COEUR D'ALENE-- More than 2,600 athletes took off from the starting line of Coeur d’Alene’s Ironman race Sunday morning.
Tri-athletes from all over the world have spent months, even years getting ready to compete. Athletes in the 2012 Ironman represent 48 different states, and 23 countries around the globe.
Many of them spent time enjoying the weather by the lake Saturday afternoon, as well as finishing last minute preparations.
The day before the race some of the competitors said they felt comfortable, but nerves were creeping up on others.
“Soaked the legs in the lake and I’m going to go back to the hotel and have a beer, and put the legs up on the wall,” David Scott of Portland, Ore. said.
“I feel like I haven’t prepared enough right now, because I’m freaking out,” Wayne McCollough of Austin, Tx. said.
When it came to the morning of the race, competitors said a strong finish time will likely depend on how ready they were from the start. Anyone preparing for a race of this magnitude has to eat much more than they would on a typical day.
Athletes we talked to all have different strategies when it comes to the pre-race breakfast. Some remained careful about what they put in their mouths, while others enjoyed whatever they wanted.
The average athlete will intake about 3,000 calories for the race and will burn more than 7,700 while competing.
Participants told us they planned to have everything from pancakes to eggs to bagels before hitting Sunday’s course.
This isn’t the first time at Lake Coeur d’Alene for some racers. Some athletes said they scoped out the different legs of the race a month ago. For others, this was the first time in Coeur d’Alene, but most of them have competed in Ironman races before. They said the scenery makes them want to come back to Idaho for the race and skip other places with hotter temperatures.
The weather is a concern for participants. They are worried about the temperature of the lake water and the ground conditions on bike paths. With some unfavorable conditions over the past few days, Ironman staff say the race happens rain or shine. But if thunderstorms pop up Sunday, it may cause delays.
Competitors have until midnight to cross the finish line.