Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

‘Lance Effect’ drives Ironman 70.3 Honu sell-out


A record number of athletes are now signed up to race June 2 alongside Lance Armstrong at Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (Honu).

General entry closed Feb. 13, leaving only Ironman Foundation and Lance Armstrong Foundation slots available; those last 65 slots sold Monday, marking the popular Big Island race as sold out.

This year will mark the largest field for the event yet, with numbers increasing from 1,865 in 2011, to 1,980 for this year.

In addition to the island’s tropical beauty and historical significance, this year there might have been another factor pushing Honu’s popularity: a force many have dubbed the “Lance Effect.”

Now that Honu is full, age-groupers have only a few more opportunities to sign up to race with the seven-time Tour de France champion: in Galveston, Texas on April 1, in Haines City, Florida on May 20, and in Nice, France on June 24.

In addition to Armstrong, pros currently signed up to race Honu include Greg Bennett, Luke McKenzie and Linsey Corbin. Armstrong’s fellow uber-biker, Chris Lieto, is also expected to race.

According to Honu race director Diana Bertsch, this year’s request for pro slots (22) has already surpassed last year’s total pro field (12).

With a swim in the clear blue waters of Hapuna Beach State Park on the Kohala Coast, a bike that follows the northern half of the famous Ironman World Championship course, and a run winding through peaceful resort grounds, this is an opportunity many athletes jump at to race on the Big Island.

Ironman 70.3 Honu will offer 30 Age Group qualifying slots for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. in September, and 28 for the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kona on Oct. 13.

The professional prize purse in Honu totals $15,000.

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3 Responses to “‘Lance Effect’ drives Ironman 70.3 Honu sell-out”

  1. Jamie says:

    I am super excited to be racing Honu 70.3 with Lance Armstrong. Triathlon has been growing strong and now that Lance Armstrong is racing the sport will become even more high profile. Exciting that its also a mass swim start at Honu.

  2. Julie says:

    I think you need to get your facts straight. The course race was sold out. Lance wanted to race, they opened up an additional 300 spaces so he could get in and not have it look like special treatment. They changed the swim start, and allowed pros to head start. He did great, but, please don’t get the facts wrong.

  3. Karin says:

    Some of this information did change between when Ironman released it a month ago and race day yesterday. For example, Luke McKenzie did not race yesterday. And you are correct in pointing out that there were a record number of triathletes competing yesterday.
    Also, it was the first year media had to apply for credentials, the first year they scheduled (then cancelled) a post-race press conference, and the first year the race has restricted access to the athletes in any manner.
    It was also the very first time – in 20 years of covering triathlons on the Big Island – that I have ever seen a competitor with a bodyguard!
    Like Linsey Corbin said, we’ll be talking about this race for awhile!
    Karin Stanton
    Hawaii 24/7 Editor


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