Ironman racers get extra push to finish race

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News 12 at 6 O'clock / Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 Ironman

Augusta, G.a. (WRDW) - A little cheering, goes a long way.

Seventy point three miles to be exact.

"Yeah, we came from the very beginning when they got into the water," said Judy Speaks whose son is competing for the first time.

50 miles later, she's giving the thumbs up for riders who she doesn't know. And one she does. her son Chris, who's competing in his first triathlon.

"Parents do what their kids like to do, we like to follow them around and watch them reach their goals," Speaks told News 12's Patrick Price.

After a 1.5 mile swim down the Savannah, racers hopped on to a 56-mile bike ride through South Carolina and Georgia.

"We were at the 25 mile mark in New Ellenton," said Decia Brittain, a fan of the race.

She and her husband spent their Sunday riding along side of these bikers.

"We try to go from check point to check point, so we can wave at them coming through," Brittain said.

Elias Ortiz is here to see what he'll be going through next year.

"It's hard, especially 56 miles and then 12 miles of running after," said Ortiz.

Every mile through downtown, is closer to an ultimate goal to become an Ironman.

Along with the winner of this years half Ironman race, more than 3,500 runners are were in Augusta.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver tells News 12, the event could rack in more than four million dollars for the city of Augusta.

From Arts in the Heart last weekend, to this weekends ultimate race, he's hoping it can jump start downtown's economy after a summer of drought.