Local News

Athletes brave heat to compete in Raleigh Ironman race

Posted June 5, 2016

— More than 2,200 athletes from around the world swam, biked and ran through the Triangle Sunday for the annual Ironman triathlon.

For the fourth year, the Ironman 70.3 came to Raleigh, bringing athletes ranging in age from 18 to 80. Along Wilmington Street, as cyclists breezed by, 5-year-old Bruna Damato and her 2-year-old brother, Felipe, were waiting for their dad to pass by. She and her family came from Miami to watch her father compete in the race.

“He’s going to get a shiny medal,” Damato said.

By time Damato’s father, Louis Damato, crossed the finish line, he had swam more than a mile, biked 56 hilly miles, and ran a half marathon. Sunday’s winner, Matt Russell of Colorado, completed the feat in three hours and 52 minutes.

“It’s hard to run with the high humidity and the heat, but it was definitely an honest course,” Russell said.

Justin Park, a University of North Carolina graduate who lives near Atlanta, came in fourth. He said that in all the bodily pain that comes with running a triathlon, he finds joy.

“[It’s] a strange, special feeling, I think,” he said. “I was in damage control from about mile three on and I was continuing to talk to myself, saying ‘if you stop, you’ll never start again’.”

Lauren Barnett of Kansas City tore through the finish line winning the women’s race.

“I’m so overwhelmed right now, like I can’t hold it together,” she said.

Athletes came from 24 countries to compete in the Ironman Raleigh triathlon. The race has a $50,000 prize that’s split among the top finishers.


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  • Jerry Canterbury Jun 6, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    And verily Jesus said unto them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. But don't go more than three blocks; sometimes it gets hot out."

  • Mike Berthold Jun 6, 2016
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    4 whole blocks???? The horror. That is almost 1/4 mile of walking. Why you were told you had to park a whopping 4 blocks away is unknown since only 1 church, First Church of Christ, had the route on more than 1 side of it. All other churches had the route on a single side of them allowing 3 sides, and at least one road, for parishioners to access their churches. Good luck with "Class Action" against the council there skippy.

  • Jason Galarneau Jun 6, 2016
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    So, here's the fix. Just double your donation at next week's offering at church. Problem solved. Next??

  • Fred Holt Jun 5, 2016
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    And what IS the economic impact of a churchgoer not making it on one Sunday because they'd have to walk a couple of blocks? Does it compare to airline, rental car, restaurant, and hotel revenue? Or - is it just going to be 5 bucks short in the plate because somebody didn't want to walk 100 yards in the heat - and drove their air conditioned car back home?

  • Fred Holt Jun 5, 2016
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    And like clockwork the "We don't want no special events" folks jump in. Enjoy your ordinary life, and resist the unusual, special, or different.

  • Charles Edwards Jun 5, 2016
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    I'd like to see a financial analysis done on the supposed financial gain to Raleigh vs the loss of attendance and offerings to Raleigh churches. So 2,200 runner were here. How many churchgoers did not attend church today because of the crazy traffic patterns. There was absolutely NO WAY our congregation could easily attend church. Raleigh PD had us parking 4 blocks away. Really? Really! One day someone is going to get fed up with the City Council allowing such shenanigans and file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all the downtown churches. Enough is enough!