With its history stretching back almost as far as triathlon itself, Ironman Hawaii has become an institution among athletes. We count down 32 highlights from the race to end all races
26. Scott Tinley first uses aerobars
Legendary two-time Ironman champion Scott Tinley bolted aerobars to his bike and wore covers on his cycle shoes for the first time, winning the event in sub-nine hours. Prior to this, competitors had used standard ‘drop’ handlebars.
25. Newbie breaks run course record
Last year (2016), at his debut, Patrick Lange raced into the Kona history books by breaking Mark Allen's run course record with a 2:39hr split. Lying 23rd in T2 his phenomenal run led him to finish third, behind Sebastian Kienle and Frodeno, ensuring a clean sweep for Germany.
24. Amputee Jim MacLaren finishes the Ironman
In 1985, the former Yale footballer Jim MacLaren lost his leg. Not deterred, he then set about training for Hawaii, completing the event in 1989. Sadly, four years later he was hit by a van at the Orange County Performing Arts Centre Triathlon and became a quadriplegic. He returned to the stage of the Ironman to emotional scenes, and now lives by the saying: “Behind every tragedy there’s something to learn.”
23. Valerie Silk sells Ironman
In 1990, Ironman owner Valerie Silk sold the event for $3million to Dr Jim Gill, a Florida ophthalmologist and Ironman competitor. Gill subsequently founded the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The Pit and the Natural Energy Lab sections were added to the course the same year.
22. NBC takes over the Ironman coverage
In 1991, American broadcaster NBC televised the Ironman for the first time. In the same year, Gatorade signed on as the title sponsor. The two become synonymous with the race in years to come.
21. Sarah Reinertsen is the first female amputee to finish
In 2004 she tried to compete the Ironman but failed, missing the bike qualifying time by 15 minutes. In 2005 she was back, becoming the first female above-the-knee amputee to complete the course. At the finish line, a self-effacing Reinertsen proclaimed, “Damn, I did it.”
Continue reading our 32 Ironman Hawaii highlights 20-16 (3/6)