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Officials for Ironman North Carolina have been forced to shorten the bike to just 50 miles due to the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. The Category 1 hurricane made landfall on Oct. 8 in South Carolina and dropped over 18 inches of rain with recorded winds up to 75 mph. The wind and rain caused historic flooding and wind damage along all areas of the course. Major rivers were above flood stage for up to a week after the flood. While the two main venues used for the race, Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach are relatively back to normal, conditions in the surrounding areas have made the roads unusable.
The new course will keep the standard swim and run lengths, but the bike has been shortened to a single 50 mile loop. The 70.3 will also use the same 50 mile bike course. Despite the shortened bike, both races will remain qualifier for their respective championships.