The Ironman event returned to San Diego. The event kicks off the North American portion of the circuit.
The event is 70.3 miles and includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.
“It’s pretty grueling, it’s exciting, it’s hard,” Triathlete Sika Henry said.
Sika Henry competed in her first triathlon event was less than a decade ago.
“My first time doing a triathlon was a sprint it was short, I just got a mountain bike, and I bought a Speedo, I went out there and came in close to last place and this was back in 2013 and I gradually moved up to Ironman events,” Henry said.
Henry has gone on to become the first Black woman to become a professional ironman athlete.
“I think representation and diversity are really important there are only about 0.5% African Americans in the sport and there had never been a pro-Black woman in the sport of Triathlon, so I thought, 'Why not me? Why can’t I be that first pro?'" Henry said. "So, I chased after it for a long time and it has opened a lot of doors and I was able to be involved in the Iron Man foundation and try to bring some diversity to the sport."
Event organizers are hoping athletes like Sika Henry help inspire the next generation of athletes.