More than 3,100 athletes are traveling from 45 states and 21 countries to take part in this weekend's 2018 Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 in Chattanooga.
The event is presented by McKee - A Family Bakery.
The annual scenic and fast triathlon event returns Sunday. It takes athletes south of downtown Chattanooga into North Georgia and Walker County, providing incredible views of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River.
Offering a total professional prize purse of $30,000, the race will award a total of 30 age-group qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, which will take place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
The IRONMAN Village Expo opens on Friday, showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry.
There are 601 participants from Tennessee and 3,081 from the U.S.
Officials said 18-year-old Blake Rhymes from Ruston, LA will be the youngest male athlete and 18-year-old Haley Betten from Prospect, KY will be the youngest female athlete.
Also, 78-year-old Lis Heckmann from Sun City Center, FL will be the oldest female athlete and 81-year-old Herb Brown from Charlotte, NC will be the oldest male athlete.
Occupations include Airline Pilot, Architect, Dentist, Fire Fighter, Lifeguard, Nurse, Police, Social Worker, and Teacher.
For the full list of professional athletes click here.
Athletes will enter the Tennessee River in a rolling start and head up stream for a short distance before making the turn and heading back down. Spectators will have a great opportunity to watch the swim from the Veterans and Market Street Bridges and the Tennessee Riverwalk.
Athletes will exit the water at the beautiful Ross’s Landing Park.
The bike course takes riders south of town before beginning a 34-mile loop in north Georgia. Athletes can expect incredible views as they parallel Lookout Mountain on this rolling course with great road surfaces. As athletes near the end of the loop they will get the opportunity to ride through historic Chickamauga.
Athletes will have a chance to see the Scenic City as they complete two loops through downtown Chattanooga, The Tennessee Riverwalk, Veterans Bridge, North Shore, Walnut Street Bridge and the beautiful Riverfront Parkway. The final stretch will bring down Riverfront Parkway to finish at Ross's Landing along the Tennessee River.
The Swim Start is one mile up from Transition in Tennessee River (see swim course map for location).
The Finish Line is Ross’s Landing, 201 Riverfront Pkwy, Chattanooga.
12:00 p.m.-7 p.m.–IRONMAN Village at Ross’s Landing
9 a.m.– IRONKIDS Chattanooga Fun Run
9 a.m.-5 p.m.–IRONMAN Village
2 p.m.–Athlete Panel
6:50 a.m.–Race Start - One Mile Up River from Ross’s Landing
7:00 am- 3:00 pm– IRONMAN Village
*Approx.10:30 a.m.– First (male) finisher approaching the finish line (Female winner to follow approx. 20 minutes)
4 p.m.–Awards Ceremony & 70.3 IM 70.3 World Championship Slot Allocation / Rolldown Ceremony
Full event schedule can be found here