and the spectacular views of the ocean and Panama City. There are aid stations at every mile, so there will be lots of opportunity to cool down and get hydration during the final leg of the day.

For spectators there are a number of restaurants along the course, including some perfectly placed spots at the second turnaround which offer a chance to see the athletes a number of times.
The day ends at the finish line in a huge courtyard at the Figali Convention Center, which is where the race expo and registration will be set up during race week, too. This truly unique finish line is a popular spot for concerts (Shakira performed there earlier this year) and will provide an incredible atmosphere for the race finish.
You can get more information about Ironman 70.3 Panama at the event website.


General Information

Individual Entry:
$275.00 USD (5/17/11 - 11/12/11)
$300.00 USD (11/13/11 - Close)

Ironman 70.3 Panama & San Juan Combo Entry:
$399.00 USD (Available on a first come, first serve basis)

Relay Entry:
$300.00 USD (5/17/11 - 11/12/11)
$350.00 USD (11/13/11 - Close)

Check back on Wednesday for a look at Panama’s impressive tourism opportunities.

You can reach Kevin Mackinnon at

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