YOUNGEST IRONMAN AT THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN KONA
- Age:20 (8/13/97)
- Address: Mandeville, LA
- Topline Story: Spencer will be the youngest athlete to compete in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i.
OLDEST IRONMAN AT THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN KONA
- Age: 84 (11/19/32)
- Address: Yachiyodai Higashi, JP
- Topline Story: Hiromu will be the oldest athlete to compete in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i. Last year, at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship, Lew Hollander world record was broken by 83-year-old Inada who now holds the title for oldest to complete an IRONMAN triathlon. He completed the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship with a time of 16:49:13.
AUSTRALIAN TRIATHLON PIONEER
- Age: 57 (2/11/1959)
- Address: Miami, Queensland
- Topline Story: an Australian triathlon pioneer who is a coach of almost 30 years former junior coach of Emma Snowsill, Liz Blatchford, Luke McKenzie and Ashley Gentle for her two Junior Silver medals. Jenny did her first ironman event in Busselton at 55 years old in Dec 2014 – won and qualified for Kona in 10hrs 54. Ten weeks before Kona in 2015 she had a major bike accident broke her right collar bone, 3 x ribs broken and dislocated, 2 fractures in her right wrist and one compound fractured finger and another broken finger to top it off. While she still thought she might be able to get ready for Kona that was seriously wishful thinking but she only went to Kona for the experience and reconnaissance to check out what conditions and course in the hope of qualifying again. Jenny did Cairns Ironman in 2016 and won in 10hrs 38 and qualified for Kona. It was a big year for her placing 2nd at the World 70.3 champs in Mooloolaba to June Ward and winning the World Off-Road Trex Triathlon World champs later that year. Jenny did her first IRONMAN World Championships at 57 and became World Ironman Champion, a few mins ahead of a former multiple IRONMAN World Champ Ellen Hart. This year her preparation has been even more focused than ever but she will not underestimate her very competitive opponents. She is in Kona for the win and this will be her fifth IRONMAN.
PARALYZED ATHLETE & ADVENTURER TAKES ON NEXT CHALLENGE
- Age: 29 (1/26/88)
- Address: Nacka, Sweden
- Topline Story: Aron developed cancer at the age of 7 and needed life-saving surgery to remove a large tumor in his spine, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Post-surgery, he needed to lie on his stomach for six weeks and was not allowed to sit at all for another year. Aron vowed to pull through and fulfill his dream of becoming an athlete nevertheless. His dream came true and he competed in sailing, track & field in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics and represented Sweden in ice hockey for 9 years. Together with a group of supporters he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, rode his handbike from Sweden to Paris, and won the 2017 edition of the Red Bull Wings for Life World Run. Today, Aron is a motivational speaker with more than 100,000 followers across his social media platforms.
THE CROCODILE DUNDEE OF IRONMAN
- Age: 40 (7/06/1977)
- Address: Eneabba, Western Australia
- Topline Story: With summer temperatures in hovering around 48 °C, prevailing winds, the nearest bitumen road 12-km from your house and a public swimming pool that only opens four months of the year, Eneabba, three hours north of Perth, is far from the ideal training environment for any budding IRONMAN. But that hasn’t stopped Western Australian IRONMUM, Caroline Ashby from qualifying for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona three times.
- On a daily basis Caroline proves that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Extreme cold in winter, Eneabba is also known as one of the windiest and hottest place in Western Australia. Training means you are in the elements all the time, whether it is the wind, the rain, the heat or the terrain. In summer it sits on about 48 degrees and about 35 degrees when you wake up. When Caroline has a long bike ride scheduled she has been known to get up at 2am so she can go riding at 3am in the cool. In winter it can be mid 20s but there is usually a week when it gets down to five degrees and there is one section of her bike ride when it gets down to zero. Most of her easy riding is on the wind trainer during the week because nothing outside is easy. For her long ride she drive out to the bitumen road and that is 12-km away. Swimming is done on a dam on her property which is a 100 metres when it is half full, a hundred and twenty metres when it is full and 80 metres when it is low. In winter the water is 11 degrees, and Caroline trains in a wetsuit, gloves and booties to save herself from hypothermia. In harvest time there are trucks constantly going up and down the roads carting lime for all the farmers. So she is lit up like a canary, yellow everywhere and lights. All the trucks know her and they toot, there is that crazy lady again going for her bike ride. When it is windy she has to stop when they pass because they can suck you in and spit you out again. Everything she does is by herself and there are no coffee shops but she does have a friend that lives about 80km from her place who leaves the coffee machine on. In summer, with no access to water on her rides she texts the people closest to the road so they leave water out for her.
