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Coeur d'Alene hosts 2022 half-Ironman triathlon

After four hours of swimming, biking and running a total of 70.3 miles, the first Coeur d’Alene Ironman 2022 participant crossed the finish line.

SPOKANE, Wash. —

After four hours of swimming, biking and running a total of 70.3 miles, the first Coeur d’Alene Ironman 2022 participant crossed the finish line. Residents and local athletes said this is an important event that brings in people from across the country and millions of dollars to the Coeur d’Alene economy.

The Ironman triathlon includes a 1.2 mile swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene, a 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 foot race. 

Justin Riele of San Francisco came out as the Coeur d'Alene Ironman 2022 champion, finishing the triathlon just 0.07 seconds over 4 hours. 

Riele and hundreds of other competitors traveled to North Idaho to compete in Sunday's race. One of those travelers is Jane Hughes. Hughes came from Indiana to Coeur d'Alene to watch her husband, Jeff, compete. She said Ironman triathlons have become a yearly tradition for her 60-year-old husband. Over the last five years, she said he has competed in seven different states. This year, she said he plans to finish three full and three half Ironmans. Five weeks ago, he finished Tulsa's Ironman. 

“We just travel in our motor home across the country and hit the races," Hughes said. 

In addition to out-of-state participants, local athletes make their mark on the annual Coeur d'Alene event. 

Spokane resident Drew Jordan said he competes in triathlons with his dad and brother-in-law. 

Jordan said last year, his triathlon career almost came to an early end. He said a knee surgery left his Ironman future in limbo. However, Sunday, Jordan finished 4th in the Coeur d'Alene Ironman race and celebrated a personal best. 

“There was a point that I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to run again..  It’s just awesome.”  

Since 2003, the Ironman triathlon has become a north Idaho staple. 

Long-time residents say they know how much the local economy values this race. 

“This town’s growing,” Coeur d’Alene resident Nicole Auten said. “It’s a huge favorite of so many people. The businesses, the motels, the airbnbs, they're happy to have it here.” 

The half Ironman was introduced to Coeur d’Alene in 2017. This year is the 5th year of the shortened, 70.3 mile course. 

Next year, Coeur d’Alene Ironman participants have the full triathlon to look forward to.  

Coeur d’Alene city council voted to bring the full triathlon back which would have athletes swim, bike and run a total of 140.6 miles through north Idaho.

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