Ironman this weekend – bikers/runners everywhere

Swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles, Run 26.2 miles.  If that doesn’t make you into “iron”, I don’t know what will.  I’ve never been a triathlete, but knowing a few, I have huge respect for the feat they overcome in order to compete in these remarkable competitions.

I couldn’t even imagine running 26.2 miles, but these athletes precede this with a long swim and a very long bike ride.  And many of them do it in less than 10 hours.

Ironman Florida has been in Panama City Beach since 1999.  With normally crystal clear skies, warm weather, and warm water, Panama City Beach has proven year after year that this is the prime place for a competition of this nature.

Every year thousands of triathletes, and hundreds of profesisonals flock to our area to participate in this event of all events.

The weather this weekend is expected to be perfect and the water warm.  Staging is taking place today with change bags carefully organized in strategic rows so that each competitor can move from stage to stage as seamlessly as possible.  The South Thomas Drive area is packed with it being extremely difficult to walk, much less drive.  Baracades have been put up making parking nearly impossible without a short walk, and the massage tent is up, running and full of sore and weary muscles being relaxed and soothed.

The race begins tomorrow with the 2.4 mile swim in the gulf behind Boardwalk at 7 am.  As early as 8 o’clock, athletes will be exiting the water to begin their 112 mile bicycle ride.  Many cyclists will return from their journey up highway 79, across highway 20, down highway 231, back across highway 388, and down highway 79 as early as noon to run over 26 miles.  Wow.

Anyway, I’ll be around tomorrow to take various pictures and talk to whoever will talk to me.  See ya at the race!

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