Guanacaste, Costa Rica to Host World Famous Ironman in June …

After a five-year wait, Carrillo, Guanacaste finally made the cut to host a Ironman 70.3 triathlon this year. This is the first time Costa Rica will host one of the world famous endurance competitions, and it is almost completely filled.

With 2,000 competitors already filling all of the general registration spots for the June 18 event, according to the Ironman website, event organizers expect the race to bring at least eight to ten thousand visitors to the Playas del Coco region of Guanacaste province, as each Ironman competitor travels with two or more companions on average.

The Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The number 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race that involves a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run, said the WTC. The segment disatnces are half of those in a full Ironman triathlon.

The Ironman 70.3 series culminates each year with a world championship competition, which competitors qualify for during the 70.3 series in the 12 months prior to the championship, said the WTC.

The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica will offer 35 qualifying slots to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the Ironman website.

Finish times range from under 4 hours by elite athletes to 8 hours and 30 minutes. Times vary from race to race and are influenced by factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and course conditions, said the WTC.

On March 1, 25 elite competitor spots will open for the Costa Rica race, as well as 100 additional spots – 70  individual and 30 relay spaces (one person per discipline). After this, the event will be completely filled.

The mile and a half long Playas del Coco, the race site, is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches. Protected by a bay, its gentle, warm waters are ideal for bathing, snorkeling and also boating.

Ironman orgnizers sum up Costa Rica like this: “Costa Rica is one of the world’s most unique tourist destinations. The natural beauty, stunning beaches, pleasant climate and the peaceful easy going nature of Costa Ricans make the country an attractive, must-see part of the world.”

By Wendy Anders, The Costa Rica Star

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