The first day in the first week of Ironmans has arrived.
On Friday, the first four days of the first Ironman World Championship will take place from February 2-8 in South Africa, with a total of 50,000 participants taking part.
This will be the first time since 2007 that the sport has ever hosted a World Championship, and the organisers are expecting to see an increased interest from athletes across the globe.
“The main goal of Iron Mans is to create a sport that has the potential to be global,” said Tony Burch, the Chairman of the Ironman Worlds Commission.
“We hope that the world will be able to benefit from the new experience of competing in the Ironmans World Championship.”
The competition will be run in the same venues and same venues that are used for the world championships, with the focus being on getting the best out of athletes.
Participants will get to choose between three vehicles from each of the four categories, from a new car to a fully-customised, high-tech vehicle, but will be allowed to bring only one vehicle into the competition, so long as the other two are on a different continent.
The race has already attracted interest from the likes of BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Audi, with both Burch and his team hoping to bring the event back to the UK.
The British government has given the go-ahead for the event to be held in Cardiff and the city is expected to be the most popular destination for the first event.
For the Iron Mans organisers, the decision to hold the event in Cardiff is partly due to the fact that it is the largest city in the world, and also because it has become a hub for the tourism industry, with over $20 billion spent on the event.
“We have had fantastic support from the Government, the Welsh Government, and from the public in Cardiff,” Burch said.
“In addition to all the support, we are very proud of the support from our sponsors, the Ironmarch Group and our team of coaches and the event organisers, and we are also looking forward to getting the first official results from the event.”
This is the first World Championship event to take place in Cardiff, and is also the first of its kind in the UK, as it has only been held in Wales since 2007.
In terms of the rules, the teams will be split into three groups of four.
Each team will compete against another team from the other group in a single-seater battle, with one team in each team participating in the single-car battle.
There will be eight teams in total, with four teams in each race.
To qualify for the Ironms World Championship teams must complete a series of qualifying events, with this being the only event where the team must be able successfully complete a race and pass a series that tests their skills.
One of the most important factors for the qualification for the race is the number of drivers in the car, as well as the team’s driver roster, with each team will be required to have a maximum of five drivers in their starting line-up.
Ironmans events have historically been highly competitive, with drivers earning a minimum of £40,000, with some of the top drivers in Europe, Asia and America earning more than £150,000.
However, Burch believes that Ironmans events are still a sport for the rich, and wants to take that to the next level.
He said: “It’s about giving the next generation of drivers the opportunity to go out and compete at Ironmans and hopefully one day become the world champion.”
The Ironmans is not the first race to take part in Cardiff.
Back in 2007, the British Open, the world’s biggest women’s tennis event, took place in the city, and has been hosted at the Millennium Stadium for the last two years.
It has seen a number of other sporting events take place on the Welsh capital’s campus, including the World of Outlaws Rally Championship, the World Series of Motorcross, the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series, the Tour de France and the Formula Ford European Championship.