LOUISVILLE, KY( WAVE) - Dark and a little chilly, that's how one of the most grueling competitions - the Ironman Louisville triathlon - started early Sunday morning.
"We're nervous about the swim because that's the big deal for them," Sarah Montrell told WAVE 3 News.
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The water temperature was a cool 74 degrees for the first portion of the race - a 2.4-mile swim in the Ohio River.
"It has been very emotional for all of us," Wendy Reid said. "There have been tears shed."
Three thousand people from 49 states and 30 different countries signed up for this year's race.
"We traveled all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina and we are very excited to be here," Reid said.
She traveled with about 20 friends to cheer on those in the race, and to volunteer.
"When your doing a 100-mile training run, you kind of want friends right along side of ya," she said.
The bike ride alone is 112 miles. Then, that's followed by a 26.2-mile run.
The training is so grueling, Montrell's friends in the race warned her about the future.
"So apparently we have to do an intervention if they want to sign up for another one, we have to tell them, 'No,'" she said with a laugh.
The downtown area practically comes to a halt for Ironman with several road closures around the waterfront.
The event lasts for an entire day as contestants get the pay off they were after and cross the finish line.
"If they can finish and they feel good that they've done it, then that's, that's, that's the win," Montrell said.