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Ironman athletes complete mountainous course

Christopher McCarthy of Syracuse approaches the finish line after competing for more than 14 hours in the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman competition.

Christopher McCarthy of Syracuse approaches the finish line after competing for more than 14 hours in the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman competition. Photo by Katherine Clark.

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Randy Latza, aka the IronFan waits at the finish line of the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon July 22.

— More than 2,500 people competed in the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman Competition with Andy Potts dominating the competition.

Potts, 36, of Colorado Springs, Colo., began the competition by breaking the swim record, swimming the length of Mirror Lake twice in a record breaking time of 45 minutes. He completed the entire swimming, biking and running in 8 hours and 45 minutes.

Peter Jacobs of Sydney, Australia came in second behind Potts with a time of 8 hours and 56 minutes.

In the women’s division, Jessie Donavan of Shelburne, Vt. finished first with a time of 9 hours and 47 minutes.

The course includes a two-loop swim in Mirror Lake, followed by a unique transition in the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. The 112-mile bike run leads athletes along state, county and local roads back to the Oval where spectators cheered on the athletes.

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Ironman athlete number 140, Brenda Irving of Toronto, Ontario with her son Tommy Hooper and husband Derek Hooper after competing in the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman on July 22.

As competitors finished the grueling track, making the last stretch, mother of three Sandra Happy said she would do it all over again.

“It’s the most amazing feeling. You forget all the pain once it’s over,” Happy said.

Competitor Brenda Irving, a sports reporter for CBC News in Toronto, sat with her son and husband after crossing the finish line. She said her whole body was exhausted down to her hands.

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Ironman athlete Tom Earles of Cincinnati, Ohio, leaves the Ironman finish line at the U.S. Oval rink in Lake Placid after completing the course in 13 hours and 36 minutes. With Tom is his wife Leslie, and children Will, Claire, and Caroline.

“It’s a pretty tough course. A lot of the other Ironman (courses) are flat, so it was an extra challenge,” Irving said.

Irving has done four other Ironman courses in Germany, Canada, Arizona and Florida. She said the mountainous terrain of the Lake Placid course was very intense.

“This experience, especially my first Ironman is a very emotional one,” Irving said.

The intense training took a year, Irving said. Irving thanked her husband, Derek Hooper and their son Tommy, for making her training possible.

“The family has to support it or it can’t happen,” Hooper said. “I said it has to be done. You want to do it, so do it.”

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