3,000 Athletes compete in this year's Ironman Arizona

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run all in one and they call it the Ironman.

One of the athletes is Beth Schafer's son, Patrick.

"It is kind of crazy," she said. "I can't even imagine doing anything like that."

Ironman Arizona is part of the global Ironman series and while some do it just for the accomplishment, others try to win the purse of $75,000 or a qualifying slot for the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

"Watching these athletes is so inspirational, you want to be like the athletes that are out there and then once you become one, you feed off the energy of the crowd," said Ironman athlete Richard Lund. "It's amazing."

Three thousand athletes competed in Sunday’s Ironman Arizona and, as you can imagine, it takes a lot of training to get ready for such an adventure.

"If you can devote yourself to something as grueling and as intense as something like this, you can pretty much tackle anything that comes your way," Lund said.