2000 geared up, on mark for Ironman 70.3
MORE than 2000 athletes have descended in preparation for Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast tomorrow.
While there will be a strong professional contingent hitting the water from 6am, most of the field will be age groupers.
These amateur athletes invest in quality food to fuel their body for long training sessions while the equipment is no small outlay.
From this afternoon bikes collectively worth millions will fill the Mooloolaba Rd car park.
Time trial bikes specifically designed for triathlon start from about $3000, but the average ride costs upward of $5000.
Many of the competitions are white collar workers, have managerial positions and are in their 30s and 40s. They spend to go faster.
Some of that dispensable income will be funnelled into the Sunshine Coast community this weekend.
Last year's Ironman event generated $4.46 million Queensland and that is expected to increase in coming years with the Coast to host the world championships over the 70.3 distance in 2016.
About 5000 people will be on Mooloolaba's esplanade and along the race route in Alexandra Headland and Cotton Tree.
One of the busiest locations leading up to the Ironman will be the workshop of event mechanic Cyclezone Mooloolaba.
Cyclezone owner John Carey said they'll replace about 50 tyres, 30 chains and help out-of-towners get their bikes ready to race.
"Athletes put them together so they look like a bike after being packed in a box or bag for travel. We put them together so they are rideable," he said.
- 70.3 is the distance in miles, but the course includes a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run
- M-dot tattoos - that's the Ironman logo worn as a badge of honour by many long distance triathletes
- Shaved legs - there is good reason for shaving-down. Research by bike manufacturer Specialized found shaved legs can save an average of 80 seconds over a 40km ride
- Entry costs - each individual has paid about $400 for entry, teams pay slightly more
- Lycra, shaved legs and M-dot tattoos are more common than sand at Mooloolaba this weekend.