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HomeNewsArchivesMike Pigg Returning, Volunteers Needed for St. Croix Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Mike Pigg Returning, Volunteers Needed for St. Croix Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

April 25, 2008 — For an up-close look at the action during the 2008 St. Croix Ironman 70.3 Triathlon on May 4, organizers are looking for folks to help out with water and way stations for the hundreds of competitors from around the world.
"We probably use between 600 and 800 volunteers every year," said Race Coordinator Tom Guthrie. "We start a couple of days before the race and go all the way through until the last person is out of the medical tents."
Volunteers do everything, Guthrie said: "They are the kayakers on the swimming route; doctors, nurses, EMTs; people who stand at intersections and direct the cyclists. There are stations and water stops at four points on the bike path and five along the run. Each of these has 20 or 30 volunteers helping out."
The race starts at 8 a.m., and the main need is for volunteers to help with the way stations. Call 773-4470 for more information.
Meanwhile, preparations for the race are progressing apace, with lots of help and cooperation from the V.I. Government, Guthrie said.
"It's going smoothly," he said. "We are working closely with Public Works to get the roads fixed up along the route."
Ongoing construction of the Christiansted bypass has created "a little wrinkle" this year, but Public Works has been very responsive, he said.
"Because of heavy trucks going through Christiansted and up Lowry Hill Road this year, extensive patching is needed," he said. "But it is coming along very well."
Putting on the race always involves lots of coordination with local and even federal government agencies, he said.
"Along with Public Works," he said, "we work closely with Tourism, the Police Department, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Health Department."
This is the 20th St. Croix Ironman, making the 70.3 mile half-Ironman competition one of the oldest, best-established races of its kind. It brings a purse of $50,000, making it a fairly big-money race, too.
"It is one of the highest half-Ironman purses," Guthrie said. "It is double that of most 70.3 races."
This year's race features the return of Mike Pigg to St. Croix, the island he helped place at the forefront of the triathlon world.
Pigg won the inaugural race in 1988 as a young 24-year-old racer, and won the prestigious race three more times. Since his first win, he has become a legendary figure on island, and is synonymous with the St. Croix race, according to Guthrie.
The grueling trek kicks off with a 1.24-mile swim around Christiansted Harbor. Next the racers push through a 56-mile bike ride that includes sharp turns, twisting roadways and the legendary "Beast," a 600-foot climb with a 14 to 18 percent grade. Only then do they begin to run a 13.1-mile foot course. Round it up all up and you get the 70.3 miles of the course.
As an affiliate of the Ironman World Championships, the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 Triathlon offers participating amateur or "age-group" athletes a chance to fill 28 qualifying slots in the Hawaii Ironman, as well as 50 Ironman 70.3 World Championship spots.
Additional information can be found at stcroixtriathlon.com or by calling the telephone number listed above.
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