Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 Race

The morning on Saturday November 8, 2008 began early for me and other volunteers for the Clearwater, Florida Iron Man Race.  The logistics needed to put on this type of event are amazing.  Dary of Bill Jacksons handled the task of organizing the safety kayaks for the 1.2 mile swim.

I had no problem waking up at four in the morning and reporting to the kayak meeting and launch at five, due to my seven week old son training me to become an early riser.  After I cleaned, and fed him, I was out the door with my kayak.


The 1.2 mile swim course was set up in a U format.  So Dary had plastic cones arranged on the beach to mimic the large scale course.  After we got our assigned locations, discussed the water conditions, and refreshed ourselves on hand singles we jumped into our kayaks and paddled two miles up the beach.

The sun was not yet breaking the blackness, yet on land we could hear the excitement of the athletes as we got into position for their swim.  The at dawn the cannon went off and the race began. Wow, the sight of colored caps, arms, and feet breaking the surface is amazing.  The sound as they passed by was like a hundred dolphins playing in the surf.

shephardsAfter the swim the kayak volunteers were treated to a buffet brunch at Shephard’s.  The food was great!  Yet, the real joy was rooting on the athletes.  Way to go Bozzone and Zeiger!





Bozzone and Zeiger win in Clearwater

Terenzo Bozzone and Joanna Zeiger Win 2008 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3

Terenzo Bozzone and Joanna Zeiger won today’s Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, presented by Ford. Hailing from New Zealand, Bozzone took first place at three 70.3 events this year and celebrated his first world championship title today with a time of 3:40:10. Zeiger, from the U.S., also took home three 70.3 wins this year and crossed the finish line at 4:02:49. Both Bozzone and Zeiger earned world best times at today’s event.

Andy Potts, last year’s world champion, led out of the water setting a swim course record of 21 minutes, 44 seconds. A men’s field consisting of some of the sport’s best, including Chris Legh, Oscar Galindez and Fraser Cartmell, Bozzone took the lead entering T2 in front of his fellow competitors. Maintaining a blistering pace on the run, Bozzone grew his lead with each mile. Germany’s Andreas Raelert finished in second, 32 seconds behind today’s leader with a time of 3:40:42 and a top five finisher here in 2006 and 2007, Richie Cunningham, rounded out the podium with a time of 3:41:47.

Top ten professional men’s results are as follows:

1. Terenzo Bozzone, NZL            3:40:10
2. Andreas Raelert, DEU            3:40:42
3. Richie Cunningham, AUS     3:41:47
4. Oscar Galindez, ARG            3:42:28
5. Reinaldo Colucci, BRA            3:43:22
6. Andy Potts, USA                 3:44:30
7. Luke McKenzie, AUS            3:45:11
8. Brent McMahon, CAN            3:45:43
9. Joe Gambles, GBR             3:46:23

10. Fraser Cartmell, GBR            3:46:34

Defending 70.3 world champion, Mirinda Carfrae, raced with a highly competitive women’s field including Joanna Zeiger, Julie Dibens, Erika Csomor, Leanda Cave and Becky Lavelle, with Lavelle also breaking the current swim course record in a time of 23 minutes, 3 seconds. Dibens led the field throughout the bike portion, being overtaken at mile 55, with Lavelle, Zeiger and Dibens entering T2 together. Zeiger, who placed fourth in the 2000 Olympic Games Triathlon, took the lead and gained speed throughout the run. Mary Beth Ellis, with a win in July at Lake Stevens 70.3, placed second at 4:04:07 and Becky Lavelle secured third place with a time of 4:07:32.

Top ten professional women’s results are as follows:
1. Joanna Zeiger, USA                   4:02:49
2. Mary Beth Ellis, USA                     4:04:07
3. Becky Lavelle, USA                  4:07:32
4. Julie Dibens, GBR                             4:09:10
5. Nina Kraft, DEU                             4:15:32
6. Erika Csomor, HUN                4:16:00
7. Catriona Morrison, GBR               4:16:28
8. Angela Naeth, CAN                   4:16:50
9. Leanda Cave, GBR                    4:18:50

10. Amanda Stevens, USA                4:20:28

The event, in its third year, took athletes on a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. 1,284 athletes entered the water with participants ranging in age from 18 years old to 79 years old. Of those, 1,254 finished. A prize purse totaling $100,000 prize purse was up for grabs today. Professional athletes had the opportunity to claim Timex Ironman Watch Bonuses, this year’s bonuses were awarded to:

Bike – Joe Gambles and Julie Dibens
Run – Terenzo Bozzone and Joanna Zeiger

Additionally, there were several inspirational age group athletes including:

· Ricky James, 20, who was involved in a motocross accident four years ago that left him paralyzed. After bike modifications, he has continued racing on the motocross scene and celebrated a World Championship finish today crossing the line in his handcycle with a time of 5 hours, 30 minutes and 27 seconds.

· Bob Purrington, 46, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2002, showcased his determination to continue leading an active lifestyle, with an overall time of 6 hours, 33 seconds and 17 seconds.

· Team Hoyt, a father-and-son team that have completed hundreds of endurance events including Hawaii’s Ironman World Championship and the Boston Marathon, ignited overwhelming emotion when they crossed the line in a time of 8 hours, 14 minutes and 36 seconds.

The 2008 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 broadcast will air on NBC on Saturday, April 12, 2009 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. EST. Please check your local listings for specific details.

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