INDYCAR SERIES DRIVER TAKES ON 2010 FOSTER GRANT IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 70.3
Indianapolis, Ind. (May 19, 2010) -- IZOD IndyCar Series driver Vitor Meira will rev up his athletic engine for a different type of race this year as he takes on the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, Presented by Ford, in one of the world's top tourist destinations, Clearwater, Fla. Meira, will join approximately 1,800 other top athletes, ranging in age from 18 to 80-plus, as they line up to compete in the event being held on Nov. 13.
The Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, in its fifth year, consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. Athletes are tested both mentally and physically for the event, in which all disciplines are completed in succession, and spend nearly six months or longer preparing for race day.
"I think it is a great honor to be sharing the road with the fastest triathletes in the world and being a part of the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Meira.
Meira's interest in the sport of triathlon began back in 2001 when he competed in his first race in his native Brazil. Since then, he has participated in more than a dozen races at varying distances including the Ironman 70.3 Pucon event earlier this year. In addition to his triathlon resume, Meira has competed in multiple half-marathon events and the mini-marathon that opens activities for the Indianapolis 500.
Last year, Meira joined the famed AJ Foyt Racing team but his season was quickly curtailed after a serious crash in the Indy 500. He suffered two broken vertebrae in his lower back and was sidelined for the entire season.
"After being injured, my full-time job changed from driving race cars to recovery," Meira explained. "I started training for some triathlons in the off season because I knew those short-term goals would help prepare me for getting back in the race car. Triathlon fitness takes my physical conditioning to another level and helps me focus, this combination has made me a better driver," said Meira.
Meira began his motorsports career as a youth in Brazil. His success in karting led to stints in other open wheel formulas throughout South America and Europe. He broke into the IndyCar Series in 2002 and won the pole, finishing third at Texas Motor Speedway. Just one year later, he was awarded the first "Rising Star Award" from the IndyCar Series and has 28 top-five finishes and 59 top-10 finishes in 102 starts. In 2005 and 2008, he placed second in the prestigious Indianapolis 500.
The St. Pete/Clearwater area, the location of the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, on Florida's Central Gulf Coast, includes 35 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches, with two of notable mention: Caladesi Island, named No.1 by Dr. Beach, and Fort Desoto Park, voted "Best in the US" by TripAdvisor for two years running. In addition to beach time, athletes and spectators can sample endless recreational and cultural activities such as paddling mangrove tunnels at Weedon Island Preserve, taking in Salvador Dali's masterworks, celebrating sunset at Clearwater's Pier 60 or hitting world-class links at dawn.
For more information on Vitor Meira, visit www.ajfoytracing.com. For more information on Ironman 70.3 and the 2010 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3, visit www.ironman.com.