A 7am start would definitely be considered early by most people's standard but rising before the sun even has time to shine, to begin a 70.3 mile endurance race otherwise called Ironman, might just be called crazy! For some 2000 individual athletes and another 100 relay teams from 42 countries that was just the case on a wet and cold morning last Sunday the 4th of September.
The morning was considerably bitter and with choppy ocean conditions getting worst, the event organisers were forced to reduce the length of the swim for the athletes safety. It wasn't long though before the pro category said goodbye to ladies beach where a large crowd had gathered to watch this unique first time event and found themselves tested by Irish sea conditions for the first time. They were quickly followed by the other age groups and to no surprise they all arrived safely at Palmers Rock Strand beach.
From what looked like small specks in the ocean from the shore, emerged strong determined athletes who were now well on there way in what was to become a roughly 4 to 7 hour ordeal for most
An Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of middle-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The "70.3" refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.