Beautiful sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted the nearly 3,000 athletes who competed Sunday at the Ironman 70.3 Waco, sponsored by Bicycle World Texas.
According to the Ironman website, 2,898 athletes competed in the inaugural event, which is called a Half Ironman as it is half of the distance of a full Ironman race. Of that number, 2,155 officially finished the course, which did have to ditch the swim portion of the triathlon due to the swift-flowing and debris-filled Brazos River. Parts of the bicycle and run courses had to be altered slightly because of flooding.
The race had a time trial start for the bike portion, with competitors leaving the starting line every 30 seconds to get under way.
This was the first year in a five-year contract for Waco with Ironman. More than 1,800 volunteers assisted with the event, from helping with registration to crowd control, trash pickup and even applying sunscreen as athletes left the transition area after the 56-mile bike portion to start their 13.1-mile run.