5 things you need to know about the Ironman Triathlon

HOUSTON – 1)    The distance covered at 140.6 miles. The race begins with a 2.4-mile swim, only half a mile short of the 2.9-mile running loop at Memorial Park. The 112-mile bike ride follows the swim. That’s the distance from downtown Houston to Orange in east Texas. Finally, there’s a marathon that is 26.2 miles. That is like running from downtown Houston down the Gulf Freeway to League City. The race will start at 7 a.m. Saturday. It will end 17 hours later at midnight.

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2)    The race is on the Big Island of Hawaii. The island consists of black lava, and the heat there affect competitors. The other major challenge they face is the wind. The winds on the Big Island can be relentless. 
3)    More than 2,000 athletes will compete in Hawaii from around the world. Most pf those athletes qualified from dozens of races, including Ironman Texas, in the Woodlands.

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4)    Triathletes in Kona make a difference. "The best way I know to describe it is electric. The feeling is in the air. You're in paradise. You're about ready to do something that, for any triathlete, is on the bucket list. And the anticipation, you can feel it,” KPRC 2 meteorologist Eric Braate said. He is racing for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to end blood cancers.  He said he will think of those who most feel the pain. "I'll be thinking about all of those people that I've met and come to know who are impacted and impacted severely.  And I'm going to think about what they've been through."

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