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Liz Lyles (center) took the first-place prize in Sunday’s Ironman competition. Villu Vakra (left) came in second, and Karel Sumbal rounded out the top three pro finishers. (Photo: Staff)

Two weeks after the 70.3 world championship took place here, athletes from 37 countries and 48 states came to town to compete in Ironman Chattanooga over the weekend.

Finishers completed a 2.4-mile swim, 116-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.


Triathlete Liz Lyles took home the top prize of the day. Male pro athletes didn’t compete in the event.

Other competitors range in age from 18 to 80. They are attorneys, teachers, writers and physicians.

Donetta Behen raced in honor of her daughter Morgan, who died of a brain tumor last year.

Former state Sen. Roy Herron came back to compete in his third Ironman event.

Widow Emily Muñoz competed in honor of her husband, who was an Army Special Forces soldier.

Mark Zellefrow Jr. ran after being diagnosed with colon cancer and aims to bring awareness to the issue.

A father-son duo competed together as their family, who came from Texas, cheered them on.

“We took the buses all the way down to where they got in the water and walked the entire side of the river with them,” Hollie Shoop said about watching her father and brother.

Check out videos and photos from Sunday’s event in the slideshow below.

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