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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Ironman UK race in rural backdrop
Athletes taking part in the 2.4-mile (3.9km) swim in Sherborne Castle lake in 2007
The athletes began the race at dawn with a 2.4-mile (3.9km) swim
One of the UK's toughest endurance events has been held in rural Dorset for the fifth year running.

More than 1,500 international athletes took part in the Ironman UK Triathlon and thousands of spectators lined the routes near Sherborne on Sunday.

The triathlon involved a 2.4-mile (3.9km) swim in Sherborne Castle lake, a 112-mile (180km) cycle race and a 26-mile (42km) marathon.

The event was won by Scott Neyedli from Aberdeen in eight hours, 35 minutes.

The start and finish point for all three events was Sherborne, but competitors cycled as far as Dorchester and some road closures were neccessary.

The cycling route took competitors from Sherborne Castle along the A352 to Dorchester, northwards up the Higher Sherborne Road to Middlemarsh, across to Glanvilles Wootton and up to Alweston to rejoin the A352 at the top of Sherborne Hill.

Athletes taking part in the 112-mile (180km) cycle race
The competitors cycled to Dorchester three times over

They completed this route three times before returning to Sherborne.

The running took the athletes around the grounds of Sherborne Castle, through the town in front of the abbey and out along the A30 to the lay-by on Babylon Hill.

They then completed a further three lengths of the dual carriageway before heading back to Sherborne.

Two half-ironman events and two full triathlons have been held locally in the past, boosting the local economy with several millions of pounds.

John Peake, chairman of Dorset County Council, said before the event: "We are delighted that this hugely challenging and exciting worldwide event is again taking place in Dorset.

"This is a beautiful part of the country and the event will be an excellent showcase for our county when we welcome the competitors, their supporters and spectators who will be coming from all over the world.

"To host such a fast-moving sporting contest safely, a number of roads will have to be shut but we are working to ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum and keeping in close touch with the parish councils involved."

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