Panama City Beach, FL --- When 2700 triathletes took to Panama City Beach Saturday for the 15th installment of the IRONMAN Florida race, they knew they had a long day ahead of them. How long exactly? Well, they'd have to swim, bike, and run just a little more than 140 miles.
Talk about getting your workout in for the day! Fans showed up by the masses despite the first group of racers jumping into the Gulf of Mexico at 6:50 this morning.
The triathletes would have to go through a 2.4 mile swim avoiding the waves and the competition.
The leaders departed the ocean after a little less than fifty minutes and began to face their second leg of the day, a 112 mile bike trail.
They started on South Thomas Drive, looping them around on a path around our local highways, like 79 and 20.
The trail differs from many other IRONMAN bike courses because the path is very flat while competitors are used to hills and inclines, so pacing and hydration were major concerns.
After the bike session concludes, triathletes can ease into the rest of the race with a casual 26.2 mile run.for a marathon.
And yet, history was made by Spain's Victor Del Corral, who set a new course and North American record for his time of 7:53:12 and takes home first place at IRONMAN Florida.
American Andrew Starykowicz set a new United State record coming in second and the Czech Republic's Filip Ospaly also broke eight hours.
The women's winner was Yvonne Van Vlerken of the Netherlands, the defending champion from last years race, who finished at 8:43:07.