Triathletes compete in Ironman race in the Triangle

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Monday, June 6, 2016
Triathletes compete in Raleigh
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It was part of Ironman 70.3

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Athletes tested their endurance in the Triangle Sunday, running, biking, and swimming in the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon.

Elite competitors started at Jordan Lake for the 1.2 mile swim and after that it was a 56 mile bike ride. Over 2,200 people competed in the event for money as well as bragging rights.

"I felt pretty good," said Matt Russell, the men's winner. "I had my legs, so right around mile 15 is where I caught the leader and it was nice, the bike rolling through the country."

A half marathon is the third and final part of the race.

Muggy conditions proved to be a challenge for the runners, especially Russell who grew up in a small upstate New York town.

"The heat and humidity definitely take a toll on you, and the wind, picking up a little bit," he said. "So every course has its challenges. Also had some great competition here too."

After crossing the finish line, Russell rolled on the ground to the wonderment of many.

"It's called a John Blazeman roll," he explained. "I do it in memory of John and also in memory of my mother. I lost her to ALS when I was 13 years old. I do it to raise awareness of ALS."

Jon Blais, known as Blazeman, was an American athlete noted for fighting ALS as well as raising awareness about the disease.

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