The coastal city of Xiamen provided a scenic and challenging setting for athletes at the first-edition of the Xiamen Bank IRONMAN® 70.3® Xiamen on November 13. In sunny and hot conditions, thousands of spectators helped cheer Josh Amberger (AUS) and Jeanni Seymour (ZAF) onto exciting victories at the inaugural race in the Fujian province. Amberger bested the men’s field with an overall time of 03:56:51, while Seymour took top honors in the women’s race with a time of 4:24:03. Li Pengcheng finished as the top athlete from the host country of China, crossing the line with a time 04:30:53, good for 16th place overall.
The race – which comprised of a 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim, 56-mile (90km) bike and 13.1-mile (21.1km) half-marathon run – drew nearly 2,200 registered athletes and saw 275 athletes cross an IRONMAN 70.3 finish line for the very first time.
The 2016 Xiamen Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Xiamen triathlon started with a swim that took place in the calm coastal waters of the Strait of Taiwan. Athletes then enjoyed a fast bike along the east coastline that parallels the Strait of Taiwan. Finally, athletes embarked on a spectator friendly three-loop run course that again showcased the magnificent Xiamen coastline. Representing 57 countries, competitors ranged in age from 18-81 years old. Celebrity relays racing the first-year event included the likes of former top women’s badminton player in the world, Ye Zhaoying; and models Zheng Lixian and Zhu Lin.
One of more than 100 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series, the inaugural Xiamen Bank IRONMAN 70.3 Xiamen triathlon offered a total professional prize purse of $25,000 USD and 40 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on October 14 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. In addition, the event also offered 50 slots to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the United States.
Next up in China will be the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou triathlon taking place on April 1, 2017. Liuzhou continues the expansion of race offerings in China as one of three new events for the 2017 schedule that will join Hefei and Xiamen. The other two new races include IRONMAN 70.3 Qujing (May 28, 2017), and IRONMAN 70.3 Chongqing (September 24, 2017). China now has five IRONMAN 70.3 events taking place throughout the country next year.