A western Maryland triathlon billed as the world's toughest attracted hundreds of participants Sunday.
The 70-mile SavageMan Triathlon began at Deep Creek Lake State Park near Swanton.
The event -- combining swimming, biking and running -- was rated the hardest race on earth this year by Triathlete magazine.
The race course passes through two state parks and the Savage River State Forest. It also crosses the Eastern Continental Divide.
One of the toughest sections is a bike ride up a steep, four-block street known as the Westernport Wall.
Organizers said the Wall is the steepest hill climb in any road triathlon, with an average grade of 25 percent and a maximum pitch of 31 percent.