Fierce Competition in an Idyllic Setting
In the East China Sea, 100 km west of Nagasaki Prefecture, lie the Goto Islands. These more than 140 islands are centered on Fukue Island, which offers a winding coastline and perhaps the most beautiful sand beaches in East Asia. The area also has ancient ties to Christianity and is dotted with lovely old churches that have survived the ages. Surprisingly, since 2001, this idyllic setting has been the backdrop to one of Kyushu’s most exciting international sports competitions: the Ironman Japan Triathlon. The ironman triathlon is a grueling race that combines swimming, cycling and running over 226.2 km. Athletes from Japan and the world must fight the East China Sea waves for 3.8 km, cycle for 180.2 km, then complete a full 42.195 km marathon. And all between 7 am and 10 pm! The Goto Triathlon is an Ironman Triathlon World Championship Qualifier Event, meaning that winners advance to the world finals in Hawaii. The ironman triathlon is unique as a spectator sport as well, offering spectators a chance to cheer on athletes all the way to the finish. With such a unique background for a thrilling competition, the trip to Fukue Island must be experienced at least once. And when you come back, you may be tempted to get in shape and try the triathlon yourself next year.
Ironman Japan Triathlon Goto Nagasaki.
Starts at 7am, Sunday May 23 2004
Questions: Call the Triathlon Race Office
Air: Two flights daily on ANA from Fukuoka Airport to Goto Fukue Airport (40 min)
Sea: Daily Taiko Ferry leaves Hakata Port at 0:01, arrives Fukue at 9:00