Turkish athlete İpek Öztosun added another feather in her cap after coming first in her age group at the Ironman 70.3 triathlon race in Serik, Antalya on Oct. 28. 24-year-old Öztosun, often called the ironwoman, came a fourth overall in the race, participated by some 1,700 athletes from 70 countries. Ironman 70.3, also known as a Half Ironman, is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The "70.3" refers to the total miles (113 kilometers) covered in the race – consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 kilometers) swim, a 56-mile (90 kilometers) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 kilometers) run.
Over the years, Öztosun has won many titles for Turkey in international tournaments. With Ironman 70.3, she proved her resilience as a triathlete once more. Triathletes, professional mountain runners, mountain bikers and amateur athletes struggle to complete in such demanding races as they require a lot of strength. Öztosun's performance was best ever by a Turkish triathlete and will surely go down in history. She came first in the 18-24 age category. In the women's general classification she was fourth behind her Russian, Swiss and German rivals.
Each distance of the swim, bike, and run segments is half the distance of that segment in an Ironman Triathlon. The Ironman 70.3 series culminate each year with a World Championship competition, for which competitors qualify during the 70.3 series in the 12 months prior to the championship race. In addition to the World Championship race, Ironman 70.3 championship competitions are also held for the European, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America regions. The time needed by an athlete to complete a 70.3 distance event varies from race to race and can be influenced by external factors. These factors include the terrain and the total elevation gained and lost on the course, weather conditions, and course conditions. Qualification into the Ironman 70.3 World Championship can be obtained through the Ironman 70.3 series of events held during the 12-month qualification period prior to the championship. Some Ironman 70.3 events also act as qualifiers for the full Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, U.S.