These 1,100 competitors are seen in what one described as a 'washing machine' – the start of the 3.8-kilometre swim leg of the Taupō Ironman. The next leg was a 180-kilometre cycle and then a full marathon-distance (42.2-kilometre) run. The first Ironman New Zealand races were held in Auckland, but traffic problems encouraged the move to Taupō in 1999. Competitors in the cycling leg of ironman events are not allowed to 'draft' behind other competitors (ride in their slipstream), and are given time penalties if they are caught doing this, with repeat offenders disqualified.
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