On Sunday, Heather Jackson became a back-to-back Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga winner. (Photo: Staff)

Professional triathlete Heather Jackson took first place in the women's category for the second consecutive year Sunday at Chattanooga's Ironman 70.3

"I love this town; it's awesome," Jackson said after her race. "The fans were incredible again. Thank you so, so much."

Nearly 3,000 professional and age-group athletes participated in the event, which drew spectators from around the world. 

Sarah True and Jackie Hering took second and third places, respectively.

Matthew Russell placed first for the men, with Adam Otstot and Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches coming in second and third places, respectively. 

The professionals finished the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run in about four hours (click here for exact times), and other triathletes continued throughout the day. 

The official race finish is at about 4:30 p.m., which is about eight hours and 30 minutes after the final athlete started the swim portion. 

The top three female finishers sprayed each other with sparkling wine after the race. (Photo: Staff)
Matthew Russell was the first to cross the finish line Sunday. (Photo: Staff)
Many spectators brought signs to show their support. (Photo: Staff)
Cloud cover created favorable conditions, compared to other Chattanooga Ironman events. After September 2016's full Ironman, Erlanger treated hundreds of people for heat-related illnesses. (Photo: Staff)
A future Ironman? (Photo: Staff)
Athletes start out with the swim before transitioning to bikes. This athlete was finishing the bike portion. (Photo: Staff)
Crowds lined the Riverfront to watch the action. (Photo: Staff)
Spectators could stop for chicken pitas and other snacks at the Ironman Village. Nearby restaurants were busy Sunday during the event. (Photo: Staff)
Chattanooga mascots had their own short race before the Ironman finishers crossed the line. (Photo: Staff)