Home News Local news ST. CROIX HALF IRONMAN LIKELY TO BE BIGGEST YET

ST. CROIX HALF IRONMAN LIKELY TO BE BIGGEST YET

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March 3, 2003 – Just two months away, this year's St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon promises to be one of the territory's largest-ever sporting events, with more than 950 athletes expected to compete to qualify to race in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
The 14th annual event will kick off May 4 with a 1.24-mile swim from Protestant Cay to the wharf area of Chistiansted.
Racers will then begin a 56-mile bike ride traversing the island. During that course, riders will confront the infamous uphill stretch of road known as "The Beast" that averages a grade of 14 degrees as it climbs 600 vertical feet in only seven-tenths of a mile.
The race concludes with a 13.1-mile run circling the Buccaneer Hotel and finishing in downtown Christiansted. The top 30 finishers, based on age group, will qualify for the Hawaii event. Also, 10 racers will gain qualified spots in the Subaru Ironman Canada, and 10 athletes will win spots in the Ironman USA Lake Placid competition.
At 7:20 a.m. the same morning, athletes will compete in a shorter version of the triathlon, the St. Croix Sprint. The sprint consists of a 750-meter swim from Protestant Cay to Christiansted, an eight-mile bike race mirroring the first loop of the Half Ironman (but leaving out The Beast) and a four-mile run to the finish line in Christiansted.
Last year, Australia's Jarrod Brauer, a 27-year-old triathlete in his third year of professional competition, was the men's winner. Baltimore's Joanna Zeiger nailed down her third win in a row of the competition.
Among 11 Virgin Islanders taking part in the 2002 Half Ironman event, Kent Bradbury of St. Croix had the fastest finish at 5:44:22.

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