CAMBRIDGE Temperatures in the 90s combined with high humidity to make Sunday's Eagleman Ironman 70.3 triathlon one of the most challenging since the event became a qualifier for Hawaii's Ironman full triathlon 11 years ago.
Paramedics were doing their best Sunday to cool down overheated athletes at both the finish line and out on the race course. Despite the added stress from the heat, however, there were no serious medical problems identified before press time Sunday afternoon,
More than 800 volunteers helped keep the athletes hydrated and cooled down at aid stations along the race route, distributing water, Gatorade and other beverages and using garden hoses, wherever it was possible, to spray the athletes, though only at their request.
It is called "70.3" because that is the total miles covered during 1.2-mile swim in the Choptank River, followed by 56-mile bicycle ride through southern Dorchester County, including a pass through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, and, the final leg, a 13.1-mile run through western Cambridge, down Horn Point Road and back.
Around 30 members of the Cambridge Multi-Sports training group participated in Sunday's event in one form or another. Some opted to compete in the aqua velo category just the swim and bicycle ride. Others opted to complete only one leg of the triathlon, teaming up with others as a relay team.
They were joined by others from the region, including Eagleman veteran Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, D.C.
The first professional athletes crossed the finish line well before noon.
For the second year in a row, Terenzo Bozzone of Auckland, New Zealand, finished first in the Eagleman Ironman 70.3. This year's time was a few minutes more than Bozzone's 2009 winning first place finish in 3 hours, 51 minutes and 11 seconds. In 2008, he finished second.
James Cotter of Austin, Texas, finished second and Viktor Zyemtsev of Florida finished third
A New Zealander was also the first woman to finish. Samantha Warriner had a time of 4 hours, 20 minutes and 1 second. Samantha Mcgione of Arizona took second, with a time of 4 hours, 25 minutes and 22 seconds.
Six-time Ironman women's champion Natascha Badmann of Switzerland, who counts the Eagleman among her favorite events, finished fifth, with a time of 4 hours, 38 minutes and 26 second.
For complete Eagleman results, visit the website of event sponsor, the Columbia Triathlon Association, at tricolumbia.org.