PEMBROKESHIRE is set for a massive weekend with the biggest-ever Ironman Wales taking place in Tenby this Sunday, September 9.

A record, sold-out field of nearly 2,400 athletes is expected to start on Sunday and in addition, close to 2,000 children will be taking on Ironkids Wales on Saturday.

Ironman Wales has proved a popular choice on the Ironman circuit due to its imposing challenge, stunning coastal course location incorporating the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and world-renowned spectator support.

The 2018 edition however, has broken previous records with the biggest athlete field to date, over 1,000 first-time athletes and close to 300 international athletes set to participate.

“This is such a special race, in a special part of the world. As organisers, it’s encouraging to see that athletes hold this race in such high regard and the way in which residents have embraced and taken ownership of the event continues to overwhelm,” said Ironman Wales Race Director Lisa Dent.

“We have a record athlete field for Ironman Wales this year and nearly double last year’s number for Ironkids Wales. We look forward to an exciting race weekend, welcoming athletes from all over the UK and the world to Pembrokeshire,” added Dent.

Amongst the nearly 2,400 athletes is this year’s professional field featuring some familiar names not only in Wales but across the triathlon world.

2014 Ironman Wales Champion, Matt Trautman, from South Africa, returns to Wales for the first time since his win. His win in 2014 put him on the map but his upward trajectory was unfortunately derailed when a motorist knocked him off his bike in 2017, resulting in a broken back requiring emergency surgery.

Last year’s runner-up, Phil Graves will be the UK favourite. Graves put in a mammoth effort on the run in 2017 in an attempt to chase down eventual winner, Cameron Wurf but the Australian was able to hold out for the win.

Spain’s Victor Del Corral Morales is arguably the favourite going into the race. The Spaniard is an exceptional runner and if he is able to keep close to the leaders coming off the bike, he could be in contention for the win.

In the professional women’s field, defending champion, Lucy Gossage comes into the race as the favourite. Gossage has already won Ironman Lanzarote and Ironman UK this year and will be looking to repeat the UK double once again.

Germany’s Anja Beranek returns to the race she won in 2015. Beranek knows the course and holds the women’s swim course record so will be expected to be at the front end of the race going into the bike.

Eight-time Ironman champion, Heather Wurtele from Canada, former Ironman European Champion, Camilla Pedersen from Denmark and the UK’s Nikki Bartlett will all be contenders in a strong field. Bartlett is still chasing her maiden Ironman win but already has podium places at Ironman Lanzarote, Ironman UK and is familiar with Ironman Wales having placed third in 2016.

Ironman Wales starts at 6.55am on Sunday,from North Beach in Tenby, while Ironkids Wales takes place on Saturday.

For spectator hotspots, road closure and parking information please visit the event website,