303 Team’s Takeaways from Kona

By Bill Plock

The 303 team kept busy all last week in Kona bringing you news and stories, here are few highlights.

 

People wonder why we send such a group to this race and the answer is not simple, but yet it is. Kona showcases the greatest triumphs. It celebrates athletes from around the world with 2,400 stories from over 50 countries. Colorado is everywhere. From third most represented state of athletes to having many companies and industry and media professionals present. At the USAT partner party, half of the people there were from Colorado. Colorado has a big impact on Kona.

 

 

1. Colorado rocks with 38 amateur athletes competing and five of them ending up on the podium:

– Nicholas Noon 2nd
– Kelly Phuah 3rd
– Diana Hassel 3rd
– Matthew Malone 4th, this was also a 45th place finish Overall
– Simon Butterworth 4th

2. Four Colorado based pro’s ended up in the top 10:

– Tim O’Donnell 4th
– Mirinda Carfrae 5th
– Kaisa Sali 7th
– Andy Potts 8th

 

3. Records were broken

– Fastest Male race: 7:52, Patrick Lange, first time finish was under 8 hours.
– Fastest Female race: 8:26, Daniela Ryf, broke her own record by 20 minutes!
– Fastest Male swim ever: 46:30 (amateur set the record)
– Fastest Female swim ever: 48:14 (Pro Lucy Charles, 4 min faster than the next pro)
– Fastest Female Bike Split, (Pro Daniela Ryf, 4:26, 18 min faster than previous)
– Oldest finisher, 86 year old Inada Hiromu of Japan

 

 

4. Presumably, the most weight loss finisher with Marcus Cook losing about 250 pounds and carrying a life size cut-out of himself at his most weight through the finish line that brought a massive roar from the crowd.

 

 

 

 

5. More people seem interested in what Khem was eating than almost anything else based on our Facebook post of her “guess what I am eating contest”.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Colorado has great industry representation: BASE Performance, Newton, BOCO Gear, Triathlete Magazine, Rudy Project, Ceramic Speed, Stryd, Scratch, Stages, and TrainingPeaks.

 

 

7. Simon Butterworth and Bob Babbitt do look like Elvis

 

8. The Pros have fun too: Patrick Lange proposed to his girlfriend right after he crossed the finish line saying it “was the best part of day”, after winning and breaking a record. Sarah True said, “I felt like I was just riding bikes with friends,” after finishing her first Kona.

 

9. Bill Plock Sleepwalks and tries to get out of a condo in the middle of the night.

 

10. The 303 team went through six bags of gummy bears, 2 tanks of gas, shot over 500 pics, conducted 8 live podcast interviews, swam to the coffee boat a few times, was up at 4am and back home at 1am covering the race from beginning to end.

The team was graciously sponsored by:

 

 

Infinit Nutrition

Coeur Sports

Base Performance

Blue Competition Cycles

A Record-Breaking IRONMAN World Championship – On Course & Online

by Andrew Messick, CEO at IRONMAN

 

We had a great week, a triumph, a day and race for the ages. Simply put, it was marvelous.

 

Madame Pele blessed us with perhaps the best weather in our championship history; our athletes took advantage of her gift. Records were smashed in all aspects of the race and we saw the oldest finisher in our history – Hiromu Inada from Japan, 86 years old.

 

 

After celebrating 40 Years of Dreams, Saturday’s race was seen by more people than any edition in history, and in more places. That’s not easy when you’re broadcasting from an island, in new formats. Our partnerships with Facebook Watch, NBC Sports, ASO and BCC redefined broadcast excellence in our sport and gave us an unrivaled platform for our brand.

“This year we grew our live online viewership from 1.2 Million views in 2017, to 20 Million views in 2018 on Facebook Watch. That’s 16x!”

 

Click Here for Full Article

 

Athletes Baker and Molina, Contributors Baggs and Campbell Inducted into IRONMAN Hall of Fame at IRONMAN ALOHA Reception

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i / TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2018) – Last evening saw legendary IRONMAN® athletes Erin Baker and Scott Molina along with IRONMAN contributors Ken Baggs and Rocky Campbell officially enshrined into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame. The Aloha Reception took place on the hallowed grounds of Hulihe’e Palace overlooking Kailua Bay. This year’s class joins an elite list of key figures and athletes in IRONMAN history.

