PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Nearly three thousand competitors from 71 countries and all 50 states entered Saturday's IRONMAN Florida race in Panama City Beach.
The event began in the early morning with 2.4 miles of swimming. After the two loop swim course, the athletes transitioned to bicycles. Riders made their way down Highway 79 in the early afternoon as part of the 112 mile course. Although Panama City Beach is one of the most level IRONMAN courses, whipping winds increased difficulty for all competitors.
The final leg of the race was a full distance marathon, 26.2 miles comprised of two loops around Thomas Drive and South Lagoon Drive.
American Jack McAfee from Knoxville, Tennessee, finished first overall with a time of 8:48:15. Fellow countryman Tim Hola finished second overall, while Belgian Mary Laure Close Lux was the first woman to cross the stripe at 9:47:49.