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Jeju Island running into Triathlon limelight2009 Korea Triathlon Jeju welcomes ironmen on July 12
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승인 2009.07.03  18:26:32
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▲ Participants in the upcoming Jeju Triathlon will have to cycle 112 miles in the biking leg of the competition. Photo courtesy Jeju Provincial Govt.
Running a 26.2-mile marathon is not for the faint of heart. But competing in a triathlon – swimming 2.4 mile, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles without a break – is challenging for even veteran athletes.

This year, the best Ironmen of Korea are reserved for the most stalwart of souls in Jeju.

2009 Korea Triathlon Jeju will be held July 12, bringing an estimated 1,000 triathletes to the island as they compete for 50 coveted slots for this year’s Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in October. The triathlon is known as one of the most grueling sporting events that pushes its participants to the limits of physical and mental endurance.

▲ Swimmers, such as these at last year’s triathlon, will swim 2.4 miles in the open ocean off of Jungmun beach before hopping on their bikes for the next leg of the race. Photo courtesy Korea Triathlon Jeju

Korea Triathlon Jeju, first started in 2000 in Seogwipo, is an annual athletic event sponsored by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Korea Tourism Organization. This year, the challenging Jeju race marks its tenth anniversary, with special benefits for participants, such as 50 percent off the registration fees.

The host city is Seogwipo, Jeju island, which was also a 2002 FIFA World Cup venue. Seogwipo is a haven for the Kona hopefuls as well as honeymooners in Korea, an ideal lead-up race to Hawaii due to its subtropical zone. It has the look and feel of Kona in that the two locations are known for their blend of volcanic rock and humid climate.

The race begins with a mass start on the white sands of Jungmun Beach. The swim course is in open water, but the water is calm with only a small shore break. It will tour Jeju's fishing villages, scenic highways and volcanic foot hills on the bike portion, before finishing the marathon-length run at World Cup Stadium.

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