More than 2,000 athletes from 72 countries, 49 U.S. states and spanning six continents competed in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii on Oct. 11, 2014. The annual triathlon comprises a 2.4-mile open water swim, 112 miles of cycling and a 26.2-mile run, long considered the most iconic endurance challenge on the planet.
The 2014 field of athletes, which has grown from just 12 finishers in 1978, qualified for the World Championship by earning slots at IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide, or won their shot at Kona through the IRONMAN Lottery and Legacy program.
In addition to returning world champions Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium and Mirinda Carfrae of Australia, the other competitors were as diverse a group that has ever competed in Kona. They included 84-year-old nun Sister Madonna Buder, the oldest person ever to finish an IRONMAN; NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano; Italian F1 racing legend and Paralympic handcycle champion Alex Zanardi; Don Davey, a longtime NFL defensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars; and Apolo Ohno, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in short track speedskating and Chocolate Milk brand ambassador. Athletes had to complete the race within 17 hours in order to be recognized as official IRONMAN finishers.
Photographer Marco Garcia documented the 2014 triathlon from start to finish.
Lead Image Caption: In this photo provided by the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship presented by GoPro, Jan Frodeno, of Germany, swims at the start of the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship presented by GoPro on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Marco Garcia/AP Images for IRONMAN)
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