FROM TACKLING ENGLISH CHANNEL TO TAKING ON KONA
- Age: 53 (8/12/64)
- Address: North Balgowlah, Australia
- Topline Story: Graham is an intense athlete, swimming the English Channel and coming in first in his age group at the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
PRESIDENT OF A&E NETWORKS TAKES ON IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
- Age: 55 (10/7/66)
- Address: Old Greenwich, CT
- Topline Story: Paul, a multi-time IRONMAN finisher, leads a TV empire, running A&E, History, Lifetime, and FYI networks, and A&E Digital. He has developed hit shows including Duck Dynasty, Cake Boss, 4th and Loud. As Chairman of ITV, he launched Gordon Ramsey’s TV career producing Hell’s Kitchen. Paul also greenlighted the original productions – The 44th President: In His Own Words and Alcatraz: Search for the Truth. Admist a busy career, Paul still finds a way to fit in training for IRONMAN races.
ATHLETE OVERCOMES DOMESTIC ABUSE
- Age: 45 (1/15/72)
- Address: Salt Lake City, UT
- Topline Story: Heather is a survivor of domestic violence, and now advocates for awareness. She has been an athlete her entire life, swimming competitively since she was six. Heather’s passion for endurance sports turned into her profession, as she worked for Alabama State University as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for their Division I football, tennis and volleyball teams after she received her license as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Heather also became a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling Coach in 2012, and now coached full-time Balanced Art Multisport. More info here: www.coachheathercasey.com/meet-heather-casey
HERO AT SANTA ROSA TAKES TALENTS TO KONA
Dr. Patricia DeLaMora
- Age: 43 (11/11/73)
- Address: Larchmont, New York
- Topline Story: Patricia is an Associate Attending Pediatrician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medicine. An 11-time IRONMAN Finisher, Patricia made national news headlines when she stopped mid-course at IRONMAN Santa Rosa to assist another athlete who had collapsed, administered CPR for nearly 10 minutes and saved his life – all before finishing the race.
TRIATHLON TRAINING FOR A CURE
- Age: 59 (9/30/58)
- Address: Roswell, GA
- Topline Story: Reiko is the mother of a teenage daughter with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare multisystem genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and on other vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, lungs and skin. She suffers from epilepsy, autism, and intellectual disability even after having brain surgery when she was 8 years old. Using her training for IRONMAN as a platform, Reiko has been raising funds for TS Alliance in order to help find a cure.
COMBAT VET RACES IN HONOR OF FALLEN MARINE CORPS BROTHERS
- Age: 34 (4/5/83)
- Address: Walnut Creek, CA
- Topline Story: A Marine Corps veteran, Mike completed several tours in Iraq. He took part in the in heavy urban fighting during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004. While there, 29 of his military brothers lost their lives beside him. Once he got back to the United States, he spent many years trying to numb out and avoid the pain through drugs and alcohol. After he was diagnosed with PTSD, Mike decided to turn his life around and find a deeper meaning, using triathlon as a recovery tool. During each event, Mike wears the names of his fallen Marine Corps brothers on his race kit and dedicates the races to their memory & families. He is currently using his Kona journey to raise money for Sentinels of Freedom.
DOING IT FOR HIS MATE SID JAMES
- Age: 58 (23/03/1959
- Address: Adelaide, South Australia
- Topline story: World age group triathlon champion Kevin Fergusson would do anything for a mate and long-time friend Sid James. While Kevin has finished more than 30 IRONMAN races, including four IRONMAN World Championships, winning his age group twice, Sid’s dream to race IRONMAN was shattered 23 years ago when he knocked from his bike near his home at Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide during a training ride, leaving him quadriplegic. Sid will accompany Kevin to Kona in 2017 to share the experience of the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
A RELENTLESS TRANSFORMATION
- Age: 42 (3/11/75)
- Address: Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong
- Topline Story: Not long away from giving birth to their first baby daughter, David’s wife caught him outside sneaking a cigarette after he promised he would quit for the umpteenth time. She painted a picture of this child being born with her father, her daughter’s role model, being unfit and overweight, and asked if that was what I wanted for her, and for himself. Weighing over 265 lbs., David and his wall of denial and rationalization came crashing down, and he embarked on his personal race to transform himself into a world-class athlete, starting from scratch to competing in IRONMAN triathlons up to World Championship level. His book on the transformation, Relentless, includes an endorsement from IRONMAN CEO, Andrew Messick.
