New Zealand ironman Cameron Brown will have to beat a strong international field if he is to capture his sixth New Zealand Ironman in Taupo this week.
The top eight seeds for Saturday's race are all from different countries, led by last year's winner Ain-Alar Juhanson of Estonia.
Do you know someone taking part in this weekend's Ironman competition?
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I know a lot of people racing, from the elites to people who are out there to finish and enjoy the day. The reality is that while the focus goes on the world class elites racing, if you go and watch the race the focus and the energy goes towards all the ordinary/normal people who have sacrificed so much to do something very few people can contemplate doing. The race is the easy part, its the getting there which is the hard part.
I have a good friend competing this weekend. He has worked hard in training, around supporting his family and working full-time. The level of dedication, planning, and sheer hard work involved is simply astonishing - but I know he will get out there this weekend and be damn proud when he crosses the finish line. As will his family and friends!
A lot of the uninitiated think Ironman is either about super elite athletes or nutters trying to prove something, that is not the case. I know several people taking part this weekend and I also know the sacrifices they have made to get to the start line. They are ordinary people with extra-ordinary levels of dedication, vision and support, something so often missing in todays society - all the best to every single one of them!