“As we celebrate 40 years of IRONMAN, we have the opportunity to induct into the IRONMAN Hall of Fame athletes and contributors who have been instrumental to the evolution of this race,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN in front of a packed house.

Erin Baker is a two-time IRONMAN World Champion having won in 1987 and 1990 and took first in 104 of the 121 races she entered. In her career, Baker was impressive at every level, earning titles at the ITU World Championship, ITU Duathlon World Championship and IRONMAN World Championship. The New Zealander has been a champion of the sport and continues to be known as one of the best female triathletes of all time.

“Triathlon gave me such a great platform for the rest of my life,” said Baker in her induction speech. “It’s given me so many opportunities that a kid like me from a very normal place, in a little country, would not have otherwise had.”

Scott Molina was a member of the famed “Big Four” consisting of fellow athletes Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Scott Tinley, who dominated the racing through the 1980s and into the 1990s. Molina won the 1988 IRONMAN World Championship and won the inaugural IRONMAN New Zealand in 1985, which was the first IRONMAN event to be held outside of Hawai`i.

“The sport has been wonderful to me,” said Molina. “I never dreamed the first time I came here in 1981 that my life would be changed. Joining the names on the Hall of Fame list is a huge privilege.”

Ken Baggs was instrumental in the creation of IRONMAN in Australia, working in the region for 30 years (1984-2014). He was one of the original members of the organizing committee for the inaugural IRONMAN Australia race in 1985, becoming the race director in 1987. He also founded IRONMAN Western Australia and served as the race director for both races until 2012. Baggs is considered an integral part of the early team responsible for establishing rules, safety and operation procedures globally as IRONMAN was growing from a single race in Hawai`i to events worldwide.

“I am honored to be in such unbelievably legendary company,” said Baggs. “I really am so privileged.”

Rocky Campbell is one of the original and longest-tenured IRONMAN World Championship volunteers. For nearly 40 years, Campbell helped shape and showcase the importance of volunteerism to the success of IRONMAN. Serving as volunteer director for the last 33 years, Campbell first began as an aid-station volunteer before taking on roles with the swim course, construction, and action management.

In her introduction of Campbell, Diana Bertsch, Vice President of World Championships for IRONMAN said, “There’s nothing you can’t ask him that he won’t give of himself.”

“IRONMAN has been a huge part of my life for 40 years—and I thank you,” said Campbell.

Founded in 1993, the IRONMAN Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of the world’s most famous endurance race series. Baker, Molina, Baggs and Campbell join a prestigious list of remarkable individuals honored for what they have given to the sport of triathlon and IRONMAN both inside and outside of competition.

IRONMAN Hall of Fame:

1993 Dave Scott
1994 Julie Moss
1995 Scott Tinley
1996 Paula Newby-Fraser
1997 Mark Allen
1998 John and Judy Collins
1999 Valerie Silk
2000 Tom Warren
2001 Dr. Bob Laird
2002 Bob Babbitt
2003 John MacLean / Gordon Haller / Lyn Lemaire
2004 Greg Welch
2005 Jim Maclaren
2008 Team Hoyt – Rick and Dick Hoyt
2011 Mike Reilly
2012 Graham Fraser
2013 Peter Henning
2014 Georg Hochegger / Helge Lorenz / Stefan Petschnig
2015 Lori Bowden / Heather Fuhr
2016 Lew Friedland / Peter Reid
2017 Chrissie Wellington
2018 Ken Baggs / Erin Baker / Rocky Campbell / Scott Molina

For more information about the IRONMAN Hall of Fame and its members, visit www.ironman.com/hof. The IRONMAN Hall of Fame video can be viewed on the IRONMAN YouTube channel located here.

SOURCE: Press release email 10/12/2018

Kona: It’s More Than Just the Race

It’s generally understood that Kona, i.e. the Ironman World Championship, is different from all the other Ironman races. Often people associate this difference with both the fact that you have to qualify to earn your spot at the start line (or earn it through one of seven other ways), and that therefore the athlete field at the race represents the cream of the crop. And while all of this is certainly true, it’s just scratching the surface of why this race stands out so dramatically from just about any other race you’ve attended.

