A story to make Ironmen cry


  • ... hmmh, I think it should not be allowed to have sponsorship places in the first place! Only those who really qualified should be at the Ironman world championships. It's great that he finished, but it could have ended really ugly.
  • fantastic!

    shall we do one together one day Jj?!!!!!
  • So urban, if you were given a place would you refuse it?
  • AS - I am lightyears away from the elite triathlets.I don't have the level and haven't won a place for Kona. It would be disrespectful to all those athletes putting huge amount of training in every week.

    Only the best and those qualified should be at the world championships. There are still plenty of other events of the IM series, where everybody can participate.

    I have already been to Hawaii, the scenary wouldn't do it for me, there was hardly any support along the route!
  • But whats wrong with wanting to go to the'mecca' of your chosen sport, like a footballer wanting to play at wembley or a martial artist wanting to go to the far east. There are people who work far harder to get there and don't, than some who do. So where do you drew the line. Ironman is about the achievement of completing the distance and that chance should be open to all. Would you exclude the people like Dick Hoyte who would never qualify but pushed his son Ricky who suffers from cerebral palsy around the course, rubber raft, 58lb of bike and a special cart for the run and completed. That is a true test of human spirit and courage much more than anyone who is super fit and qualifies. I watched the event on tv and it brought tears to my eyes just to see the dedication of a father to his son. Hawaii may be the world champs but it is not just that it is much much more.
  • Julie, I've had tears in my eyes many times watching ordinary men and women with handicaps competing and finishing races.
    I saw father-and-son-combo Dick and Rick Hoyt finish IM Roth on a miserable wet and windy day which was difficult enough for the able-bodied. Rick Hoyt is around 30 years old, spastic and seriously disabled. His father swims 3.8km towing a rubber dinghy with Rick in it, then bikes 180km with Rick in a special basket on the front of his bike, and runs the marathon pushing a chair. And Dick is now over 60 and has finished many an IM, for Rick. That's a real hero.
  • If you qualify for Kona then you truely deserve to be there. I have only just respect for those who make in whatever age group. Anybody else - sorry - whatever their motivation is should take part in other IM or Challenge events, but not the world championships. It is simply not fair and there should be no shortcuts. There are quite a lot of events, hence everybody has the opportunity to undertake an IM. The initial idea about IM Kona was to find the best endurance athlete and not the bravest performance. It is a sports event and not a charity triathlon. It would be a nightmare to see IM Kona giving out hundreds of chairty places (like FLM). This would completely de-value the event. I can only remember the race with Mark Allen vs. Dave Scott in 1989, which was a thriller!
  • well, im not going to comment n the qualifiation debate
    but i can identify with this

    it could have been me
  • oh dear

    not as fluffy a thread as I might have hoped.

    Fraggle - you've got me into enough trouble thank you very much! ;o)

    IW - I have yet to remain dry-eyed at ANY of these events, sometimes in admiration and respect for fit and able friends who are pushing themselves to sometimes excrutiating extremes, and sometimes - as Hippo points out - for people who 'could have been me'.

    If I had the guts.
  • Nice story.
    Totally disagree with URR -
    ELITE/QUALIFIERS ONLY - Kona is so much more than just an elite race as countless diaries/reports etc will testify. The elite race is not hampered in any way by the other competitors - they even start 10 yards ahead of the pack and all qualifying age groupers worth their salt will be clear of the pack within 10 mins of the start. I am absolutely certain that not one elite athlete regrets the presence of mere mortals - Tim Deboom is famous for returning to the finish line 14/15/16/17 hours after the finish to cheer on the latter finishers. If there presence is good enough for him its good enough for me.

    SPONSORS PLACES - A vast majority of races would not happen if it were not for sponsors and if by giving away (just) 2 places it entices a sponsor then good luck to them. The sponsors are happy. the organisers are happy and those lucky enough to use the place are no doubt extatic before hand, regretful during, and elated after -What right have we to criticise.

    By far and away the vast majority of places are taken up by qualifiers - but the best of luck to all who get their entry by whatever means.

    If I got offered a place, rest assured I have no hesitation.
  • I hardly think that 2 sponsor places for Michelin would affect the race.

    Lovely story - I think I'll save that as one of my favourites. Good spot Jj !
  • Hah.

    thought you'd stay up later than me, huh?

  • Maybe they should adopt a similar policy at the Olympics next year :) Maybe then we will see some plodders in the marathon sponsored by IBM, Coca Cola or other multinationals. I wouldn't feel comfortable participating, would you?
  • There is far too much emotional nonesense written about long distance triathlon.
    Especially the M-dot marketed ones.
    We choose to do it so if it hurts it's our fault. Don't expect others to think you're great just cos you made it harder for yourself.
    I used to enjoy watching the coverage on Sky TV and admit to being moved by some of the stories such as the Hoyts and Julie Moss but it's every event now and all driven by the M-dot Marketing department.
  • Hawaii Ironman is a single event which INDIVIDUALS enter.
    The Olympics is a multi sports event to which COUNTRIES sent their respective top sports men/women.

    Totally different concept - no comparison.

    There are probably only 10 men in the world at any one time who could win Kona and probasbly only 3 women - on your basis perhaps we should just invite those athletes - wouldnt be much of a spectacle in my opinion.
  • huuuh - What basis? 1000+ athletes have offically qualified for Kona. There are more than 10 men/3 women capable of winning. The early days with of Allen, Scott, Tinley etc. are over. It's getting tougher every year and the standard of athletes is very high.
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    whats the situation with the ballot?
    how many places are up for grabs, and how many athletes try and get them?

    I heard the chances of getting a place are something liek 1/100
    Endurance Coach @ DazCarterFitness.com
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • sigh

    I think we've lost sight of the original story...

    [pads away disconsolately]
  • it is true, as in most sports. there are many competetive people but only a few capable of beating the others. most would only win by default of by a lucky break. There is a difference between being able to win and being able to beat the others. so why if these people have no chance or little chance should they be there. to say they qualified is the only reason is not enought and you miss the point completely if you think its just a matter of competing against others. it is true we take these things on ourselves but to dissmiss an effort by anyone is an insult and to say they only do it as a marketing ploy is a bigger insult.
  • [pads back in to shake Andrew firmly by the paw]
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    ive heard this argument a few times, partic amongst a couple of tri guys i know. personally it doesnt bother me in the slightest, doesnt affect my enjoyment of the sport
    Endurance Coach @ DazCarterFitness.com
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
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