On Saturday August 17 a sold-out field answered the starting gun and took on the Challenge of Ironman Sweden in Kalmar, Sweden.
Jan Raphael was the winner in 2012 and was not on hand on Saturday to defend his title and a new Ironman Sweden champion being crowned was the only sure thing going into the race.
There were several pros quite capable of taking the victory on their best performance. A slight edge was given to Jonas Djurback on the strength of his recent third place finish in Ironman UK 2013.
David Plese of Slovenia also went into the race in fine form and took third place in Ironman Austria 2013 in July.
Pedro Gomes was also quite capable of challenging for top spot in the race.
For the pro women it was Jodie Swallow of Great Britain who was getting lots of attention as the one to beat. However Swedish pros Eva Nystrom and Camilla Lindholm were the home crowd favorites going into the race.
It was not really a surprise when Pedro Gomes and Jonas Djurback come out of the water virtually side-be-side after the 3.8km swim. However it was a bit of a surprise that pro female Jody Swallow was right there with them.
The top five men were all within ten seconds of each other in the swim, but Jody Swallow had a ten-minute lead over the nearest female.
Gomez created a cushion of just over a minute on the 112-mile bike course and stretched out his lead on the 42km run course and went on to become the Ironman Sweden champion for 2013.
Jody Swallow increased her lead with a very strong bike split and was well in front on the marathon course.
The race is still in progress.
Be sure to check out IronStruck.com for a look at the final pro results and the top finishers in each age-group as they become available.