First off, because this is like the Superbowl / World Series / Stanley Cup of triathlon, the crowds are insane. And Kona is a really, really small little town normally. Just as a comparison, based on some back-of-the-napkin calculations, here’s how Kona compares to, say, IM Boulder:

KONA IM BOULDER
City Population 12,000 111,000
Number of Out-of-Town Athletes 2400 1000
Average Size of Athlete’s Entourage 4 1
Total Entourage 9600 1000
Additional Visitors: Staff, Volunteers, Industry, Media, Triathlon Royalty 3000 200
Total Athletes, Entourage, Visitors 15000 2200
Growth of City Population due to Event 125% 2%

So, as you can start to see, Kona is busting at the seams – and then some – during race week. Not to mention the fact that people start arriving 7 or even 10 days before the race, rather than the Thursday of race week. Because of that, you need to set up lodging and rental cars as early as possible. And you need to anticipate that everything is going to be busy – parking lots, restaurants, local street traffic – everything.

One thing that’s really neat about the crowds, though, is how international it all is. (I mean, it is the World Championship, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.) Athlete briefings are given in seven different languages – English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and German. And everywhere you go you hear different languages and accents. It really, truly deserves the title of a world championship event.

Beyond the crowds, there are other things that separate Kona from all other events. Every year, triathlon royalty descends on Kona to celebrate the spirit of Ironman. Legends Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and Paula Newby-Fraser and Hall of Famers Mike Reilly and Bob Babbitt are in attendance virtually every year. Plus you have roughly 100 current pro triathletes in town to compete in the race. All of them are out and about, hosting and participating in events at local restaurants, through Ironman, at vendor booths, and at the Expo. The celebrity selfie opportunities are endless!

Speaking of the Expo, this one is like no other. You’ve got the official Expo, about a quarter-mile from the pier which houses the transition area. Nearer to the pier, you’ve got the main merchandise tent and the mini-merch tent. But then, for a solid half-mile down Ali’i Drive (the beachside road that is famous for the race’s finisher’s chute), you’ve got the “unofficial” Expo: dozens and dozens of tents from every triathlon apparent, equipment, and nutrition vendor you can think of. Some go so far as to create pop-up stores right there on Ali’i drive, and many offer limited edition Kona apparel and swag specially designed to commemorate the race. Which is all to say: if you head to Kona, bring a wad of cash and an extra duffel to accommodate all the shopping you’ll inevitably do during your trip.

Finally, as if you weren’t busy enough chasing down triathlon royalty for that coveted Instagram shot and snagging as much Kona swag as you can without tipping over into overweight baggage surcharges, you’ve also got to make time for the non-stop event schedule. There are daily swims from the Pier, so popular that they require a pop-up bag check tent for several hours each morning and include a stop at the famous coffee boat, about a half-mile off-shore from the pier. There are big-ticket events like the VIP Aloha Reception and the Evening of Champions, the ever-popular Thursday morning Underpants Run, pro meet and greet’s at sponsor tents, Bob Babbitt’s daily “Breakfast with Bob” interviews, and so so so much more.

I think this is why so many make the trip to Kona as spectators, rather than as (or in different years than as) competitors. Race week in Kona is all about soaking in the best of everything the sport has to offer and hoping to pick up just enough good juju from Madame Pele as to get to come back again another year.

IRONMAN Announces TAUPÕ, New Zealand as host of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

TAMPA, Fla. / TAUPÕ, New Zealand / Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i (Oct. 11, 2018) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, announced today that the right to host the 2020 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon has been awarded to Taupõ, New Zealand. This will be the first time IRONMAN® holds a world championship event in New Zealand and the second time this world-class event has been hosted in the Oceania region. The event will also move from its traditional late August-early September race date and will now take place on November 28-29, 2020 with the women racing on Saturday and the men racing on Sunday. This shift will take advantage of New Zealand’s peak time of year with mild temperatures in their late spring early summer months.

“We are pleased to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship back to the Oceania region,” said Andrew Messick, CEO and President of IRONMAN. “Taupõ is unique and beautiful destination with a local community that has embraced IRONMAN events and the thousands of athletes for 20 years now. We are excited to welcome some of the world’s most elite triathletes to what will no doubt be a fantastic world championship event.”

Athletes will have the chance to qualify for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon at over 110 global qualifying events in locations such as Austria, China, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and the Americas.

“The two-day event attracts around 5,000 competitors, 13,500 supporters and media from all four corners of the globe,” said Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas. “This is as big as it is ever going to get. We are talking the best of the best. Winning the hosting rights for this event not only re-emphasises that our district is the Events Capital, but it also further cements Taupō as being the home of all things IRONMAN in New Zealand.”


