Kailua Kona, Hawaii — The 2009 Ironman Triathlon World Championship is heating up in Kona, Hawaii today. A week of Ironman events in Kona have culminated in the main triathlon event, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and 26.2-mile run, in that order. As featured on the Ironman World Championships leaderboard, some of the top names competing in the event include Philip Graves, Faris Al-Sultan, and Chris Lieto for the men; Chrissie Wellington, Tereza Macel, and Lucie Zelenkova are among the women in the 2009 World Championships in Kona.
Ironman Tests Endurance of Professionals and Amateurs
The Ironman Triathlon has been occurring annually for decades and draws audiences and competitors from the entire world. While many of the competitors are professionals who are among the very best triathletes, but the field also consists of amateurs – from all walks of life – who have trained for several hours daily for months. These male and female competitors range in ages from under 20 to older than 80.
Ironman states that those competing in today’s World Championship triathlon in Kona have raced in Ironman qualifying events held throughout the year. There was then a lottery held to select today’s entrants; those in the World Championship lottery were among the top finishers of the Ironman qualifying events.
The Ironman Triathlon in Kona requires athletes to complete each of the three components within 17 hours of the start of the race, though the top finishers can complete the swim, bike, and marathon portions in under 4-1/2 hours.
According to EHow, the first Ironman World Champion triathlon was held in 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The World Championships have always taken place in Kona, but in 1982 the World Championship triathlon was moved from the spring to the fall.
The Ironman Triathlon started when a group of Navy Seals could not agree as to who among them was the best athlete. The winner of that triathlon was declared an “Ironman” by United States Navy Commander John Collins. The name “Ironman” has, with iconic popularity, stuck ever since.
Ironman. “Leaderboard.” October 10, 2009. http://ironman.com/coverage/?race=worldchampionship&year=2009
Ironman. “Frequently Asked Questions.” October 10, 2009. http://ironman.com/faq/lotteryfaq
EHow. “Facts on the World Ironman Triathlon.” October 10, 2009. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5005082_world-ironman-triathlon.html