Hundreds of spectators turned out in force to cheer on competitors in Staffordshire’s fourth ever IRONMAN competition.
Communities across Staffordshire came out to offer their support along the route, which saw more than 2300 people complete a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run through stunning Staffordshire countryside.
The day started off at Chasewater, where professional athletes and local people plunged into the water at 7am on the start of their IRONMAN journey.
From there, they took in a bike ride across Staffordshire in pretty much perfect weather conditions, before finishing a half-marathon amongst the crowds in a sunny and packed Stafford Town Centre.
Professional athletes Elliot Smailes (GBR) and Emma Pallant (GBR) were first across the line, with more than 2300 local, national and international competitors taking on the gruelling challenge.
County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth was on hand to hand out medals to finishers. He said:
“It’s the first time the race has finished in Stafford Town Centre, and the atmosphere has been brilliant. We’ve also seen many communities come out to support the athletes along the swim and bike routes too. Everyone has been getting into the spirit of the event and giving competitors that much needed boost as they reach the finish line, and it’s been great to see so many families in particular supporting their loved ones.”
IRONMAN, Staffordshire County Council and the Borough Council have worked together to bring the event into the heart of Stafford this year.
Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the borough council said:
“We have some very popular events in Stafford and this certainly proved to be a great addition to the sporting calendar. Yet again people turned out in their thousands to cheer on the competitors and create a super atmosphere in the heart of the county town.
“Congratulations to all the competitors and those involved in making sure this event was such a success.”