COUPLE COMPETES TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY
- Age: 31 (5/13/86)
- Address: Oakwood Hills, IL
- Topline Story: Jacqui married her husband Ryan on October 13, 2012, the same day of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. Jacqui and Ryan planned on celebrating their one-year anniversary in Hawai’i, by competing in the IRONMAN World Championship. Jacqui told her husband that she wanted to compete at the World Championship for five straight years before taking a pause to start a family. This year marks the fifth year of this pact, and Jacqui cannot think of a better way of celebrating their love for triathlon and each other.
ATHLETE RECOVERS FROM ACCIDENT TO REACH DREAM OF RACING IN KONA
- Age: 35 (9/6/1982)
- Address: Charlotte, NC
- Topline Story: A near-fatal collision might have sidelined Mark’s dreams of racing in Kona, but he remained determined to recover and compete this October. After sustaining five fractures to his spine and rib cage, and 10 staples in his scalp to close the impact wound that caused the injury, doctors told him that his chances of recovering his physical abilities in time to participate in the IRONMAN World Championship were simply unrealistic. Devastated by the prognosis, but Mark equally determined to overcoming his injuries. He has worked extremely hard to recover from the accident and is headed to Kona. He is confident that he will make it to the finish line. See more here.
ATHLETE RACES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND NOW TO KONA
- Age: 66 (11/7/50)
- Address: Plymouth, MA
- Topline Story: Mary competed in her first IRONMAN at the age of 60 as a way to celebrate surviving cancer. Mary competed at Lake Placid to qualify for this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, just one month after racing across the country as part of a four-woman team for Race Across America (RAAM). RAAM is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance bicycling events in the world. Racers must cycle 3,000 miles, across 12 states and traversing roughly 170,000 vertical feet.
PILOT AND CAPTAIN OF NAVAL ACADEMY TRI TEAM
- Age: 22 (5/14/95)
- Address: Annapolis, MD
- Topline Story: Megan is a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. She graduated from the Naval Academy on May 26, 2017 and is hoping to obtain a slot as a pilot. Megan is currently the captain of the Naval Academy Triathlon Team.
TEAM HOYT RETURNS WITH A NEW LOOK
- Age: 52 (3/29/1963)
- Address: Holland, MA
- Age: 48 (8/27/1969)
- Address: Methuen, MA
- Top Storyline: Dick and Rick Hoyt (better known as Team Hoyt) have competed together in road races and triathlons for forty years including the completion of two IRONMAN World Championship events. Rick was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, but his father was going to let that stop them from heading out onto a race course together. During competitions, Dick had pulled Rick in a special boat as they swim, carried him in a special seat in the front of his bicycle, and pushed him in a special wheelchair as they run. After Dick retired from the longer distance races in 2015, Bryan, a close family friend, was honored to continue the tradition of Team Hoyt, allowing Rick’s competitive spirit to thrive. Team Hoyt was inducted to the IRONMAN Hall of Fame in 2008
MULTIPLE SWIMMING WORLD CHAMPION WITH A KNACK FOR TRIATHLON
- Age: 37 (03/06/1980)
- Address: Göteborg, Sweden, Germany
- Topline Story: Emma is a 4-time World Champion and 13-time European Champion as well as Olympian (2000 Games in Sydney, Australia) from Sweden. Emma quit her careeer after years of battling bulimia nervosa and has been a vocal advocate of speaking out about the disease. Emma has set multiple world-records and was the first woman to break the 30 seconds dream mark in the 50m breat stroke. Today, Emma works in banking and as an expert for TV.
LEG NUMBNESS WON’T KEEP IRONMAN FROM KONA
- Age: 50 (5/31/67)
- Address: Carrollton, TX
- Topline Story: Diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease in 2003, Brad couldn’t walk and required a five-day blood transfusion and months of rehab. After being told he would never be able to compete in athletic endeavors, he’s since completed 13 full-distance IRONMAN triathlons despite pain and numbness in his legs. This October, he aims to be the first person as a blood-transfused Guillain-Barré survivor to ever cross the finish line in Kona.
