In 1977, the inaugural running of the “Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon” occured as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at a local biathlon. San Diego-based John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i – the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon – into one event.
That first event saw people attempting to take on the IRONMAN challenge. Prior to racing, each received three sheets of paper with a few rules and a course description. The last page read: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”
In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama, and athletes battle the “ho’omumuku” crosswinds of 45 mph, 95 degree temperatures and a scorching sun.
Now in its 34th year, the IRONMAN World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the Ironman mantra that “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. ®” On October 13, nearly 1,800 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of “IRONMAN.”