2008 Ironman Triathlon kicks off in Coeur d'Alene - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

2008 Ironman Triathlon kicks off in Coeur d'Alene

Competitors first swam 2.4 miles... Competitors first swam 2.4 miles...
Then rode 112 miles... Then rode 112 miles...
Then ran 26.2 miles... Then ran 26.2 miles...
Ted Etten is racing this year and racing money for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Ted Etten is racing this year and racing money for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.
Good job Dave! Good job Dave!
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    Tom Evans, who finished last year's Ironman in second place, is the 2008 Ironman Triathlon winner, finishing with a time of 8 hours, 34 minutes and 22 seconds. Tom Evans, who finished last year's Ironman in second place, is the 2008 Ironman Triathlon winner, finishing with a time of 8 hours, 34 minutes and 22 seconds.
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Tom Evans, who finished last year's Ironman in second place, is the 2008 Ironman Triathlon winner, finishing with a time of 8 hours, 34 minutes and 22 seconds. >>
    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Tom Evans, who finished last year's Ironman in second place, is the 2008 Ironman Triathlon winner, finishing with a time of 8 hours, 34 minutes and 22 seconds. Victor Zyemtsev, who finished last year's race in first place, came in second with a time of 8 hours, 43 minutes and 56 seconds.>>INSIDE: Race Details| Traffic | History | Video>>

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Athletes and fans from around the country gathered once again in Coeur d'Alene for the 2008 Ironman Triathlon. It's the ultimate test of endurance as athletes swam 2.4 miles, rode 112 miles, and ran a marathon.

The race is promising to be a big boost to the Coeur d'Alene economy. The city estimates that the triathlon brings in around $7,000,000 in business to the area.

The hotels are full and the restaurants are packed as the town is flooded with people now instead of water.

Business owners say they're just happy Ironman is finally here to jumpstart the tourism season. Organizers say there are 2,480 competitors this year, an increase from last year.

Roads and Parking:
With all the traffic comes the problem of parking. There isn't any.

With all the bad weather, this is the first time this year that the city has been full of people. One business told KHQ they have 700 spots in their lot and haven't had to use their "Full" sign this year, until now.

Aside from parking the roads will be congested in general, with several closures bogging things down. Sherman Avenue between First and Second Street will be closed until Monday morning. And race organizers have set up bleachers and booths at the finish line.

Weather
Rainy conditions should pass overnight Saturday leaving things quite nice for the Ironman Triathlon on Sunday. In the morning we should see partly-cloudy skies and temperatures in the low low 60's. Toward the late afternoon temperatures should reach the upper 70's.

For race participants, the lake is not warm, with a temperature in the low to mid 50's. There was concern that it might be too cold to race, but officials say the show will go on, and are requiring competitors to wear dry suits.

History
The legendary Ironman Triathlon started in 1978, because of a fight.

Competitors in a Hawaii race started arguing about which athletes were more fit, runners, swimmers, or bikers. The logical and only way to settle the dispute was to see who could do all three fastest.

So they combined the three famous events, a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.  The first winner Gordon Haller won the competition with a time of 11 hours, 46 minutes and 58 seconds.

Health and Safety:
Health officials are reminding participants and race-goers first to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and cool. Secondly they encourage people to bring sunscreen and to remember to reapply it, as standing in the sun for long periods can increase the chance of getting sunburned.

Lastly, they advise simply finding some shade.

Shout Out:
We're proud to tell you a member of the KHQ family will be participating in the race this year. KHQ photojournalist Dave Somers will be participating in his first Ironman Triathlon.

Good job Dave!

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