78.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, November 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesWorld's Top Athletes Join Crucian Racers Sunday for St. Croix Ironman

World's Top Athletes Join Crucian Racers Sunday for St. Croix Ironman

April 29, 2009 — St. Croix will hear the pitter patter of feet — tiny feet and large feet, young feet and old, and some of the most famous feet in the world of road racing — starting Thursday and running through this weekend as the island gears up for the St. Croix Ironman Triathlon, which takes place Sunday.
The action begins at 5 p.m. Thursday with the running of the Paradise 5K. Entrants will begin and end at the entrance to the Buccaneer Resort, meandering through the resort grounds.
Last year's five-kilometer race drew a field of almost 80 runners, including competitors from Munich, Germany, and Colsterworth, Grantham, England. For many athletes the race is a warmup for the big event Sunday.
Runners can enter at the V.I. Pace Runners' website. There is a $15 entry fee.
At 6 p.m. Friday young athletes get the chance to try their hand at road racing — albeit on a shorter course. Registration for the annual Children's Run begins at 5 p.m. Friday in front of the Florence Williams Public Library. Entrance is free. The race covers 630 meters — less than half a mile — and is broken into two age groups: 13 and younger and 10 and younger. The race draws 50 to 60 participants each year.
"The kids love it," said Wallace Williams, founder of the Pace Runners, which sponsors the event.
The big one, the St. Croix Ironman Triathlon, will hit the streets at 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
The Ironman is the ultimate test of physical prowess. It begins with a 1.24-mile swim through Christiansted harbor, then transitions into a grueling 56-mile bike race along the north shore of St. Croix, up "the Beast" — the harrowing slog up Route 69, also known as Paradise Road — a 600-foot climb in a stretch of less than a mile, with an average grade of 14 percent and a maximum grade of 21 percent — then back toward the east end of the island before returning to the transition area in Christiansted. There racers will drop their bikes and take off on foot for a 13.1-mile run east past Grapefruit Bay and almost all the way to Point Udall before turning back for the home stretch to the finish line in Christiansted.
The St. Croix Ironman is a chance for international competitors to qualify early in the season for the world championships. There are 28 qualifying slots on the line for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, and 40 slots to the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Fla. Top racers from the United States, Europe and Australia — including Joanna Zeiger and Mirinda Carfrae, the past two woman's Ironman 70.3 World Champions — will be on hand, lining up side by side with the island's top athletes.
Road Closures
The Ironman Triathlon takes place on the roads of St. Croix, which means some of those roads will be closed to traffic during and before the race. Some road and parking restrictions will be in effect as early as 3 a.m. Sunday.
St. Croix Police Chief Oakland Benta advised motorists to plan their travel ahead of time — especially drivers needing to get to the Seaborne Airlines ramp or the Fast Ferry dock to meet folks returning from V.I. Carnival festivities on St. Thomas.
Parking restrictions
Parking will be prohibited from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday along the triathlon biking and running routes, as well as the staging area at the Christiansted wharf, and also on Church Street between King and Company streets. Vehicles parked in these areas will be ticketed and towed at the owners' expense.
Police will allow motorists and pedestrians to cross triathlon routes in a safe manner that will not interfere with or endanger the triathletes.
One-way vehicular traffic will be in effect on many streets along the route.
Seaplane ramp, ferry dock
Police offer the following suggestions for people traveling to the Seaborne Airlines ramp or the Fast Ferry dock in Gallows Bay on Sunday:
— Allow at least two hours extra driving time.
— Traveling to the seaplane ramp from the western, central and northern parts of St. Croix , go east on Queen Mary Highway, then take Island Center Road to Rattan Road and go east to the Five Corners intersection, where police will direct traffic. Follow directions to the Mill Harbor-Golden Rock area through LBJ Gardens, Ralph DeChabert Housing and D. Hamilton Jackson Terrace Road to the seaplane ramp, using the unpaved road to the parking lot.
— From the St. John and La Grande Princesse area, use secondary roads to Five Corners and follow police directions. Northside Road will be closed to motorists during the bike race.
— Traveling to Gallows Bay from the western, central and northern areas, go east on Queen Mary Highway, cross the Sunny Isle Shopping Center intersection, take Castle Coakley Road to the Peter's Rest intersection and follow police directions on crossing the road safely. Proceed into town and through the Contentment-Bassin Triangle intersection as directed and to the ferry dock.
— Traveling to either the seaplane ramp or the ferry dock from the eastern and southern parts of the island, take South Shore Road to Catherine's Rest Road, turn onto Queen Mary Highway toward Contentment-Bassin Triangle, then follow police directions.
Race routes are mostly off limits to motorists.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.