For the first time, there will be a U.S. Pro Championship for the Ironman 70.3 Series. The race, and prize money of $75,000, will be open to professional triathletes from around the world, not just Americans. The race will take place in Houston, Texas at the newly re-named Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas on Sunday, April 24.

See the complete press release below:

Today, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the global Ironman Triathlon and 70.3 Event Series, announces its Ironman 70.3 U.S. Pro Championship, an event open to all professional athletes within the sport. For the first time, pros will have the opportunity to earn a coveted title, while competing for a prize purse of $75,000. Houston’s Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in Texas, will serve as title sponsor and official sports medicine provider for the inaugural event.

“Memorial Hermann and Ironman share a common interest in helping athletes achieve their personal and professional goals. We are looking forward to joining them for this world-class event,” said David Bradshaw, chief marketing officer, Memorial Hermann.

Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas, formerly known as Ironman 70.3 Lone Star, will take place on Sunday, April 25, 2010 on historic Galveston Island, along the Texas gulf coast. Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, situated among 242 lush, tropical acres, will play host to athletes from around the world. The saltwater swim will be in the protected waters of the Offats Bayou, while the bike course will lead athletes on a flat and scenic ride along the coastline. Athletes will also see a flat run course, as it meanders through tropical gardens and towering glass pyramids. A total of 50 slots for the 2010 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 will be awarded to top age group and pro finishers.

“Ironman brings together the best athletes in the world, and physicians, trainers and other experts from the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute will be there throughout the weekend to offer education and provide medical services,” said Walter R. Lowe, M.D. Lowe is co-medical director of the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute, chief of Orthopedics at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

During the event, the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute will demonstrate VO2 Max analysis for both running and cycling, as well as gait assessments. Additionally, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, nutritionists and strength and conditioning experts will be on site to answer questions. Massage therapy and medical care for will be provided for participants.

“We are very excited to provide professionals with an enhanced prize purse and the chance to sport the title of Ironman 70.3 U.S. Pro Champion. The launch of this event allows us to further highlight our professional field, offering greater visibility and recognition for these athletes. In addition, the timing is ideal as it provides pros with a event to test their early season fitness among a world-class field,” said Heather Fuhr, WTC’s Pro Athlete Liaison and former Ironman World Champion.

The weekend will also include the Lone Star Sprint and Olympic-distance events on Saturday, April 24. For more information on event weekend, visit