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'It was pretty incredible feeling': Participants at this year's Ironman share their experience

75 slots from Coeur d'Alene were clinched to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which will be held on Oct. 29 in St. George, Utah.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The following story is from KREM 2 News partner the Coeur d'Alene/ Post Falls Press:

For Justin Riele of San Francisco, Ironman Coeur d’Alene was one of those events that was high on his list to compete in.

“The scenery on the bike is amazing,” Riele said. “The support from this town makes the event so much more special. There’s so much history here with this race, and I’ve been hearing about it for decades now. This is one of the first Ironman races I’ve heard of, so it was a bucket list item for me.”

Next weekend, he’ll take care of another thing on his list.

“My fiancee and I are actually getting married next weekend,” Riele said. “This was a special trip for us to come and see this part of the country.”

The couple spent a few days at Glacier National Park earlier in the week, then Sunday, Riele won his first Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene title, breaking the tape in 4 hours, .02 seconds.

“I’ve had a few amateur wins, but this was my first time ever breaking the tape,” Riele said. “It was pretty incredible feeling.”

Riele finished third out of the 1.2-mile swim in 25 minutes, 42 seconds, then took the lead in the 56-mile bike portion in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 58 seconds and finished the 13.1-mile run in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds.

“This whole run course, just having the community out in front of their front lawns, hosing you down and playing music,” Riele said. “There’s so many courses where you’re out there by yourself. To have that throughout the run, to have it along the water and have that support, it’s incredible.”

Right behind Riele was Todd Wakefield of Mead.

“I’ve got a growing family, so it was nice to be able to compete in front of them,” Wakefield said. “I’ve had to sacrifice a little bit of time away from them on the weekends, so to have them here, it’s what it’s all about.”

For Scott Voyles of Post Falls, it was about having some fun on what is his home course.

“We’ve got a big following in the Coeur d’Alene area with triathlons,” Voyles said. “There’s a lot of guys that are out there keeping us motivated. We live in a beautiful area and city, and it’s not all that difficult to go out and get motivated to work out.”

Voyles, who was the top local finisher in last year’s full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, finished 24th overall in 4 hours, 26 minutes and 42 seconds.

“I had my best swim (32 minutes, 58 seconds) and bike (2 hours, 25 minutes, 52 seconds) here, so I’m happy with those times,” Voyles said. “I’m having fun doing it, so I’ll be back. The wind on the bike course felt like it was blowing the opposite direction today, and we were fighting it a little bit, but it wasn't too bad.”

Coming off a victory in Ironman 70.3 in Victoria, British Columbia, a month ago, Becca Kawaoka kept it going strong, claiming her first title in Coeur d’Alene in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 21 seconds.

“The water was especially challenging today with it being a very cool spring,” said Kawaoka, who resides in Seattle. “I went in with no expectations from that, but the bike course was just beautiful. It was so fun racing with all the locals.”

As for that water ...

“I never really felt overheated,” Kawaoka said. “I don’t know if that’s because I train in conditions that help me get acclimated to the conditions.”

Suzanne Endsley of Hayden was the top local female finisher in 5 hours, 23 minutes and 9 seconds.

From Coeur d’Alene, 75 slots were clinched to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships on Oct. 29 in St. George, Utah.

TOP 10 MALES — 1, Justin Riele, San Francisco, 4:00.02. 2, Todd Wakefield, Mead, Wash., 4:01.53. 3, Connor Ford, Boulder, Colo., 4:06.58. 4, Drew Jordan, 4:11.47. 5, Keith Jackson, 4:13.03. 6, Conrad Sanders, 4:14.17. 7, Justin Thronley, Las Vegas, 4:15.04. 8, Nolan Weinstein, 4:15.26. 9, Maxim Mahoney, 4:17.35. 10, Chris Cartwright, 4:18.02.

TOP 10 FEMALES — 1, Becca Kawaoka, Seattle, 4:28.21. 2, Kayla Bowker, 4:34.39. 3, Kylie Acford, 4:39.29. 4, Amy Corrigan, 4:43.58. 5, Liis Rametta, 4:45.12. 6, Jannifer Santoyo, 4:48.11. 7, Rachael Tatko, 4:48.31. 8, Bethany Draeger, 4:49.14. 9, Meaghan Praznik, 4:49.53. 10, Coralie Baumann, 4:51.52.

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.

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