In the early morning hours Sunday Coeur d'Alene will once again be host to one of the most grueling tests in all of sports. With its scenic backdrops and passionate following, North Idaho has become a destination for endurance athletes worldwide.
This year two of the sport's biggest names, Mirinda Carfrae and Chris Lieto, are in Coeur d'Alene. Carfrae won the 2010 Ironman World Championship. This week the Australian competitor is getting her first glimpse at the Inland Northwest as a spectator.
Lieto, a California native, is competing here for the first time. The three-time world championship top-10 finisher came to North Idaho once as a spectator, and knew he would return.
"I saw the excitement in the crowd and it's just beautiful as well," Lieto said. "It's just a beautiful course, so I really wanted to come and be part of a race here and experience it firsthand."