SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Ironman 70.3 Western Massachusetts triathlon will kick off at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning at the Riverfront Park and is known as one of the most physically demanding spectacles in all of sports.

“You usually watch these things on ESPN and are in these exotic locations. Well, we’re having it right here in the City of Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

This Ironman is a 70.3-mile triathlon with 1.2 miles of swimming in the Connecticut River followed by a 56-mile bike ride that will go in a loop from Springfield to Agawam, Southwick, Granville, Westfield and West Springfield before returning to Springfield for the 13.1-mile run to the finish line outside Springfield City Hall.

With all three components of swimming, biking, and running this competition is physically grueling but for those competing, they’re looking forward to the challenge.

“At first I was a little bit like, ‘Oh my goodness, am I gonna be able to handle it?’ But it’s actually quite nice and it’s quite nice back here and I think they’ve set up a really nice race and it’s gonna be fun. I’m excited, let’s go! Can’t wait,” said Denee Madambe of Hawaii.

Local communities and Ironman have been prepping the course over the past few weeks. Road markers have been placed down for the bicycle portion and buoys have been placed into the Connecticut River.