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New York City is hosting its first Ironman Triathlon: 5 facts you need to know

ironman manhattan august 2012Yes, get psyched for the Olympics. But for the first time ever, the U.S. Ironman Triathlon will take place in Manhattan.

Set for August 11, this major bad-ass undertaking brings together 2,500 athletes from around the world to swim, bike, and run a marathon across New York City and the Hudson River (ew).

The race begins with a timed 2.4 mile swim toward the George Washington Bridge. The athletes then hop out of their wetsuits and onto their bikes for 112-miles of scenic loops on the Palisade Parkway, before finishing with 26.2 miles of incline run. Massage therapists and a cheering crowd await the competitors at the finish line in Riverside Park.

Interesting, right? Here are five more conversation-starting factoids about the Ironman Manhattan you can share with your colleagues at the water cooler and your workout buddies at the gym:

1. Registration opened on June 15 at noon and sold out eleven minutes later. They don’t call these athletes the fastest in the world for nothing!

2. According to organizer John Korff, it took seven years for New York City to become a “hotbed of triathlon.” Why, were the triathletes waiting for Barry’s Bootcamp to open? (We’re just speculating here.)

3. With a hefty entry fee of $895, the event is expected to raise over $50 million for the tri-state area.

4. Seventy-five qualifiers will continue to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for the 2012 Ironman World Championships.

5. While there’s no pot of gold at the end of the race, there is a $100,000 prize distributed among the top female and male competitors. —Jenna Holt