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Posted: January 27, 2009  :

Triathlon: Ironman China Cultures Growth of Asia's Triathlon Scene

Haikou, China - Ironman China launched last year with the goal of becoming Asia’s premiere triathlon. “We are a destination race,” said Ironman China’s Event Director, Murphy Reinschreiber, and as such we need to appeal to athletes across the region and the globe. We see Japan and Korea as home markets for the race and are tailoring the event so that athletes from these countries will be at home at Ironman China in April.”

The latest step toward this goal is the recent launch of the event's newly revamped website in four languages. now presents all the race information in Chinese, Korean and Japanese as well as English.

“Last year's race, the inaugural edition, was a real melting pot of international competitors, from across Asia and beyond,” said Race Director, Tinny Tung. “It's very important to the future of Ironman China to show a commitment to the growth of triathlon amongst the Asian community by communicating in the predominant regional languages.”

Ironman China is equally committed to assuring that participants leave Haikou with a hefty dose of China’s rich cultural heritage. In addition to opening and closing ceremonies featuring such Chinese cultural staples as lion dancers and fireworks, the race is working out details to include a traditional Chinese lantern festival as part of the race week activities. Traditionally, paper lanterns have a small candle within which helps the lantern to fly and are used to bring good luck.

Participants at this year's race will need a lot more than luck to race Ironman China as Monday's new moon heralds the start of the Chinese Year of The Ox. Considered to be the most persevering and responsible of the twelve animal signs under the Chinese astrological system, according to Chinese astrologers, the Year of the Ox will influence triathletes to become more hard-working. Those who aspire to qualify for Ironman World Championship slots in Kona, Hawaii or Clearwater, Florida should pay attention to the details. Perseverance and going steady are said to bring greater rewards this year rather than relying on quick fixes. Perhaps no one knows more about perseverance than age-grouper Dean Warhaft, who raced Ironman China in 2008: “Ironman China forced me to keep my cool, and also readjust my targets and expectations,” says the 34 year old Miami native, who had been trying to qualify for Kona for the best part of the last 13 years. “I was desperate to qualify and had to throw away my normal race plan as the temperatures climbed and I couldn't stay on my target pace during the marathon. Ironman China was the ultimate endurance race and was very much about strategy and keeping going for me, [as] I found new limits and worked hard to get that slot for Kona.”

Ironman China has 50 qualifying slots for the Ford Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii, each October. Same-day Ironman 70.3 China has 25 slots for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, held in Clearwater, Florida. The tropical conditions of Ironman China mimic those at both World Championships.

Race Date 19 April 2009

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