Next weekend, one of our Durtbagz is competing in what is not his first Ironman competition, up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. You da ho. I’m sorry, there’s no way I can say Idaho and not say that.
Not only is he doing a freaking Ironman, he’s also raising a butt load of money for my friend’s endowment at MD Anderson. See, Tim (said Durtbag) is also very good friends with Megan, the one we lost in January. He’s not just raising some cash to be able to say he donated, he’s raised $27,000. You read that right: $27,000 is what this guy has raised. Holy cannoli.
This isn’t the first race he’s done to raise money. Here’s a clip of Tim and Team Megan at the Hospital Hill run that happened in KC last weekend.
Anyway, in honor of Tim and his what he’s doing for Megan, and the fact that we finally got our Triathlon bags and shirts over at Durtbagz.com (woo hoo!), I thought we’d go back in time and look at where the Ironman competition came from.
People are crazy and have too much time on their hands so they decided to kill themselves and do an Ironman. The end.
Well, there’s a little more to it.
Back in the late 70’s, these people out in Hawai’i were having the debate of which type of athlete was in better shape: runners or swimmers. An article in Sports Illustrated ran about the same time, stating that Eddy Merckx, a cyclist, had the highest ever recorded rate of oxygen uptake and therefore, was the fittest athlete in the world.
To settle the debate, John Collins, a Naval Commander in Hawai’i suggested that they combine the three already existing long-distance races in each of the categories into one, and boo yeah, Ironman.
There a are a few more details to how the race became exactly the mileage it is today, but you get the point.
Collins was going to change the race into a relay event, but Sports Illustrated an another article, this time a 10 pager on the Ironman. After it ran, hundreds of people contacted Collins about participating and he ended up keeping it “as-is”.
Before the race, each participant received a 3-page flyer, covering the distances and routes. On the last page was handwritten, “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life“. It’s now their trademarked slogan.
Today, there are Ironman competitions all over the world, with the world championships still held in Hawai’i, every year.
The next natural step looks like it would be getting the competition into the Olympics. If I had to guess, I’d say that process would look a little something like this.