If you’ve ever considered taking on one of the toughest physical challenges in the world, get ready, because an IRONMAN 70.3 is coming to Greater Palm Springs this December. The first IRONMAN Indian Wells La Quinta may already be sold out due to its enormous popularity, but there are still ways you can take part.

The race, known as a half IRONMAN, will be held December 9th, 2018 in Indian Wells and La Quinta and offers qualifying slots to the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

What is IRONMAN?

An IRONMAN is long distance triathlon organized by the World Triathlon Corporation, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile marathon run, raced in that order and without a break. Some of the top finishers can complete it in just under four hours, while many racers can take up to eight and a half hours.

What is IronMan 70.3?

An Ironman 70.3 is also called a Half IRONMAN. Each distance of the swim, bike, and run components are half the distance of a regular IRONMAN Triathlon.

“The iconic IRONMAN Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world,” according to the organization’s website. It’s known as one of the world’s most challenging endurance races, and many racers train for months and even years to be able to compete and improve their performances.

Indian Wells & La Quinta Race Course

ironman coachella valleyThe inaugural Coachella valley race begins with the swim, set to be a 2.4-mile loop through the waters of Lake Cahuilla. This protected and picturesque reservoir is said to provide an ideal experience for first-time athletes thanks to its sandy beach start. The swim component will use a rolling start for athletes.

The bike route will take racers on both rural roads and paved roadways. The course cruises past a number of palm tree farms before returning through the city of La Quinta and into Indian Wells. The course is mostly flat, and mostly below sea level, making it an ideal first-time race course for beginners.

Racers will transition from the bike to the run near the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens stadium.

The two loop running route leaves the Tennis Gardens and then heads for the lush Indian Wells Golf Resort. Much of the course will wind around the golf course (on the cart paths) before returning to the Tennis Gardens between each lap and again at the finish.

This route has been designed specifically so there are great viewpoints for spectators to watch the race and cheer on friends and family, and organizers are also encouraging spectators to gather at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens to watch athletes cross the finish line.

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The race is completely sold out with thousands of competitors set to take on the challenge, but some spots may be available through local charitable partners, like Team in Training, which allows entry by raising money for charitable causes.

Organizers hope Indian Wells/La Quinta IRONMAN is first of many

Organizers say they’re thrilled to be hosting the inaugural event in the Greater Palm Springs Area, and that selling out the first year is unusual, but just goes to show how great the interest is in this international endurance event. The race will be back for at least two more years after the 2018 inaugural year, and there’s hope that it can continue long-term beyond that. For more information about the race, or future events, click here.

Family-friendly event

Race organizers are encouraging anyone in Greater Palm Springs who are curious about the race to come down and take a look. Whether you choose to watch the first splashes on the shores of Lake Cahuilla or to take in the finish at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, there’s sure to be a lot to see and do.
On-site at the Tennis Gardens will be a large expo area; fans can enjoy a bite at one of the many food trucks, take in some music, or browse among the vendors. The expo area is free to the public.

Some IRONMAN races have been going on for upwards of 40 years, and this event—particularly since it’s already sold out—is sure to draw thousands to the Greater Palm Springs area.

Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta
Dates: December 9, 2018
Location: Indian Wells Tennis Garden
78200 Miles Avenue
Indian Wells, CA

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