Ford Ironman Arizona ™

11/26/08  Mesa, AZ

I had an incredible experience this past Sunday.  A friend invited me to take pictures of the Ford Ironman Arizona.  The plan was to get images for the First Wave Tribe Triathlon Club.  The idea of photographing 2,000 plus people swimming, biking and running did not seem that appealing at first.  I have seen the Ironman ™ races on TV; but have never attended a live event.  I eventually agreed to help out.  It was a long but rewarding day.  I had a great opportunity to get many great images.  I also got a great amount of respect for the people that participated in the event, from the volunteers to the staff that put the it together, to the families and the competitors themselves. Being around the particpants and around the event felt like being at a large family reunion.  A very large and long family reunion.  I got to the event at 5:15 AM.  The race started at 6:45; however by 5:30 AM all participants were making last minutes adjustments to their gears and were pretty much ready to go.  Competitors were divided in two groups. Pros and Non Pros.  There were a total of about 2200 participants.  Of them 80 were in the pros category.  The winner of the men pros ANDREAS RAELERT from Germany finished the race in 8:14:16.  In that period of time he swam 2.5 miles, rode a bike for 120 miles and then ran 26 miles.  Many of the participants finished the race in 10 to 12 hours some in even longer time.   Here are few images from the event.  I will be posting a larger selection under then event category later this week.  Feel free to leave comments and feedback.

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 It is about 6:50 in the morning. The sun is just rising.  The first wave of swimmers, the pro group, are 1/4 of a mile into their swimming leg of the triathlon.

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The second group of swimmers, about 2,000 of them are on their way.

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Once the swiming is completed, it is time to get on the bike.

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A participant is racing against the clock to complete one of the three 40 mile long laps.

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ORA (orange and blue) from First Wave Tribe club just completed her bike race and is on her way to get ready for the 26 mile marathon. She finished the race in 11:13:01.

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ANTOINETTE from First Wave Tribe club is on her way to finish her race in 13:28:05