Qualifying slots for Kona don't come easy.... and every athlete that makes the decision not only to complete an Ironman, which in itself is an amazing achievement !!However for those who strive to be the best in their age group it involves a very firm commitment, self belief, mental strength and a little talent.
If you are a triathlete, there is no bigger day in this sport than the Ford Ironman World Championship. It is the race that defined our sport as it came of age, and continues to be the defining race in our sport for any avid triathlete.
To get to the starting line in Kona, you must either be very lucky and get yourself a spot through the lottery, or very talented, and win yourself a qualifying spot at one of the qualifying events held around the world.
Tens-of-thousands of triathletes try to get one of those coveted Ironman spots every year. Only 1,800 succeeded.
That means 1,800 "lucky" people get to test themselves on one of the biggest challenges the sports world has to offer ... 2.4-miles of swimming, 112-miles of biking, and a 26.2-mile marathon run through tough ocean waves, and challenging lava-covered terrain.
While there are thousands of triathlons around the world, it is this one that truly defines the sport. It all began at an Awards Ceremony for a relay running race in Honolulu in 1977. A group of local athletes discussed the idea of an endurance triathlon and combining three major events that already existed on the island. John Collins suggested combining them and making it a single-day event. Later that evening, Collins took the stage announcing the event and that "whoever finishes first, we will call him the IRONMAN." It has since become triathlon's Super Bowl, Wimbledon, World Series, World Cup, and Tour de France all rolled into one. What makes this event so unique is that "ordinary" people get to compete alongside the best in the world.