What is an Ironman?
The Ironman presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit for professional and amateur athletes. It consists of a 3.8km swim, 180 km bike and 42.2km run (a marathon).At Ironman Australia, competitors have 17 hours to finish the race, which starts at 6.30am on Sunday, 1 May 2011.
This is the 6th year the event has been held in Port Macquarie, having relocated from it's original home in Forster-Tuncurry where it was held for 20 years. It is an iconic race on the global Ironman calendar, attracting the biggest names in the sport such as Chrissie Wellington, Craig Alexander and Chris McCormack.What is a 70.3?
A 70.3, or Half Ironman, involves a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and a 21.1km run. '70.3' refers to the total distance (in miles) of this event.At Ironman Australia, competitors have 7 hours and 30 minutes to finish, starting from 9am. This year is the first time that the 70.3 and Ironman have been run concurrently on the same day at Port Macquarie.
How much training is required?
The average Ironman triathlete spends 18 to 30+ hours training each week for this event. A typical week includes 12km swimming, 350km cycling and 75 km running. Many competitors also cross-train with weight training, stretching and yoga, among other activities.
Most competitors are amateur athletes, fitting in all this training around a full time job. They need to have a very understanding boss - and family!How many bananas?!?
They will be cheered on by more than 7,500 spectators, who are probably glad it's not them out there! Here are a few other suggestions of what else you can do in Port Macquarie.Inspired?
If you're keen to give a triathlon a go, check out our triathlon event calendar to find a race train for. And if you think you're too old, you're not! Karl Hayes from Trizone didn't even start the sport til he was 39. Read his story here.Banzai wishes all the competitors in 70.3 and Ironman Australia the best of luck!