Jurassic-sized impact in Korea with debut of Ironman 70.3 Goseong

Jurassic-sized impact in Korea with debut of Ironman 70.3 Goseong

27/05/2019 at 15:38Updated 27/05/2019 at 16:21

Sold-out South Korean half-Ironman is one of four huge international race events hosted by Ironman over the weekend, which also included world renowned Spanish pro race Ironman Lanzarote in the Canary Islands …

By the time triathletes had reached the 21.1km run course surrounding “Dinosaur City”, the nearly 1,600 age-groupers had already completed a 1.9km swim from the Danghangpo shoreline and 90km bike ride in the debut of Ironman 70.3 Goseong, Korea on Sunday.

The sold-out field vying for 40 slots across the relevant age-groups to race the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France, hailed from 23 countries, including USA, China, Japan, Malaysia,Switzerland and Australia.

In the end, it was Chinese triathlete Peng Cheng Li and American Ha Na Lee coming out on top with the inaugural race’s best overall times of 4 hours 15 minutes 4 seconds and 5:00:35 for the men’s and women’s field respectively.

Famously known as “Dinosaur City” for the many fossils discovered in the region of Goseong in the province of Gyeongsangnam-do. The race venue also hosts a World Expo every four years, with the next one scheduled in 2020.

“The Goseong County was the ideal stage to host this new race in Korea,” said Jae Keun Lee, Security General of the Korea Triathlon Federation. “It offers athletes a unique course to race across and destination to explore.

“Entries sold out early which shows that the interest for athletes to race in Korea is high.”

Ironman 70.3 St Pölten (Austria) had 60 qualifying age-group slots for the IM 70.3 Worlds in September, but it was German Franz Loeschke recording the best time for the men’s pro field with a time of 3:52:37. Sweden’s Sara Svensk took out the women’s pro field in a time of 4:26:05.

While age-groupers battled for bragging rights and world championship starts, the pros found themselves going full distance at both Ironman Brazil and Ironman Lanzarote over the weekend.

Andy Potts finished the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run with a men’s best pro time of 8:02:58 in Florianopolis, Brazil, while fellow American Sarah Piampiano dominated the women’s pro field by nearly 23 minutes (+22:58) with a time of 8:40:49.

One day earlier, Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) and Nikki Bartlett (GBR) claimed top honours on a wind-swept Saturday in Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa.

The victory marked the ninth Ironman title for Van Lierde (8:51:16) and first for Bartlett (9:59:10).

Photo: Delly Carr