Kienle and Jackson win the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kienle and Jackson win the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Ironman 70.3 returned to Chattanooga Sunday. It is the day athletes have been waiting for, the day they have trained so hard for. Athletes participated in Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 and the winners of this triathlon crossed the line in under 4 hours.  

Over 3,000 athletes gathered Downtown. With thousands of competitors it was hard to pick out anyone from the crowd until the end where the winner stood alone.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Running club honors runner set to compete in Ironman 70.3 competition

Coming in at 3 hours and 46 minutes three-time World Champion Ironman, Sebastian Kienle crossed the finish line first. “Live in the moment, think about the next stage, station, corner on the bike,” said Kienle.

Not far behind  was Sam Appleton, finishing two minutes later. “I know Sebastian is super strong on the bike. I needed to swim really hard and get half way through the bike before he catches me and he caught me half way through,” said runner up Sam Appleton.

The Ironman took athletes for a swim along the Tennessee River, a scenic bike ride through North Georgia, and a run through Downtown Chattanooga. “The race was amazing. Honestly one of the best races I have ever done. The atmosphere, the course, really cool, big thumbs up.”

Athletes logged hundreds of miles swimming, pedaling, and running to prepare for the big day. They say getting through the 70.3 miles comes with a lot of hard work and patience. “Discipline, dedication, a lot of time spent planning, and organizing, and managing stress is the big key to it,” said professional triathlete, Tripp Hipple.

It's something the winner believes anyone can accomplish. “It's like with everything at first. You think you can't do something like this and then you get started, and you enjoy it and wait for the big goal,” said Kienle.

Kienle will continue to train and prepare for the World Championship in September, hoping to earn another gold medal to his collection. “I need 1, 2, 3 races to get the legs firing on all cylinders. I think one or two are missing, I am working on it. Lets see if the engine is a V8 or a V12.”

The 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga offers 30 slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Sunshine Coasts, Queensland, Australia.  

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