Ironman is probably the biggest event staged in Port Elizabeth and right up there to what the Argus cycle race is to Cape Town and the Comrades Marathon to Durban. But Ironman isn't just one day of ordinary sports men and women doing extra ordinary things, its a whole weekend of awesomeness and this past weekend was Ironman weekend. It all starts in the week before the event with the arrival of athletes and there families, the Ironman expo and registration. Friday afternoon is the start of the weekend's events with Iron Girl, a ladies only 10k run. This is followed by the Corporate Challenge (called by the competitors as Corporate Ironman), a relay event over 1/10th of the full Ironman distance, on the Saturday morning and Ironkids on the Saturday afternoon. Yesterday morning at 6:30 the pro's started off a long day on the road by heading into the surf at Hobie Beach for a 3,8km swim that took them down to Kings Beach and back. By the time the rest of the field hit the water at 7am the top dogs were well on their way back to Hobie already for the transition to the 180km cycle. The cycle route took them through Port Elizabeth out via Lake Farm to Maitlands and back via Seaview Road and Marine Drive to the beachfront... times 2. As if this isn't enough already, it is followed by a three lap run along the beachfront totaling 42,2km, or a full marathon. One can't help but to take your hat off to these guys and galls.
We spent some time in the morning next to Buffelsfontein Road to encourage the cyclists going past and then headed down to Marine Drive across from MacArthur's Pool in the evening to watch the runners. A run that is said to be the best supported amongst all the Ironman competitions in the world. These competitors, a few who I know, really inspires one to get off your backside and get active. I'm not saying I'm going to do Ironman soon, but I will be going for a run around the block.