Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ironman World Championships

Now on to a different type of championship. Ironman. The big one. This is the one, the only -- Kona. Ironman, what many consider to be the pinnacle of Triathlon started in 1981 on the island of Kona with a handful of athletes doing what seeming simply crazy. Swim 2.4 miles in the ocean, cycle 112 miles along the windy and blistering hot hills, and then finish with a 26.2 mile run. The Ironman has since become an incredible icon in the world of endurance sports and now many thousands of athletes dream of their chance to go to Kona. Because of the huge demand, one can only race at Kona of one qualifies at another Ironman race or wins a precious lottery spot. The big event takes place this weekend!

I have mentioned before that I am a member of the Los Angeles Tri Club, the largest triathlon club in the US. You would expect that among the ranks of such a large club, would be quite a few athletes going to Kona, and you would be right. This year the club is sending an astounding eleven members to Kona. Seven members have qualified and four lucky souls received lottery spots.

Today I wanted to mention one of these athletes, whom I have had the pleasure of training with -- Holger Beckmann, bib number 856. This will not be the first trip to Kona for Holger. You can read about Holger's first journey to Kona here. Holger is an incredible force, and I have heard other club members literally lament that Holger will always be in his age group.

But more than just an incredible athlete, Holger is a great person. He is a regular at the LA Tri Club's "Gladstone Swim" in Pacific Palisades on Fridays. We usually swim in the ocean for just over a mile and then head up to the hills for a trail run, a great time had by all. Here I am, a total newbie who can barely run at all, and he is always encouraging and supportive with a kind word and good advice. He is very friendly and incredibly enthusiastic about the sport of triathlon. Fortunately the LA Tri Club is filled with such great people and why I love being a part of it.

Go Holger!

You can follow Holger and the other participants at Kona on race day at Ironman Live.

On a training note, I did a treadmill run for 50 minutes and 4.2 miles.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled on to you blog, and just wanted to point out that the Ironman Triathlon in held near the city of Kona, on the western coast of Hawaii(The Big Island, not the state). Kona is the town, not the island.

10:13 PM  

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