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Major plans underway for the first annual IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon

The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon has a 3-year deal with the city of Morro Bay. Residents and visitors should expect road delays.
The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon has a 3-year deal with the City of Morro Bay.
Posted at 7:18 PM, May 19, 2023

Many athletes are already working on final preparations for their races this weekend.

Organizers told KSBY news that participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon are from 19 countries and almost all 50 states across the United States.

It takes a village to get a global event underway.

“You know, we've been preparing for over a year for it, but we kind of started our operations about a week and a half ago,” said Tim Brosius, the IRONMAN 70.3 regional director.

(Editor's note: The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon is half of a normal Ironman; 70.3 miles instead of the usual 140.6.)

Nearly 2,000 participants in the triathlon will swim, run and bike all around the Morro Bay area — and then some.

“Today and tomorrow is a lot of pedestrians on our streets, a lot of runners on the streets, cyclists out on Highway 1, so what I ask is just: People, be aware. Be careful," said Chief Amy Watkins of the Morro Bay Police Department. "Slow down a little bit, so that everybody can stay safe and have a good time."

The Morro Bay Police Department is working alongside California Highway Patrol and Caltrans to enforce road closures.

“There's a small closure, a full closure on Main Street between Shasta and Olive," said Watkins. "Those residents have been contacted and to let them know that they'll have some runners on the street in front of them."

Bicyclists will travel along northbound Highway 1 from Atascadero Road to just south of Hearst Castle Road and then back again.

Cyclists will ride within a closure which includes the right lane of Highway 1 and the shoulder.

Lane closures on Highway 1 are expected to take place from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The main closure is here on the Embarcadero, not to pedestrians, but to vehicles, and so people who want to come and enjoy this event, I would encourage them," said Watkins. "They have free parking at Cuesta College with free shuttles."

Those free shuttles will run all day and drop people off near the finish line at Embarcadero and Front Street. Chief Watkins says they are expecting around 9,000 people to be present.

“Safety, obviously, if it is a law enforcement aspect, you know, large crowds, we are taking every step, every precaution to make sure that we have the right personnel for something that should happen," said Watkins. "We are prepared and we're looking forward to having a safe event. The road closures will keep the athletes safe. The law enforcement personnel will certainly provide traffic control and be able to get people where they need to be."

“We did a lot of research on different communities in the area. This was one that the sheer beauty was an easy draw for us. Plus the community was open arms,” said Tim Brosius, the IRONMAN 70.3 regional director.

The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon starts at 6 a.m. The athletes have 8 hours and 30 minutes to finish the entire course.

For a full list of highway ramp closures, you can visit Caltrans District 5’s website.

Street closures will be available on the City of Morro Bay’s website.

The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon has a 3-year deal with the city of Morro Bay.