AUGUSTA, GA -- It's the biggest single day event in Augusta: The Ironman 70.3 mile race. There were plenty of professional athletes taking part, and plenty of others who use the event for other reasons.
Between the distance and the heat, this is the ultimate test of endurance for anyone. It should come as no surprise that some of the racers use the event as a way to celebrate an accomplishment or show true determination in the face of adversity.
"We help each other. It's not every day that we want to train, but we help each other along. When I have a bad day and don't want to go, she makes me go. We do that together. And it's really, really supportive," said Robert Beck.
"And it's really time consuming so it's better to do it together than do it by yourself," added Andrea Beck.
The Becks used today's race to celebrate their 15th anniversary and were supported by their children. It's also their third race this year.
"It was really special because I tore my calf 2 weeks ago and I didn't know if I could come," said Karen Dietrick. Karen was able to finish despite her calf injury and had her daughters cheering her along today's race.
"As a father I mean what more fun is there than to do this with your son? It definitely made it much more fun. I've done it the last 2 years but this was the best one," said Dan Anderson.
"Now I'm going to sleep for the next 2 weeks," added son Dave Anderson.
Those who weren't running had their own unique reasons to be out and supporting all of the participants. Brother and sister Suzie and John lane weren't racing this year, but brought water guns to keep the participants cool as they approached the final stretch.
"There's a lot of suffering out here today. A lot of suffering. Considering how much we suffer when we race, we're giving back!" said Suzie and John.