The swim portion will take place in the beautiful waters of Lake Taupõ, followed by a single-loop bike course, and a run course that will entail two loops on Lake Terrace and the Lions Walk adjacent to Lake Taupõ. Athletes will finish on Lake Terrace next to Colonel Roberts Reserve. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is part of a week-long festival that will include a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.

Prior to the 2020 edition taking place in Taupõ, the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is taking place on September 7 and 8, 2019 in Nice, France; it will be the first time IRONMAN holds a world championship event in France.

Complete Press Release here

 

U.S. Athletes Earn Three Golds at Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup

SARASOTA, Fla. — Three U.S. paratriathletes collected gold medals Sunday morning at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, an elite race held as part of the two-day Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival at Nathan Benderson Park. U.S. athletes earned nine total medals on the day, standing out among a field of competitors from 17 countries.

The race was shifted from a triathlon (swim-bike-run) to a duathlon (run-bike-run) after heightened algae levels in the lake due to recent weather conditions forced a cancellation of the swim leg. The adjusted course featured a 2.5-kilometer run, 18.3-kilometer bike and another 5-kilometer run.

Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) claimed the win in the women’s PTVI class, crossing the line with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes, 12 seconds. It was a close finish with U.S. teammate Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.), who took silver in 1:07:40. Completing the all-American podium was Eliza Cooper (New York, N.Y.) in 1:10:23.

“I’m proud of the race. I had nothing left,” Baker said. “Amy gave me a run for my money on that one. And it was fun having Eliza, a great newbie, in the race. It’s just really nice to see the sport growing and people getting faster, and newbies coming in in the United States.”

Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.) collected his first international paratriathlon medal with a silver in the men’s PTVI division. Coon’s time of 58:47 was less than a minute behind the division winner, Yuichi Takahashi of Japan. Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md.) was just 33 seconds off the podium for the PTVI men, finishing fourth in 1:00:28.

Adam Popp (Arlington, Va.) stormed to the win in the men’s PTS2 division with a time of 1:15:05. While Popp earned two ITU World Cup medals last season, including a bronze here in Sarasota, Sunday’s race marked his first gold. Cahin Perez (Christiana, Tenn.) also reached the podium for the PTS2 men, taking bronze with a time of 1:22:57.

“This was a good capper to the season,” Popp said. “It went well, and it was an improvement from last year. I’m happy with my first win on the ITU circuit.”

 

Complete article and full results here

 

Quick Notes from Today’s IRONMAN Pre-Race Press Conference and Pro Panel

The 303Triathlon team attending this morning’s pre-race press briefing. Here are some snippets from the introduction by IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick and the pro panel that followed.

Highlights from Andrew Messick’s “State of IRONMAN”:

The next location for the 70.3 World Championship race was announced! Taupo, New Zealand in November of 2020.

2018 is shaping up to be IRONMAN’s best year ever, with 225,000 unique athletes participating events around the globe – up 10% from 2017.

IRONMAN’s 2018 partnership with Facebook has allowed them to create a bigger, broader broadcast platform with live coverage of many races, including 20 hours of live coverage, from 4 am to 1 am, for Saturday’s world championship race.

2019 will feature 41 full-distance IRONMAN races and 117 70.3s, with new races in Oman, Greece, Russia, and India.

Highlights from the pros:

Javier Gomez is excited to get out of his comfort zone in his first go at Kona. As for his expectations for Sunday, he said: “the race will put me in my place.”

Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell both mentioned their daughter Izzy, born just over a year ago, when discussing this year’s race. Rinny has been “pleasantly surprised” with how her season has gone after coming back after giving birth and she’s excited to see how she measures up against the new talent in the sport. Tim acknowledged that he was mentally and emotionally drained at last year’s race, which was only a few weeks after Izzy’s birth; as for this year, he said he’s not phased by pressure to be the next American to win Kona: “it’s not the result, it’s the process.”

Sebastian Kienle, who won in 2014, said he’s motivated more by his disappointing finish last year: “there is nothing more dangerous to success in the future than success in the past.”

