2,500 Athletes Compete on Beautiful Day at Ironman Arizona

The 2018 Ironman Arizona triathlon saw more than 2,500 athletes representing 43 countries and 48 states start the race. Competitors ranged in age from 18 to 80 years old. One of the most popular Ironman events in the world, the race led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run throughout Tempe and its surrounding areas. The event offered a total professional prize purse of $80,000 and 40 age-group qualifying slots to the 2019 Ironman World Championship.

2018 Ironman Arizona
The course featured a new swim start for 2018 to better accommodate the rolling start. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
It was a chilly morning in Tempe, with lows dipping into the low 50s. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The sun rises over Tempe Town Lake as the 2,500 athletes start their day. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The race also featured a new exit. Photo: Nick Morales
imaz18-0345
American Meredith Kessler was the first female pro out of the water, exiting at 53:02. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Spain’s Eneko Llanos out on the first loop of the three-loop bike course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Male pro David Plese on the Beeline Highway. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Female pro Sky Moench on the Beeline Highway. She had a breakthrough race, finishing fourth in a tough field. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The three-loop bike course gets a bit crowded, but provides plenty of opportunity to see your spectators. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
A memorial for firefighter Mike Kreza, who was hit and killed while training for this race. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Canadian Jen Annett stays hydrated on course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
American TJ Tollakson on the second loop of the course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
An age-group athlete approaches the turn-around point on the bike course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
This aid station featured a zombie family (mom, dad, and son) who had some fun with their time volunteering on course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Age-group athlete Jason Brandt competed as part of the 40-44 age group. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The race was broadcast live on Facebook. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Age-group athletes deal with the head wind on the second loop of the bike. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Age-group athlete Tom Helpenstell out on course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Age-group athlete Kari Thompson crosses over Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Several new buildings have changed the scenery of Tempe Town Lake over the years. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
TJ Tollakson starts the run in first place, just ahead of Andreas Dreitz. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Spain’s Eneko Llanos on the first lap of the run course. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
USA’s Heather Jackson had spectated this race several times and this year it was her turn to compete (and win!) Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Michael Patrick Alonso-McKernan eyes the water at the aid station. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Carrie Lester out on the run course along Tempe Town Lake. She finished her day with a 3:07:40 marathon. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Clemente Alonso-McKernan tries to catch TJ Tollakson on the last loop of the run. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The course has slightly changed over the years, but still provides several opportunities for athletes to see spectators and scenery along the way. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
It was a beautiful day in Tempe, with the high reaching the mid 70s. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Eneko Llanos wins this race for the second time in his career. He first won in 2011. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
An emotional Eneko Llanos FaceTimes with his wife on the phone after the win. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Spanish athletes finish first and second. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Heather Jackson gets the lightning fast 8:39:18 victory. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
Jackson’s parents travel around the country to watch her race. Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The women’s podium: Carrie Lester (2nd), Heather Jackson (1st), and Jen Annett (3rd). Photo: Nick Morales
2018 Ironman Arizona
The run course of Ironman Arizona has become one of the most festive scenes in triathlon. Photo: Nick Morales