lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Cozumel's first ever Ironman endurance competition met with spectacular success, at the end of last month.

Almost 2,000 athletes from 37 countries swam, cycled and ran past thousands of cheering islanders and tourists.


State Governor, Félix González Canto, and Cozumel's Mayor, Juan Carlos González, fired the starting pistol at 6.45am to begin the race at the island's Chankanaab Park with a 2.4 mile (3.86 km) swim.

Athletes were fighting for a place in the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and barely had time to notice the colorful fish and coral reefs as they splashed through the Caribbean water.

Ironman Cozumel
Beke, Mens' winner.

Competition was tough as each and every one of them wanted to be first to reach the next stage: a grueling 112 mile (180.2 km) cycle race on the roads around the island.

Top island video production company, Cactus TV, recorded some of the best moments in a fantastic Cozumel Ironman video on YouTube and you can see some of their photos in our Ironman 2009 photo gallery too.

As competitors flew panting past the cameras the crowds kept getting bigger and their roars could almost be heard on the mainland.

Finally, after seeing the best sights of Cozumel, the leaders finished the cycle stage and dug deep to run 26.2 miles (42.4 km) to the finish line downtown.

Incredibly, after just 8 hours, 18 minutes and 40 seconds, Rutger Beke from Belgium was the first male competitor to make it through the tape, to the screams of the excited spectators packing the streets.

Hot on his heels was Iron Woman, Yvonne Van Vlerke, from Holland, winning the ladies' event with a well-deserved time of 9 hours, 6 minutes and 58 seconds.


Cozumel Ironman 2010 next.
Van Vlerke, Ladies' winner.

It was the first time the event has taken place on Mexican soil and the Ironman organizers have committed to holding the event in Cozumel for the following 4 years.

Cozumel Ironman 2010 will take place on November 28th. If you're feeling fit enough, entries are already open.

For full results or to register to participate visit the Ironman Cozumel website.

Photos by Cactus TV and Cozumel Municipal Government.