Faces in Kona: Meet Erich Manser – 2018 Athlete

USABA File Photo – Erich Manser with pilot

Couch to Kona: How one mile at a time led to a dream of Kona

An Ironman triathlon is no small feat. Athletes must endure a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and finish the race with a 26.2-mile run. The best of the best flood the town of Kona, Hawaii, each October to participate in the Ironman World Championships. One man never thought he would be there. At one point in his life, he did not even think sports were possible for him. Stuck in a rut of preconceived notions and doubts, Erich Manser needed to find freedom. Little did he know, that need for freedom would take him all over the country.

Erich Manser is one of only five para-triathletes set to take on the Ironman World Championships in October this year after being selected via the Physically Challenged Athlete lottery. Currently, this is the only way for athletes with physical disabilities, with the exception of hand cyclists who have a qualifying circuit of races, to qualify for the World Championships in Kona.

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