COPS FOR CANCER MEMBER RACES IN HONOR OF TEAMMATE
- Age: 27 (11/25/89)
- Address: Edmonton, Alberta, CA
- Topline Story: Since 2012, Sarah has been competing in IRONMAN races, with the World Championship being her 11th This is the first year she has qualified for the World Championship. Sarah is also a member of the Cops for Cancer Ironteam, a group of triathletes who raise money in support of cancer charities and research. This past November, she lost one of her teammates to cancer at the age of 34. She states how he was one of the most inspiring individuals that she has ever met, and it was his dream to one day race in Kona. This year, she will be racing at Kona in his memory.
PANCREATIC CANCER PATIENT SEEKS FINAL FINISH LINE
- Age: 68 (12/22/48)
- Address: Carlsbad, CA
- Topline Story: One year ago, Mike was just beginning to accept the seemingly inevitable fate of his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. However, a conversation with an old friend – IRONMAN legend Kathleen McCartney (see below) – led to an unexpected and reluctant bike ride to raise Mike’s spirits. Twelve months later, Mike and Kathleen are astounding his doctors and defying the odds by logging 140-miles per week together on the bike. It was Kathleen’s iconic race in February of 82’, where she passed Julie Moss in the final meters of the marathon, which initially ignited Mike’s passion for IRONMAN. Mike was one of the several hundred who signed up for the 1982 October race after watching the event on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. After completing that first race, Mike went on to have an impressive amateur athletic career. Mike’s race to compete is fueling his survival, and he has received “wholehearted endorsement” from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate of only 9 percent, and Mike is looking for IRONMAN “to help [him] close the door gracefully, with passion, having lived a wonderful life.”
FROM CHEMO TO KONA
- Age: 52 (2/9/65)
- Address: Atlanta, GA
- Topline Story: Paul has been an athlete most of his life, taking a brief hiatus to build his own business. He returned to endurance sports in 2000, and by 2016 had competed in 22 full-distance IRONMAN races. Paul has also competed in participation with the Kyle Pease Foundation, as well as helping many athletes needing assistance, cross the finish line. Paul has had to come over some recent challenges, as he was diagnosed with cancer in June 2016 and has been fighting ever since. His treatment is planned to be completed by June or July, after which he will face his next challenge, Kona. More here: atlantatriathlonclub.com/ambassador/paul-linck
FROM PUNK ROCK FRONTMAN TO VEGAN IRONMAN
John Joseph McGowan
- Age: 55 (10/3/1962)
- Address: New York, NY
- Topline Story:As the lead singer in the 80’s for the influential hardcore punk band the Cro-Mags, John Joseph channeled his tough upbringings on the streets of New York City into his music. Inspired by watching Dave Scott and Mark Allen’s IRON War in the 80s, he decided to challenge himself by taking on his first triathlon in 2012 at the IRONMAN U.S. Championship in New York City and loved the experience. McGowan, a steadfast Vegan, has authored of the book Meat Is for Pussies, on vegan nutrition, training, and the healthy lifestyle, in 2010, and his memoir, The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, prior to that in 2007.
RECOVERED FROM BIKE CRASH NOW IRONMAN All World Athlete
Choo Ling Er
- Age: 30
- Address: Singapore, Singapore
- Topline Story: Ling Er was involved in a car accident while cycling in 2009. She broke her left femur bone, right ankle, tore a ligament on her right knee, fractured her tail bone and, thanks to her helmet, only a small blood clot in her brain. Doctors told her that there was no way she could run again with the damaged ankle and knee. So she started swimming. After six months the doctor permitted her to start walking again. She’s racing in Kona and target to finish top five of her age group (30-34). She was ranked AWA #1 globally in IRONMAN 70.3 of her age group (25-29 in 2016) and is thinking of moving to professional triathlete
WOMAN LEFT PARALYZED AFTER FREAK DIVING ACCIDENT BREAKS PARA-TRI RECORDS
- Age: 52 (1/12/65)
- Address: Lincolnshire, England
- Topline Story:A mother-of-two left paralyzed from the waist down in a freak diving accident has overcome her injuries to become a gold medal winning para-triathlete. The former teacher was on a scuba diving trip in Falmouth when her buoyancy device failed, letting in high pressure air. Liz, who was exploring a shipwreck at 66m, was forced into a rapid ascent to the surface in less than a minute, missing an hour’s worth of decompression stops and resulting in a very severe case of ‘the bends’ (decompression illness). Her injuries were severe and included damaged lungs and decompression illness in her spinal cord, rendering her paralyzed from the waist down – with medics later saying she was ‘lucky to be alive’. The horrific accident in June 2005 left Liz suffering from severe pain, depression and reliant on a long list of prescription drugs. For years, she suffered from PTSD and could recall every precise moment of her accident – including every painful sensation. However, 12 years on the brave mother has quit her job as a teacher and competed internationally in a host of Para-Triathlon events, scooping medals at both world and European level. She is now training to compete at Kona in the handcycle division.
