South West Wales

Thousands to cheer Ironman Wales triathletes in Tenby

Athletes in previous Ironman Wales Image copyright ALLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption Ironman Wales attracts more than 2,000 entries from 47 countries

The Ironman Wales triathlon returns to Pembrokeshire for a sixth time on Sunday.

More than 2,000 endurance athletes will be taking on one of the most challenging courses in the sport, starting and finishing in Tenby.

They have to complete a 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim, a 112 mile (180km) bike ride and 26.2 mile (42km) run before the 17 hour cut-off time.

Thousands of spectators are expected and road closures are in place.

It is estimated Ironman Wales generates about £3.5m for the local economy and attracts 10,000 visitors to Tenby.

Image copyright Ironman Wales
Image caption Map of Ironman Wales road closures
Image copyright Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Image caption Forty professional athletes will be among the starters and will be competing for prize money of $15,000 (around £11,300)

Ironkids kicked off the weekend events on Saturday. It saw more than 1,000 three to 14-year-olds take part in a fun run around Tenby town centre.

There was some disappointment earlier in the week for Tenby triathlete Oliver Simon, who had to withdraw from the main event with a foot injury.

Writing in his blog, he said: "I have trained all year on the course and not to be able to race and see how training has gone is the worst feeling for me."

Other names to look out for include former Wales rugby players Shane Williams, Ryan Jones and Ian Gough.

Image copyright Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Image caption Jesse Thomas won Ironman Wales 2015
Image copyright Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Image caption Some of the best spectator spots are at Tenby’s North Beach, Carew, Narberth, Saundersfoot and Tenby’s Esplanade

Kevin Stewart, managing director Ironman UK and Ireland said: "We're really looking forward to welcoming all the competitors and supporters from around the world to Tenby.

"Despite it being one of the toughest on the circuit it is also one of the firm favourites, due to it's phenomenal vibe and open armed welcome from the entire county of Pembrokeshire."

Ironman Wales and Pembrokeshire council have already reached an agreement which will see the event return for 2017.

Race day schedule

06:30 BST Athletes walk down to swim start at Tenby North Beach

07:10 Professional athletes start

07:15 Age groups start

07:55 First athlete expected on bike course

09:50 Final swim cut off

12:55 First athlete expected on the run course

16:00 First athlete expected to finish on Tenby Esplanade

18:00 Final full distance bike cut off

22:00 Finish line party

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