Thousands to compete in Miami Ironman race


Special to the Miami Herald

Running, cycling and swimming for more than 70 miles might seem like an impossible, if not unbearable, task for many, but Sunday in the City Bikes Ironman 70.3 Miami, there will be a field of 3,000 participants eager to go the distance.

In the past four years, the Ironman 70.3 Miami has brought together some of the toughest triathletes in the world. This year there will be more than 61 countries being represented, according to the organizers at Miami Tri Events.

Among the top competitors are returning champions Terenzo Bozzone and Leanda Cave.

Bozzone, of New Zealand, has earned a winning reputation with more than 20 Ironman 70.3 victories and recently took second place in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

He will be competing alongside six time Ultraman World Champion Alexandre Ribeiro of Brazil and the Pan American 70.3 Champion Oscar Galindez of Argentina.

In the female division, Cave hasn’t given up an inch. Not only has she held the Ironman 70.3 title for the past three years, but she was also the first woman to achieve a double win in both the full and half Ironman.

Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, has announced that he will be making another appearance in this year’s triathlon.

Fitness guru Jim Sayih will be attempting to complete the grueling course with his son, Michael Sayih, who was born with cerebral palsy.

With more than just a pretty backdrop, the organizers have put together a race that sets itself apart from the rest of the Ironman series.

The first test of endurance begins with a 1.2-mile swim from the start at Bayfront Park through the harsh currents of Biscayne Bay.

Once out of the water, the cycling portion will take racers toward the Everglades for a 56-mile roundtrip ride back to downtown.

Finally, the racers will finish the last 13.1 miles in a foot race to the finish at Bayfront Park.

There will be a sports expo in Bayfront Park on Saturday and Sunday. The expo will have a variety of brands showcasing the latest products and technology in the industry.

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