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Thursday
Sep292011

Ford Ironman World Championship

October 8, 2011  l  Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

2.4 mile swim  l  112 mile bike ride  l  26.2 mile run

Beginning as a challenge between a group of Navy Seals, the Ironman has grown to become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world.  The inaugural “Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon” was conceptualized in 1977  to challenge athletes who had seen success at a local biathlon. San Diego-based John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i – the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon – into one event.

On Feb. 18, 1978, 15 people came to Waikiki to take on the Ironman challenge. Prior to racing, each received three sheets of paper with a few rules and a course description. The last page read: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”

In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama, and athletes battle the “ho’omumuku” crosswinds of 45 mph, 95 degree temperatures and a scorching sun.

In its 33rd year, the Ford Ironman World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the Ironman mantra that “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. ®”  Nearly 1,800 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of “Ironman.”

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