It was the biggest turnout for an event unlike any other in the North Country. The IRONMAN 2013 competition took place bright and early in Lake Placid Sunday morning. YNN's Carmella Mataloni spoke to some of the triathletes and tells us how they met the challenge.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- At exactly 6:20 a.m. Sunday morning, the start shot went off for one long standing tradition in Lake Placid. As the sold-out 2013 IRONMAN competition tested the strength of 2,800 triathletes from all over the world.
"It forces you to train for something because you have to be ready for it," said Andre Buteau, IRONMAN contestant.
Athletes are grouped according to the time they believe it will take them to finish the first event, which is a two-loop swim around Mirror Lake. Once they are out of the water, it's onto their bikes for a 112-mile ride through the mountains and they aren't done yet. To complete the competition, the athletes finish out with a 26.2 mile run through the town and around the lake.
For Dave Hackay and his wife Tracy, this will be their fourth and most challenging Ironman competition.
"It's a personal challenge just to see if you can actually do it and we started off years ago and we just gradually got into longer and longer triathlons as time went on and now this is what we do," said Dave Hackay, IRONMAN contestant.
"We've been up here doing some training and we know it is a pretty tough course," said Tracy Golaz, IRONMAN contestant.
But the contestants weren't the only ones with their nerves running on high. As thousands of spectators were also standing on edge waiting to cheer on their athlete.
"My husband, Dan Daggett, this is his 22nd race and it's a lifestyle for him. He loves it," said Cindy Daggett, North Carolina resident.
While only one can take home the title, the first 60 contestants to cross the finish line won't go home without a prize. They will qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii.