Big crowds turn out for Ironman spectacular
8:52pm Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
Cheering crowds throughout south Pembrokeshire have been encouraging nearly 1,500 heroic athletes making their way through the Ironman Wales course.
The ultimate endurance triathlon features a 2.4km swim, a 112-mile cycle ride and a full marathon.
The world-class event began in spectacular style at 7am with the athletes from nearly 40 different countries powering their way through the calm waters off Tenby ’s North Beach.
Then they sprang into the saddle for a challenging ride via coast, castles and countryside before the marathon taking in four loops in and around Tenby. The many gradients of the route have led it to be hailed as the toughest Ironman course in the world.
The first three athletes to finish, led by France’s Sylvain Rota, all completed the course in under nine hours.
But this evening, many more are still pounding their way around the marathon circuits, with their aim of crossing the finishing line on The Esplanade before midnight to claim the coveted status of Ironman.
Over 40 people from Pembrokeshire entered the contest - including a strong contingent from Tenby Aces Cycling Club. Many of them were inspired to take part after the success of last year’s inaugural Ironman Wales.
Tenby’s mayor, Councillor Trevor Hallett watched all three stages of the race and presented flowers to the winning trio.
He described the atmosphere in Tenby as ‘electric’ and added: “Many thanks must go to all the authorities and organisations who have put a tremendous effort in to bring this event to fruition. All their efforts have been rewarded by a brilliant day.
“It has really shown the hospitality of Pembrokeshire and Tenby, which has been second to none.”