Images: Haines City Hosts the 20th Edition of Ironman Florida

Haines City provided the backdrop for athletes from around the world at the 20th edition of the Ironman Florida triathlon held on Sunday, Nov. 4. The race saw approximately 1,875 athletes representing 57 countries and all 50 states compete. Athletes took on a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run throughout Haines City and Polk County. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Panama City Beach, but due to the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Michael on the historic host city and surrounding Bay County, Ironman and local partners concluded it would not be feasible to host the event in its usual location for 2018. The race is set to return to Panama City Beach in 2019.

2018 Ironman Florida
Age-group athletes line-up to start their race with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Eva. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
Athletes made their way through the orange groves of central Florida. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
Clouds covered the run portion of the Ironman Florida triathlon as a sign of the rain to come. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
In what is known as the Blazeman Roll, an athlete rolls across the finish line to honor Jon Blais, the first person with ALS to start and finish the Ironman World Championship. Photo: Jame Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
The iconic orange groves of Florida were on full display. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
Athletes ran into the water in the wee hours of the morning to start the day. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
It was all about the community support this weekend as Haines City graciously agreed to host the event less than a month out from race day. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman
2018 Ironman Florida
New ribbons were made for the finisher medals to recognize the move from Panama City Beach to Haines City and solidifying the relationship between these two Florida towns. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for Ironman