It's Ironman time in Chattanooga; journey begins at edge of river

photo Dave Bartoszewski and his mother, Sue Bartoszewski, get a quick run in after attending an Ironman athlete briefing Friday. The two will compete today.

Starting about 7:30 this morning, thousands of athletes will step onto a temporary pier on the Tennessee River just over two miles upstream from downtown Chattanooga. The morning air will be charged with nerves, excitement, perhaps even fear.

The journey that brings these individuals to this point will be different for every person, but the goal is the same: Finish the day as an official Ironman.

The inaugural Ironman Chattanooga will be held today, with more than 2,500 athletes striving to complete the 2.4-mile swim, 116-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run before the day is over.