The panel concluded with a few questions from the audience. Noah Aldrich (12) asked the first question. Noah has completed 17 triathlons in tandem with his brother, Lucas (10), who suffers from a rare neurological condition called lissencephaly, and asked the pros what advice they would give to a young triathlete who hopes to one day be a pro. Patrick Lange advised him to have “fun, fun, fun” with the sport, and said to Noah, “it’s not that we’re inspiring you, you’re inspiring us.”

More than anything, I was struck by the friendship and camaraderie evident among the pros as they entered and concluded the panel. While they are clearly fierce competitors on the course, there is obvious respect and fellowship between them as well.

IRONMAN World Championship Features 20 Hours of Live Race Day Coverage

From IRONMAN (Oct. 8, 2018) – IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, is excited to announce unprecedented global coverage from the Island of Hawai`i for the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon. This year as IRONMAN celebrates 40 Years of Dreams, nearly 20 hours of live coverage is scheduled and will be available through NBCSN, NBC and NBCSports.com in the United States and globally on www.facebook.com/IRONMANNow. Beginning in the early morning hours with athlete body marking, the dynamic coverage will take viewers through the male and female professional races and all the way through the event’s final finisher just after midnight.

“There is no better way to celebrate IRONMAN’s 40th Anniversary and the amazing achievements of our athletes from around the world than with coverage that takes viewers inside the action,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer for IRONMAN. “As we celebrate this important milestone in our history, we are proud to be able to work with premiere global media companies to give an unprecedented look inside the pinnacle event of endurance sports.”

Coverage for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon triathlon begins Tuesday, October 9 with daily live shows at 2 p.m. ET from the Island of Hawai`i, running through race day on www.facebook.com/IRONMANNow. The daily coverage will bring the global audience to the island with behind-the-scenes access to the athlete preparation, interviews with professional athletes, age groupers, legends of the sport as well as presentations of the legendary course and event

The IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon will be broadcast in the USA through the various platforms of NBC Sports including the live start of the race on NBCSN on Saturday, October 13 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET with live reports airing on NBCSB and NBC throughout race day and the live race coverage on NBCSports.com. A full race highlight program will air on NBCSN, Sunday, October 14 from 12:00-1:00 a.m. ET and 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.

The IRONMAN Now channel on Facebook Watch will provide 20 hours of live coverage on race day.

  • The live body marketing show will air from 10:40-11:40 a.m. ET, and will feature a fully-produced, “red carpet” event as athletes prepare for their race. Paula Newby-Fraser, 8x IRONMAN World Champion will join IRONMAN World Champion Greg Welch, 3x IRONMAN Champion Michael Lovato and IRONMAN Europe Commentator Paul Kaye to capture the tension and excitement of this unique element of our sport.
  • Live in-depth race coverage will begin at 12:10 p.m. ET. and continue through the male and female professional races.
  • Coverage will continue at 5:20am ET on Sunday, October 14, with the Finish Line Party, an inspiring celebration of the IRONMAN World Championship as the 2018 crowned champions will come back to the celebratory finish line with as spectators cheer on the final athletes as they cross the magical finish line.

Producing this year’s event is Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), a best-in-class television production company that is highly experienced in Live coverage of endurance sports events such as the Tour de France to audiences around the world. The live-action will include more cameras than ever before and aerial imagery that will put viewers into the heart of the race, showcasing the amazing beauty and grueling conditions that the island of Hawai’i is known for.

Kailua-Kona, located on the west coast of the Island of Hawai`i, offers the perfect year-round climate and is an ideal location for this iconic, single-day sporting event. The 2018 field of athletes will tackle the ROKA 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by the Ventum 112-mile bicycle ride along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi, capped with a 26.2-mile HOKA ONE ONE run beginning on Ali’i Drive, where spectators pack the roads, up Palani Road to the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, before making their way to the infamous Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority. Athletes will complete their journey to the roar of tens of thousands of spectators as they cross the historic Ali’i Drive finish line.

For live tracking, real-time results and instant tracking notifications, fans can follow both professional and age-group athletes on the IRONMAN Tracker app, available for download from iTunes App Store and Google Play.

NBC will air this year’s installment of the Emmy Award Winning IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon broadcast special on Saturday, November 24, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET.

Two Team Colorado Kona Age Group Champs Returning in 2018

38 Team Colorado athletes will join approximately 2,500 others at this year’s 2018 IRONMAN World Championship race in Kona. Two Team Colorado returning Age Group champions from the 2017 race, Diana Hassel and Simon Butterworth, are highlighted in the article from IRONMAN regarding this year’s field.

