A little confusion in the swim wasn't enough to derail the athletes in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon Sunday morning with overcast skies and some light rain making for near perfect temperatures for the 2,500 or so athletes.
In the end, 2007 Ironman 70.3 world champion Andy Potts came out on top, finishing the 1.2-mile swim, 53-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in three hours, 49 minutes and 43 seconds, less than two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Leon Griffin's time of 3:51:15.
Potts, Griffin and about five other pros finished the bike portion in a bunch, but Potts was able to push on the run and pull away for the win.
In the women's race, Ashley Clifford won with a time of 4:20:34, pushing to the front on the run course after Chattanooga resident Anna Cleaver was the first off the bike course but struggled during the latter part of the run.
Clifford was impressed with the beauty of the Chattanooga area as the area hosted its second Ironman event with few reported incidents marring the event.
"I thought it was really nice and very pretty," Clifford said. "The bike course was hilly, and that kept it entertaining I guess you could say. The run course with the bridges was very pretty. I thought this course was scenic."
For more on the race and the athletes' reactions, see Monday's Times Free Press.