The Ultimate: Worldchampionship Ironman Hawaii

Today at 6:30pm CET the race of all triathlon races starts on Hawaii, Kona. The unofficial Ironman worldchampionship (3,8k swim, 180k bike, 42.2k run). Unofficial because the official worldwide triathlon union is the ITU, part of the UCI, but the commercial Ironman organisation seems to give the sport much more magic. Many people asking me about Ironman and it’s just like the boxing federation in the US. There are several of them all competing to be THE authority and front runner as an organisation for the sport. For the last couple of weeks my timeline is exploding with posts about this upcoming event. When I started training more than 2 years ago now pretty soon I was sucked into the world of triathlon. I have to admit that it is a kind of addiction. Triathletes are still a rare species with something in common that makes it special. Last week I was opening a congress for entrepreneurs and the theme of that day was passion. I told about my passion, triathlon, and after the opening one guy came to me. A triathlon rookie. In a split second we are on the same page where we could have talked for hours about this sport.

Bike gear porn

You can understand that this is THE day for all triathlon vendors to show off. The sponsored triathletes will get the latest bikes, helmets, tri-suits,running shoes, goggles and other stuff and the whole community is jumping on it. This is where we can see which new products are coming up for 2014. This is where we can start saving money for the new gear we think we need for the new season. The bikes are probably the most awesome to look at. There is a big difference between a time trial bike, used in UCI races e.g. the Tour de France, and triathlon bikes. There is a big difference between a time trial bike, used in UCI races e.g. the Tour de France, and triathlon bikes.With a true triathlon bike you are not allowed to compete with it in UCI races. Regulations about sizes, weight and other rules exclude those bikes. A triathlon bike is made in such a way that during cycling it spares your legs so you can do a proper run afterwards. There are many other differences like to size of the tubes, seatpost etc. Since the triathlete community is still relatively small for a vendor it is quite an investment and risk to build a 100% triathlon bike. But it looks like this is changing. My own bike is a Specialized Shiv and many new bikes has been or will be released purely for the triathlon discipline.

Our heroes

Every single step of the top 10 contenders are registered by the triathlon media. New bikes, new gear, new training methods etc. If you walk around in Kona you will only see triathletes doing their last preparations. I felt a glimps of it doing my first half Ironman (1,9k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run) in Austria – Zell-am-See last September finishing in 5:58 hours. I can imagine that in Hawaii this is simply the bomb.

Bas Diederen, Dutchcontender

When you think you have trained well and your are looking good, there are always others that look much more better and more trained. It’s a weird environment with weird people doing weird things. In the US being a pro pays off. Guys like Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs can live of the sport sponsored by great brands. Our national hero Bas Diederen, who showed to be a serious contender (3rd place EC Ironman), has to do it with a lot less. Off course he has sponsors but you can not compare it with the big guys. That would be great to see if he will be able to get on the podium. Very curious to see what happens than! Age grouper Hanneke de Boer needs to do it all herself. She shows that anything is possible by following your dreams. Her impressive road to Kona inspires others and myself.


It’s hard to explain to others what triathlon does with your mind and soul. It is taking yourself to the max, a drive to proof yourself that you can do it. I am convinced that doing this sports brings a lot of benefits with it, being fit and exercising the art of discipline. There are also downsides. The number of hours you need to train on a weekly basis is hardly doable. For a half Ironman its about 8-10 hours a week. For a full one you have to training 20-25 hours a week. For a full one you have to training 20-25 hours a week.It is definitely my dream to finish a long distance Ironman at least once, hopefully somewhere in the next few years. The challenge is the balance with the family and my marketing profession. Both I am also passionate about so that makes it even more difficult. For me with the half Ironman the season ended. As of January 1st I will start to pick up my rigid training schemes. Now make sure I maintain my fitness and enjoy all other races like this one. I can’t wait to watch the race later today, looking at our heroes and all awesome gear passing by.

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