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Lake Placid 70.3 back for second running

September 7, 2018
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Over the past 20 years, organizers of the Ironman Lake Placid have pretty much gotten things down when it comes to hosting 140.6-mile triathlons each summer in the Olympic Region.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, the half-Ironman, a swim-bike-run race of 70.3 miles, will be held here for the second September in a row, and this time around, cold weather for the swim is not expected to be an issue.

A year ago, slightly more than 2,000 triathletes completed the inaugural half-Ironman race in Lake Placid on what started out to be a really chilly morning and ended up as an ideal day for the event. When the race was held last September, early morning temperatures prior to the swim were in the 30s and the water temperatures were cold as well. With a warm week predicted leading up to Sunday's race, it looks like a field of some 2,500 participants could enjoy ideal conditions throughout the day.

Article Photos

Marc Galvin, of Lake Placid, makes his way through the 13.1-mile run course during last year’s Lake Placid 70.3 Ironman triathlon.
(News file photo — Morgan Ryan)

"Last year it was cold the whole week before the race and the water temperature was dropping like crazy," race director Greg Borzilleri said. "The water temperature was 62, and it should be about 10 degrees warmer this time. That's a huge difference. The weather forecast looks good."

On Tuesday, Borzilleri said that entries into Sunday's race had recently sold out at 3,000, and with the normal cancellation rate, he expects between 2,400 and 2,500 triathletes will be ready to go when the 1.2-mile swim in Mirror Lake begins at 7 a.m. And based on the size of the transition area in the Olympic oval, that is the maximum number of triathletes the half-Ironman here can accommodate.

The course is similar to the one followed for the full Ironman held each July, but includes a single loop as opposed to two loops and a slightly modified swim course. In addition to the swim distance, the bike leg covers 56 miles and the run is a half-marathon 13.1-mile length. And instead of the 3,000 volunteers needed each summer to pull off the Ironman, Sunday's event requires more in the neighborhood of 2,000 volunteers.

As the men's and women's overall winners of the first 70.3 Ironman Lake Placid, Jake Sanders and Amy Farrell obviously hold the course record. Sanders, of Cranston, Rhode Island, was the men's winner and first finisher overall with a time of 4 hours, 36 minutes and 50 seconds. Racing on what could be considered her home course, Tupper Lake's Farrell topped the women's field and placed 16th overall in 4:54:13. Neither athlete is listed in this year's entries.

Lessons are learned when following an inaugural event, and Borzilleri said a few minor improvements are being made after the 2017 race.

"I think we've worked out the first-year kinks. Things are looking pretty good," he said. "There's always a little panic before the race, but it basically runs itself. I think our biggest issue last year was from the swim to the oval. We have new carpeting for that so I think people will be much happier."

The swim start will run for one hour, with the race transitioning into the bike and run legs. For area residents who may be inconvenienced by the event, the good news is that it wraps up much sooner than the full Ironman that requires some detours and road closures to last well into the night on race day.

Borzilleri said as always, hosting an Ironman race is a balance between keeping residents and participants alike happy.

"I'm just happy to be able to be a part of it and bring some excitement to the community," he said. "We want to make sure this is a long-standing event. We always want to make sure it's as stress-free as possible for residents and fun for the competitors."



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