The 2013 Ironman world championships are underway in Kona Hawaii and it was former University of Georgia NCAA All-American Haley Chura who was first out of the water on the swim leg. It’s sometimes overlooked that many of the top open water races around the globe are the swim legs of triathlons. In fact, the swim leg on the ironman was inspired by the iconic Waikiki Roughwater swim. Chura was first out of the water following the 2.4 mile swim in a time of 53 minutes and 55 seconds.
On the men’s side it was Australian Pete Jacobs out first after the swim. His time of 50 minutes and 55 seconds had him at pace of 4.2 km/hour which is impressive given he next will be on the bike for 112 miles before running a full marathon.
Although a lot of triathletes consider swimming their “weak” leg – most not having a background in swimming; there are several strong triathletes who emerged from strong swimming careers. In fact, 1996 USA Olympic swimming gold medalist Shelia Taormina (also a Georgia Bulldog alum) was also a member of the USA Olympic triathlon team in 2000 and 2004 (and she was a member of the Olympic modern pentathlon team in 2008).
You can watch the race live here
The now ubiquitous “Ironman” triathlon was based upon 3 famed endurance events held in Hawaii – the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the around Oahu bike race and the Honolulu marathon.