DEDICATED TO HELPING OTHERS
- Age: 29 (9/1/98)
- Address: West End, Australia
- Topline Story: Since Brock’s final tour in Afghanistan back in 2011, he has been growing out his hair. Now, he plans to raise money for a charity that helps kids with cancer, by shaving his head just before the race at Kona. He will also will donate the hair to be made into a wig. He hopes that he can bring awareness for the cause through the competition.
ICONIC IRONMAN FINISHERS ARE BACK
- Age: 58 (10/15/58)
- Address: Cardiff, CA
- Topline Story: Julie had the famous “crawl-finish” when she completed Kona in 1982, when she was just 23. Now 58, Julie just won her age group at the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship in Texas, and is excited to compete again this year in Kona.
- Age: 58 (3/25/59)
- Address: La Jolla, CA
- Topline Story: In the iconic race of February 1982, Kathleen beat a crawling Julie Moss to the finish line in the final meters to earn her IRONMAN World Championship title. It was that inspiring finish which initially ignited Mike Levine’s passion for IRONMAN (see above). Mike was one of the several hundred who signed up for the 1982 October race after watching the event on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. After completing that first race, Mike went on to have an impressive amateur athletic career, but following a Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Kathleen encouraged the reluctant Mike to get back on the bike to raise his spirits. Now they are good friends and are both looking forward to creating a new great memory of Kona, as they both reflect on their first.
GATORADE SCIENTIST TAKES ON KONA FOR HIMSELF
- Age: 45 (9/7/72)
- Address: Park Ridge, IL
- Topline Story: Matthew is a scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and has provided guidance on the reformulated Gatorade Endurance Formula that is found along the Kona course. He has tested athletes in Kona to provide them with fluid and sodium losses, as well as nutritional consults in 2003, 2015, and 2016 and now in 2017. For Matthew, the sport of triathlon is a passion and he is honored to finally qualify for Kona and compete in the race himself.
NOT DEFINED BY HIS CHAIR
- Age: 37 (9/20/1980)
- Address: Weesp, NL
- Topline Story: Bas became paralyzed due a motorcycle accident. However, in 2008, after an eight-month period in rehab, he decided to lead an active life again and began to play wheelchair tennis. After a few years, Bas traded in wheelchair tennis for triathlons, proving anything is possible. Bas was chosen at random, as part of the IRONMAN World Championship Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition Division Drawing, to compete in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.
PUNTOUS TWINS INSPIRE HER TO GO BIG
- Age: 54 (1/22/63)
- Address: Sellersburg, IN
- Topline Story: When Rachel was a young girl, she remembers watching the Wild World of Sports with Jim McKay discussing Patricia and Sylviane Puntous and their IRONMAN training and subsequent Kona victories, and knew it was an achievement she wanted for herself. After 35 years, three children, a miscarriage, a divorce, a hysterectomy and menopause – she has finally qualified to make it happen.
PARALYMPIC AND WORLD CHAMPION ITU TRIATHLON TO HANDCYCLE IN KONA
- Age: 26 (6/10/1991)
- Address: Zuid-Holland, NL
- Topline Story: In the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, Plat competed in both cycling and para-triathlon and won the paratriathlon gold medal in the PT1 class. He also won a bronze medal in the Men’s Road Race in H5 class. Jetze will race in the handcycle divison at the IRONMAN World Championship this October.
SLOW SWIMMERS CAN STILL MAKE IT TO KONA WITH A BIT OF WORK
- Age: 40 (7/20/77)
- Address: Bangalore, India
- Topline Story: Like many others, Deepak Raj took up running and triathlon to lose weight. From being an unfit 95 kgs, Deepak has transformed himself over the years losing 30 kilos and making Triathlon his passion and work. No swimming background and last person out of the water in his debut IRONMAN meant he came close to missing his swim cut off time (2 hrs. 15 min in IRONMAN AUSTRALIA 2008) in his first IRONMAN (Swim Time of 2 hrs. 13 min 13 sec) and managed to finish his debut IRONMAN in 15 hrs. 52 min. After that, he worked hard and over the years, got his IRONMAN Finish to 10 hrs. 19 min and no longer cuts his swim too close swimming around 1:07 J. Deepak has now done 18 IRONMAN and now would be racing KONA in 2017 representing India. There has been only 1 other person from India who has ever raced Kona before Deepak and it is a proud moment for him and India. 4 years back, he quit his 14-year successful corporate career to take up full time triathlon coaching and training to develop the sport of Triathlon in India. He has inspired hundreds of people in India through his journey to get fitter, take up the sport of Triathlon and has trained and coached a number of people to their first IRONMAN journey.
