Buy the ticket, take the ride...

- Hunter S. Thompson

More than 2,000 athletes representing 52 countries vied for this year's Ironman World Championship.

One of the world’s toughest endurance events, it's the culmination of 30 global Ironman competitions   It was a record-setting day at the 2013 GoPro Ironman World Championship for Mirinda Carfrae (Aus) who was crowned champion for the second-time (she had won the championship before in 2010). Frederik Van Lierde (Bel) improved his third-place performance from a year ago to earn his first men’s World Championship title (he's also won the Nice Ironman in France three times in a row since 2011). Carfrae set a new women's course record with a blistering time of 8:52:14 (previous best was Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain, who'd set the record back in 2009 clocking 8:54:02), while Van Lierde was steady throughout the day recording 8:12:29, the eighth fastest course time in Ironman World Championship's history. With American Olympic swimmer Andy Potts pulling out on the race morning due to a nagging nerve injury, the first part was wide open for Australian super-swimmers like defending champion Pete Jacobs, who headed onto the bike course first.

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