South West Wales

Thousands watch Tenby Ironman Wales triathlon

The end of the final event, the marathon
Image caption The end of the final event, the marathon

Thousands of spectators turned out to cheer on competitors in the inaugural Ironman Wales triathlon in Pembrokeshire.

The event started at 07:00 BST on Sunday with about 1,500 athletes from 43 different countries taking to the water at Tenby's North Beach.

The swim was followed by a 112-mile cycle ride before a 26-mile marathon.

The winner was Frenchman Jeremy Jurkiewicz who completed the event in nine hours and four minutes.

It is hoped the event, which has been supported by the Welsh Government, will become a permanent fixture.

Jurkiewicz finished just ahead of this year's Ironman UK winner, Australian Aaron Farlow.

At the end of 140.6 miles, it came down to a sprint finish, with Jurkiewicz finishing in 9hrs 4mins 20 secs. His split for the run was 2:48:00.

Farlow ran in 2:58:40 to finish second with a 9:04:25 overall time.

Image caption Athletes completed a 112-mile cycle ride as part of the triathlon

The winner of the women's race was German Kristin Moeller.

Some competitors were still out on the course when the event was stopped at midnight.

Pembrokeshire's tourism operators have reported a big influx of visitors from overseas but some residents have complained about the road closures on Sunday to accommodate the event.

Narberth Town Councillor Colin Williams said he was delighted with the number of spectators who turned out to support the athletes as they cycled through the town.

"This is a very proud day for us," he said.

"It's something we've been looking forward to for months and months and months and to have such a lovely day for all the competitors is absolutely wonderful.

"It's brought the people together."

Image caption Runners through Tenby

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