IRONMAN QUALIFIES FOR KONA AFTER TWO DECADES OF TRYING
- Age: 49 (12/6/67)
- Address: Kennewick, WA
- Topline Story: Victor has been competing in triathlons since 1986, and has tried on and off since 1993 to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. He is thrilled that he has finally qualified after winning his age group during the race at Coeur d’Alene. His daughter, Nicole Renard, is Miss Washington and will be going to Kona to support her father. Nicole is looking to get involved in volunteering at the World Championship as well.
GERMANY’S BEST KNOWN NEWS ANCHOR RACES
- Age: 41 (12/30/67)
- Address: Hamburg, Germany
- Topline Story: Thorsten Schröder is the main news anchor of the “Tagesschau”, the daily news show of ARD, one of two of Germany’s public television channels. Schröder has authoried multiple triathlon books and his been extremely public about his passion for cycling and triathlon. As fate would have it he secured his first ever ticket to Kona in his hometown at the inaugural IRONMAN Hamburg.
CONQUERED THE SWIM TO BECOME AN IRONMAN
- Age: 39 (12/5/77)
- Address: Walmer, South Africa
- Topline Story: Hanson has always had a passion for the sport, but he got into triathlon by chance. IRONMAN South Africa Race Director, Paul Wolff, spotted him when he was in charge of the maintenance of the swimming pool at a Virgin Active gym in Port Elizabeth. Hanson who although was in charge of maintenance could not swim, and he showed an interest in the training that Paul was giving in the pool. Paul taught Hanson to swim and was incorporated into the SA Triathlon Development team in November 2004, five months before the full IRONMAN South Africa race. He began racing in 2005, and has never looked back despite the hardships that come with participating in triathlon. He is extremely pleased to be competing at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona and is proud of the community that raised him and for the support he continues to receive from all sport loving people of South Africa.
ATHLETE OVERCOMES ADDICTION TO MAKE FAMILY PROUD
- Age: 35 (3/5/82)
- Address: Omaha, NE
- Topline Story: Ten years ago, Caleb was homeless, an alcoholic dealing with a severe cocaine and methamphetamine addiction. After realizing his daughter needed a father, Caleb began a 12-step program to get sober. Caleb then took a few strides after this program as he began to run, eventually training for endurance sports and losing 100 pounds in the process. Caleb began to compete in IRONMAN events, and has now qualified for Kona. He sets these high goals not only for his own success, but so that his daughter can learn from his example and lead a great life. Caleb and his wife also run daycares committed to healthy lifestyle practices for young children. Watch more of his story here.
AFTER 16 YEARS OF COMPETING ACTOR QUALIFIES FOR DREAM RACE
- Age: 49 (4/2/1968)
- Address: Westport, CT
- Topline Story: Colin is professionally trained actor, whose career spans television, film, theatre, and commercials. His notable appearances include the critically acclaimed HBO series Treme and award winning Lee Daniels’ The Butler. He has shared the screen with and worked alongside his share of Oscar, Emmy & Tony winners throughout his career. Colin watched IRONMAN on ABC’s Wide World of Sports when he was a kid and has dreamt of racing in the IRONMAN World Championship ever since. He has been competing in IRONMAN events since 2001 and never believed he would one day make it to Kona. Now he has qualified he will have his chance.
FIGHTING CANCER Through IRONMAN Racing
- Age: 51 (8/13/1966)
- Address: Fountain Valley, CA
- Topline Story: Christopher and his wife Crea have endured an overwhelming amount of hardship in short period of time. Over the course of 18 months, Christopher’s father was diagnosed and lost his battle with cancer, his first-born daughter passed away and his wife began her own battle with cancer. Christopher decided to fight back and has taken to racing IRONMAN to help raise money in an effort to battle the deadly disease. He is trying to raise $130,000 to fight cancer in part to honor the ones he has lost, but also the help rid the world of cancer. Read more about Chris story here.
OLYMPIC SWIMMER IS HEADED TO KONA
- Age: 37
- Address: Denpasar, Indonesia
- Topline Story: Andy represented Indonesia at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as a swimmer