Inspiration fit for an Ironman

imageFor those that were following my tweet stream last Saturday you saw a lot of tweets about the Ironman Championships that was happening in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

image A big shout out to Ford Motor Company. They have been a sponsor for the Ironman for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what the cost is for Ford to be the top level sponsor, but it does have an impact on me and I do have one Ford vehicle today and perhaps another in the not too distant future.

She Did It – For the 2nd Year in a Row

Alison Simmons Bib #599

My friend, Alison, finished her 2nd Ironman. I had plans to be there to see her cross the finish line, but could not make it. I did the next best thing and watched in on the livestream. I was able to capture her crossing the finish line --- see the video below. We are really proud of her and hope to congratulate her in person soon.

If you want to see all of her stats click here – this is part of the Athlete Tracker that lets anyone see how all 1800 competitors are doing throughout the event. Alison is bib #599
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3 Minutes

Three People that are definitely NOT your typical athlete
In many ways … They’re better!

1. Madonna Buder – Bib #225

image Sister Madonna Buder is a Roman Catholic nun from Spokane, Washington. She is 79 years young and doing Ironman events. This lady’s got guts and she says she will be back next year to be the first 80 year old woman to ever complete an Ironman. Read more about her commitment to triathlons here and here.

2. Challenged Athletes Are Inspiring

image David Bailey (Bib #212) competed again in the Ironman Championship. He finished in 11:35:27 – impressive for any athlete and especially for one that did the Ironman without the use of his legs. David is a former motocross star that was injured in a crash that ended his career. He has not let that injury slow him down and it shows in his ability to make the incredible commitment to compete in the Ironman. Several great pics from @richcruse are posted here and here.

3. Sorry --- You are NOT the Biggest Loser

I didn’t know that Matthew Hoover (Bib #196)was doing the Ironman until I read some of the #Ironman tweets. It turns out that the winner of Season 2’s Biggest Loser competed in the 2009 Ironman. Sadly he missed the finish cutoff --- which was 17 hours after the start --- by just 3 minutes. He was on the course for 17 hours AND 3 minutes. Hey Matthew --- you are an inspiration and sorry --- you are NOT the Biggest Loser.

The 17th Hour

There are several magical hours to watch for in the Ironman, but the 17th hour is the one that inspires me the most. You see --- All Ironman competitors have 17 hours to finish the race – which is midnight in Kona. It’s incredible to see all the fans and a lot of the athletes that completed their race, sometimes hours before, come back to the finish line to cheer their comrades in arms.image

I was impressed to see Chrissie Wellington (Bib #101) the winner of the Ironman Championship with a time of 8 hours and 54 minutes . She had finished her race over 8 hours earlier, and in the process set a new course record, yet there she was at the finish line hugging the finishers and cheering them on. She is an incredible ambassador for the sport.

To all the athletes that competed in the 2009 Ironman Championship


Whether you finished or not --- getting out there and trying is what mattered most. You put in incredibly long hours for training, planning, then trained some more. Whether you missed the finish by 3 minutes or made it by 3 hours --- those 3 minutes do not define you. It’s the challenge you put yourself up to get there that mattered most.

My commitment to myself and to all that are reading this blog is that I am going to seek a slot in the 2013 Ironman Championships. There will be a lot of planning, training, and more training to get there. When you see me on the street or on Twitter or Facebook feel free to ask me how the planning and training is coming along.

See you in Kona!


Side Note:
This is the book I plan on using. If you have other recommendations for books, coaches, web sites, etc. please share them in the comments


Copyright 2009 Jeff Shuey Some Rights Reserved Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License