More than 3,000 racers from 84 countries have arrived in Bahrain ahead of the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain on 8 December.

Bahrain Bay will be the setting for the race, also known as a half ironman, for its fourth year.

Athletes will complete a 1.9km swim in front of The Avenues Mall in Manama, before moving on a 90km bike ride through the city and a 21.1km run around Bahrain Bay. The total length of the course comes to 70.3 miles.

During the cycling phase athletes will pass many of Bahrain’s landmarks, including the Bahrain World Trade Centre and famous historical sites such as the Dilmun Burial Mounds.

Friday will see two junior races for under 15s, the Ironkids and Irongirl contests, ahead of the main race on Saturday.

Professional athletes, including 33 men and nine women, will race alongside the age-group participants.

The event also offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, with an additional 25 slots available to female racers.