The Visit Panama City Beach Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast gets underway

Published: May. 7, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Visit Panama City Beach Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast took off Saturday morning with over 1300 participants heading out.

The 70.3 stands for a 1.2 Mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 Mile run, which is half of a full Ironma.

Unfortunately due to double red flags, the swim portion was cut.

Juan Calle was the top finisher with a total time of 3:25:57.

After the race, Juan said winning is extra special.

“I started doing Ironman’s in 2017 because my sister Laura passed away,” said Calle. “Every time I’m out on the course, I feel really connected to her, and so it’s easy for me to dig in because I know she’s right there behind me pushing me.”

Juanwears a symbol of his sister on his back in every race.

On the women’s side of things, Kerry Girona took home first as the top finisher with a total time of 3:52:23. This was her first overall in the four years she’s competed.

“I was three seconds short last year, and I got run down, off the bike, in another race, so I’m always coming up short of the overall, so I was really happy to get it today,” said Girona.

The first local finisher was Alex Burgans, a Mosley alum and Panama City Beach native. He finished with an overall time of 3:50:38. He was proud to be the first local finished, but he said even more proud of his hometown.

“When you talk to people that aren’t from here, and they’re just so appreciative of the volunteers and the community,” said Burgans. “I mean, there’s a huge crowd out there on Front Beach Road, and I’m willing to be half of them don’t know anybody in the race, so it’s just really cool to see our community embrace this, not once, but twice a year with Ironman Florida again in the fall.”

Ironman Florida is set for November 5, 2022.

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