Categorized | Featured, Multi-sport, Sports

Ultraman celebrates 25th with world’s top athletes (Nov. 27-29)

Ultraman World Championships blasts off 6:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27 at Kailua Pier. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Ultraman World Championships blasts off 6:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27 at Kailua Pier. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Media releases compiled by Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

The 25th Anniversary Ultraman World Championships features a near-full field of former finishers for the anniversary event.

As of 2010, entrants to the Ultraman World Championships will need to be former individual finishers of either Ultraman Canada or Ultraman World Championships and have completed at least an Ironman distance race in the 18 months prior.

The 3-day, 320-mile individual ultra-endurance event runs completely around the Big Island. Entry is limited to 35 participants and is by invitation only.

* FRIDAY, Nov. 27, 2009 – Stage I start time 6:30 a.m. – 6.2-mile ocean swim from Kailua Bay to Keauhou Bay, followed by a 90-mile cross-country bike ride from Keauhou Bay around the southern tip of the island via Route 11 to finish at Namakani Paio Park in the Volcanoes National Park. Vertical climbs total 7,600 feet.

* SATURDAY, Nov. 28, 2009 – Stage II start time 6:30 a.m. —  171.4-mile bike ride, from Volcanoes National Park (Route 11) to Keaau, then turning east with a counter-clockwise loop through Kalapana, Kapoho and Pahoa, then on through the City of Hilo. From Hilo, the route continues north along the Hamakua Coast (Route 19) to Waimea, and over the Kohala Mountains via Route 250 to finish at the Kohala Village Inn on Hawi Road, just above its junction with Route 270. Vertical climbs total 8,600 feet.

* SUNDAY, Nov. 29, 2009 – Stage III start time 6 a.m. – 52.4-mile double-marathon run from Hawi to Kawaihae (Route 270), then on to Kailua-Kona (via Route 19) and finishing on the beach at the Old Airport State Park.

Time Limits: Each stage must be completed in 12 hours. The swim should be completed in 5-1/2 hours or less. Participants not reaching the respective finish lines within the 12 hour limits will be disqualified.

Limited to 35 athletes, and 5 relay teams, participants are expected from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, and the United States. More than 50 percent of the field will have participated in at least one previous Ultraman.

Each must be accompanied by an individual support team of at least two persons over the entire course. Many of these team members volunteer from the Big Island community each year.

Individual resources, mental, physical, and spiritual, are shared in an atmosphere where everyone who completes the course is a winner, and the pursuit of human excellence is the fundamental rule of the road.

Top Men’s contenders

Alexandre Ribeiro, Brazil, 44 – three time winner, defending champion

Peter Kotland, South Carolina, 37 – 1997 winner

Miro Kregar, Slovenia, 47 – 2nd in 2001, 3rd in 2208

Jochen Dembeck, Germany, 42 – 6th in 1999

Peter Mueller, Switzerland, 47 – 3rd in 2001

Mike Le Roux, Australia, 33

Gary Wang, California, 42

Rip Oldmeadow, Kailua-Kona, 40

Mark Ford, California, 47

Top Women’s contenders

Shanna Armstrong, Texas, 35 – five time winner

Ann Heaslett, Wisconsin, 45 – 2nd in 2007

Toni Barstis, Michigan, 43

Suzanna Degazon, California, representing Puerto Rico, 45 – 12th consecutive Ultraman Hawaii start

Trix Zgraggen, Switzerland, 43

Sheena Miller, Canada, 26

Top course times – Men

1998 – Holger Spiegel – 21:41:22

2004 – Jonas Colting – 21:41:49

2008 – Alexandre Ribeiro – 21:49:38

1997 – Peter Kotland – 21:52:51

2007 – Jonas Colting  – 21:59:44

Top course times – Women

1989 –  Tina Bischoff – 25:45:51

2008 – Shanna Armstrong – 26:25:03

2007 – Shanna Armstrong – 26:43:24

2007 – Ann Heaslett – 27:18:32

2003 – Shanna Armstrong – 27:31:51

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