Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ironman Anyone?

It is not a comic book or a major motion picture! Hawaii is our spots Mecca and The Hawaii Ironman World Championship is our Super Bowl!

This race will be held on the “Big Island” of Kona, Hawaii this Saturday October 11th.

You can log on to and track the race as it is happening or wait and watch latter this fall when NBC will air its telecast.

If you have never seen it before then get some tissue and get ready for a great show. NBC has won Emmy Awards in the past for this production and is well worth the time to watch. You will cry and get motivated! If you don’t then you simply do not have a soul!

A friend of mine watched it 5 years ago and decided that he did not have time to train for something like that but he did start running and has completed several 10ks, ½ and full marathons. He gives credit to the telecast.

My favorite Ironman moments:

In 1995 Mark Allen, one of the greatest athletes of all time, said in a pre-race interview that he thought something amazing was going to happen. He did not know if it was going to involve him but he just felt that this was going to be a race to remember.

Was it ever…

A German rookie named Thomas Hellriegel destroyed the bike course record and had a 13 minute lead over Allen, who was in 5th off the bike.

Some how Allen picked off the 4 athletes in front of him one by one until he passed Hellriegel at mile 16 and won his 6th Ironman World Championship in 7 years!

How did he do that?

In the women’s race that same year Paula Newby-Fraser and Karen Smyers reminded us of what character is all about. Newby-Fraser had won the last 4 races in Hawaii and had an 11 minute lead off the bike but Smyers ran the second-fastest marathon time ever in the women's race and passed Newby-Fraser less then 500 yards from the finish.

Newby-Fraser had hit the wall and sat down for over 20 minutes before she could finish. 20 minutes out of it and she still finished 3rd! Hard to say who had the better race.

How did they do that?

That same year a 34 year old from Australia named John Maclean became the 1st wheelchair athlete to complete the course but was not an official finisher because he missed the cut off time. I have always remembered something the commentator said about Maclean’s effort. They showed Maclean pushing himself up a steep hill, wincing in pain and the commentator said:

“The pain will not last for ever but for those who bear witness the memory of accomplishment always will.”

That has always stuck with me and I think about it every time I am going up a hill.

A few years later Maclean finished an Ironman distance race well inside the allotted time! That is 140 miles using nothing but your arms!

How did he do that?

I know that this is dragging on and I swear that this is the last one for now.

In 1996 a Belgian named Luc Van Lierde became the 1st European to win the Ironman. He was a rookie that no one had really heard of. He received a 2-minute drafting penalty on the bike but managed to come catch and pass Thomas Hellriegel and not only win the race but also set a course record in the process! To top it all off he had never run a complete Marathon before that day!

How did he do that?

The answer to all the above questions is simple!

They believed in themselves! That is something we can all learn from.
Happy training!

1 comment:

Tri-ing with Twins said...

Wonderful blog! It these items do not get someone motivated, then I don't know what would. Love ya!