The Ironman triathlon is a non-stop event consisting of swimming 2.4 miles (3.8k) cycling 112 miles (180km) then running a marathon 26.2 miles (42.2km).
The men's winning time is between 8 -9 hours depending on the toughness of the course and the first female to finish is 9 hours –9 hours: 30 minutes. There is often a deadline or cut off time in which to be an official finisher you must finish in less than 15 hours 30 minutes to 17 hours according to the individual race organization.
The average time depends on the course but is usually 11-12 hours (males) and 12-13 hours for females.
Women have often finished in the top 20 overall amongst the full time professional men. The biggest average age groups are between 35-44 years. The oldest competitor is often in their late 60's and can be 70+.
Athletes come from all different sports badminton, windsurfing, ice hockey, running, swimming, cycling. It is suggested that you compete in shorter triathlons for a number of years building up in distance to half Ironman before you attempt a full distance Ironman.
To qualify for the Hawaii Ironman world triathlon championships you need to finish high in your age group in one of the many official half Ironman or full distance triathlons around the world.