From IRONMAN (Oct 5, 2018) – Approximately 2,500 of the world’s top athletes will compete in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on Saturday, October 13 at the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world — the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship brought to you by Amazon. IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company, will celebrate the history of IRONMAN and the seminal event that continues to inspire so many, by bringing the world’s best triathletes together in competition on the 40th Anniversary of the original IRONMAN event.

This year’s edition of the IRONMAN World Championship will yet again welcome the largest international athlete field in race history with athletes hailing from 82 countries, regions and territories. Athletes ranging in age from 18 to 85 have earned their world championship opportunity by qualifying at one of more than 40 IRONMAN events worldwide.

This year, Europe represents 46 percent of the field, while North America closely follows with 34 percent of athletes registered to race in the IRONMAN World Championship. Asia-Pacific brings eight percent of participants, with South America at seven percent.

“The evolution of this race over the past 40 years, from its modest beginnings to the iconic globally recognized phenomenon it has become, is truly extraordinary,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “From the very first race on the shores of Oahu, Hawai`i in 1978, IRONMAN has carved out a unique legacy in sports history and the pinnacle IRONMAN World Championship event showcases the best global competitors from around the world every year. We look forward to the next 40 years as our athletes continue to shape history through extraordinary feats and life-altering journeys.”

The United States of America is the most represented nation with 640 registered competitors, followed by Germany (215), Australia (208), and the United Kingdom (130). Athletes will travel from 46 U.S. states, with the greatest number coming from California (91), followed by Hawai`i (45), Texas (44), Colorado (38), and New York (35). Others from countries as far as South Africa, Brazil and Uzbekistan are traveling around the globe for their shot at a title.

This year, returning age-group champions from the 2017 IROMAN World Championship on the women’s side include Sione Jongstra (NLD), Michaela Rudolf (AUT), Diana Hassel (USA) and Missy LeStrange (USA). On the men’s side, returning age-group champions include Antoine Mechin (FRA), Guillaume Montoisy (BEL), Christophe Lemery (FRA), Rick Simpson (USA), Simon Butterworth (USA) and Fidel Rotondaro (VEN).

Racing alongside the returning age-group winners is an inspiring group of athletes that includes:

  • Jordan Bethke, a former pro triathlete and current U.S. Navy EOD Officer stationed in Hawai`i, who will be racing to support Kenton Stacy (#StacyStrong), a fellow EOD Officer critically wounded while serving in Syria
  • Rachel Brenke, a cancer survivor, mother of five, lawyer, and entrepreneur shows her commitment to sport and ability to balance what life can bring while achieving her goals
  • Leigh Chivers, who after suffering personal tragedies with the loss of both his wife Sara and 18-month-old son Alfie to brain cancer, will be looking to honor them while completing one of his wife’s dying wishes, to compete at the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Marcus Cook, in only a year and a half, Marcus dropped from 489lbs down to 233lbs. Following the death of close friend, Marcus decided to make huge lifestyle changes and now attribute his success to triathlon and will race for the IRONMAN Foundation after raising over $100,000 on his way to preparing for Kona.
  • Isabella del la Houssaye, is a mother of five, suffering from stage 4 lung cancer and has completed 15 IRONMAN events and 100 total marathons including one in each of 49 states. Isabella will race for the IRONMAN Foundation with the support of Ventum, and on race day, with the completion of the run portion of the IRONMAN World Championship brought to you by Amazon triathlon, Isabella will check the box for completing a marathon in all 50 states.
  • Elle Goodall, who dropped over 250lbs (115 kg) in a stunning lifestyle change that has taken her from fast food addict to the start line of this historic event
  • Bob Jordan, a father who was gifted an entry to the 1997 IRONMAN World Championship after his five-year-old daughter suffering from leukemia wrote letter to IRONMAN. 20 years later Bob qualified at IRONMAN Maryland and will race in her memory this year in Kona.
  • Kyle and Brent Pease, a dynamic team of brothers, Brent competing with his and younger brother Kyle, who has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, will look to raise awareness for, motivate and enable athletes with disabilities in the brothers first trip to the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Sarah Reinertsen, the first above-the-knee amputee to finish the IRONMAN World Championship (in 2005) and a gold medal winning para-triathlete returns to Kona to celebrate her place in history and IRONMAN’s “40 Years of Dreams.”