Congratulations to our Fitness Director Matt Chauvin for qualifying for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
What is an IRONMAN? The IRONMAN Triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike race, and a 26.2 mile run. The event begins at 7 a.m. and competitors are required to cross the finish line by midnight, with strict time cutoffs for each leg of the race. The idea for the IRONMAN race originated from the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. Members of the 5-person teams often debated whether runners or swimmers were in better shape. The bike race was also added when U.S. Navy Commander John Collins argued that cyclists were more athletic. The first IRONMAN Triathlon was held on February 18, 1978, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was created in an attempt to settle the debate. The event quickly became famous for its harsh conditions and length. The triathlon was repeated several times with extensive television coverage. The first to finish the race would be declared an "Iron Man."
The IRONMAN format remains unchanged today, and the Hawaiian IRONMAN is still regarded as an honored and prestigious triathlon event to win worldwide. IRONMAN Triathlons are held worldwide, and the Hawaiian IRONMAN Triathlon is now known as the IRONMAN World Championship held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Matt began doing IRONMAN Triathlons in 1998 and has completed 17 full distance IRONMANs around the world to date. His favorite IRONMAN was in Brazil, with Canada a close second and his personal best time was 10 hours 45 minutes in Brazil. He will have the honor of racing in the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii on October 11, 2014. He qualified for the world championship through the Legacy Program.
To enroll in the Legacy Program athletes must meet all four of the following requirements:
- Athlete must have completed a minimum of twelve (12) full-distance IRONMAN-branded races (includes existing and past events) by December 31, 2013.
- Athlete has never participated in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
- Athlete must have completed at least one full-distance IRONMAN event in 2012 and 2013.
- Athlete must be registered for a full-distance IRONMAN event in 2014. (Originally from: http://www.IRONMAN.com/triathlon/lottery-and-legacy.aspx#ixzz3CpQITRWR)
It requires tremendous commitment and determination to qualify for Kona. More than 60,000 triathletes try each year, but only about 2,000+ win coveted Kona Slots (1,700+ qualifiers, plus lottery winners, etc.). It requires even more commitment to train for the race, a bare minimum of 13 hours of training per week for upwards of eight months prior to the race. It is said that training for an IRONMAN is like having a part-time job on top of your everyday life and work.
So, when you see Matt around, offer him some words of encouragement and luck in his upcoming race. And if you’d like to follow his progress on race day, go to www.ironman.com and click on the live athlete tracker. Houston is five hours ahead of Kona, so when Matt starts racing on October 11th at 7a.m., it will be 12p.m. here.