Belgium's Rutger Beke was the male champion
of Ironman Cozumel 2009.
Yvonne Van Vlerken, from the Netherlands,
was the female champion of Ironman Cozumel 2009.
This year's arduous course mirrors the same in 2009. Last year, the race started in the water. After the opening displays, hundreds of spectators cheered the equally numerous swimmers awaiting the starting gun. It went off and the racers forged through the Caribbean Sea, heading for land. They have 3.8km (2.4 miles) to complete, praying against the swell of the ocean, before the transition to the next stage could even begin.
The athletes surge onto the sands, then rush, on foot, through the long trackway towards the bicycle event. The route is typically lined with locals and vacationers, cheering on participants and reaching out for high-fives along the way.
It is time for the bike event. 180km (112 miles) around a stunning beautiful course, that takes in much of the island. For the majority of that ride, participants will be taking a coastal route, within glorious sight of the Caribbean Sea. The breezes coming off it both help and hinder. They may cool over-heating racers, but cross-winds, in some stretches, might also slow anticipated speeds. It will take all of the skill of the cyclist to keep ahead of the pack.
The USA's Tim Ferrell en route to finishing the race.
Last year's finisher, Tim Ferrell, recalled this stage of the championship,
The island inhabitants on the bike course (and the run) were truly what made this race worth every sacrifice. People with such little subsistence lined a great portion of the western bike loop and were cheering as if they were watching a soccer (futbol) match at the World Cup. The drums, guitars, Native Mayan and Latino Music, whistles and chants of Si Si Puede will always be in my heart. Thanks so much to the people of Cozumel!
My Ironman Story: Tim Ferrell
There is a stopping point, mid-way through this bike race, to change and reapply sunscreen. Then they're off again!
As if an Olympic length swim in open ocean, followed by that mammoth bike race, weren't enough, now comes the marathon. Those who have made it to this point will endure a 42.2km (26.2m) run to the finishing line. Those who make it are truly iron men and women.
It costs $550 USD to participate. The first five winners, in each gender, will receive a total of $50,000 USD between them. The first male and first female across the line will receive $10,000 USD apiece. All finishers will receive a host of goodies, with the top ten elite, from each age group, receiving a trophy too.
For more rules and information, please visit the Athlete Information webpage. For all other information, including programme and entry details, please visit Ironman Cozumel.
Cancun - Cozumel Diving Daytrip