The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.
August 5, 2003 12:03 PM   Subscribe

The World Triathlon Corporation ("WTC") runs the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. Most people have heard of the 2.4 mile swimming, 112 mile biking and 26.2 mile running race in Kona, Hawaii. It's the best-known and most prestigious race in the sport of the triathlon (although no longer the most lucrative). Legend has it that the event was born in 1978 when some buddies in Hawaii, led by former Navy captain John Collins, were debating which was the toughest sporting event in Hawaii: the 2.4-mile Waikiki Rough Water Swim, the 112-mile bike race around Oahu, or the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon. After more than a few beers, the legend goes, the small group decided to attempt all three distances in one day, and the Ironman was born. Today, the Ironman ("IM") is a trademarked event replicated annually almost 20 times all over the world by the WTC. These (and a few 1/2 IM races) function as qualifying races for Hawaii, which now serves as the World Championship. Basically, each of these events is allotted a number of qualifying slots per age group and you have to win a spot for Kona. The non-pros that they show on TV are generally the result of 200 lottery slots or special invitation (celebrity, good tv story, etc). Athletes are lining up to get into IM races in the US. Currently, there are 4 IM trademarked races in the US: Ironman USA in Lake Placid, Ironman Wisconsin in Madison, Ironman Coeur d'Alene in Idaho and Ironman Florida in Panama City. What you may not know is that to participate in one of these you routinely have to register and pay the $400+ fee almost one year in advance. Registration for the 2003 races closed within a week or two of the completion of the 2002 races. Just recently, registration for the 2004 Ironman USA -- 2003 was held last weekend -- closed in two days, so you're already too late for next year. And who are these entrants? According to USAT demographics, over 41% of triathletes (USAT members) earn more than $80,000 per year, 40% have college degrees and 48% have graduate/post-graduate degrees. Perhaps reflective of the demographics, CEO's (of corporations with a minimum $1 Million in annual gross revenue) now have their own racing category. The WTC may own the name "Ironman" but I have my eye on a non-WTC, "iron distance" event this year: Duke. You can still register for this one. Here is a 13-week Ironman training schedule for a 12-14 hour finishing time.
posted by probablysteve (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yo... holmes. Sheesh.
posted by Witty at 12:05 PM on August 5, 2003

a polite note: a lot of people really dislike it when a post takes up this much room on the front page. a [more inside] would be much better next time.
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:05 PM on August 5, 2003

posted by i_cola at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2003

FPP /= novella. Definitely lame, probablysteve.
posted by squirrel at 12:12 PM on August 5, 2003

It's a marathon post. Get it?

Interesting though.
posted by Hildago at 12:13 PM on August 5, 2003

Ok... props to you on the obvious effort involved in creating this post. I'll be back in an hour.
posted by Witty at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2003

posted by billsaysthis at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2003

I got tired just reading the post sans rough water swimming.
posted by shoepal at 12:28 PM on August 5, 2003

Brevity is the soul of... oh, never mind.

I've run a marathon, but no triathlon yet. Maybe it's the expensive bike and lack of a place to swim.
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:34 PM on August 5, 2003

The rough-water swim makes me wonder how many of these guys are SEALs.
posted by alumshubby at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2003

posted by xmutex at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2003

Oh, and to make this more personal: yours truly is responsible for the and sites, as well as the web site portion of the live coverage for the race events.

And at one point we contacted Matt about doing some design work for us, but he was too busy. :P

(Long time lurker, infrequent poster.)
posted by tsitzlar at 1:08 PM on August 5, 2003


It was worth dragging my eyes through this incredibly long front page post just to get to that joke.
posted by Outlawyr at 1:08 PM on August 5, 2003

The community here is so wonderful and supportive. The guy's never made a front page post until today, and you rip him a new one. It's a great post, I wonder how many links never get the time of day because of this type of "We're better than you" attitude.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 1:45 PM on August 5, 2003

EssayFilter, good one, i_cola.
posted by tomplus2 at 1:51 PM on August 5, 2003

rip him a new one? How long have you been reading Metafilter? This is gentle, instructive teasing. Plenty of people have, indeed, had new ones ripped before. This ain't that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:01 PM on August 5, 2003

...and you rip him a new one.

Well, as soon as the thread starts filling up with inciteful on-topic posts, I feel guilty. Otherwise, the thread as it is, is evidence of why the FPP was bad form. I applaud p..steve's efforts, but there's no better way to learn. It's not like we're calling him a stupid fucking moronic asshole or something. Just relax and play along.

posted by Witty at 2:03 PM on August 5, 2003

Interesting. I was talking with my dad about triathlons recently, because the was just one in Minneapolis. (Though nowhere near an iron man.)

And I use the RSS feed, so I could care less about front-page length!
posted by Utilitaritron at 2:18 PM on August 5, 2003

props to GeekAnimator for being polite
posted by bitdamaged at 2:41 PM on August 5, 2003

thread starts filling up with inciteful

the thread is filling with inciteful comments. what it is lacking are insightful ones.
posted by quonsar at 3:09 PM on August 5, 2003

Well yea, that. The combination of two thoughts at once can be deadly.
posted by Witty at 3:21 PM on August 5, 2003

Well, you've certainly incited me. To go and have a drink.
posted by Joeforking at 4:13 PM on August 5, 2003

Man, outrunning the snarking in this thread would get one in shape for a triathlon. Sheez.

I wish I could run worth a damn (my knees don't like it much, and right now a sprained ankle precludes any leg exercise but riding) so I could at least do *regular* triathlons. I may have to try that 13-week schedule once the school pool opens back up, though.
posted by notsnot at 6:20 PM on August 5, 2003

it pwns steve

thanks for the info
posted by firestorm at 6:51 PM on August 5, 2003

posted by shadow45 at 4:30 AM on August 6, 2003

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