Iron Man Hawaii. Everything you need to know | Sport

Mythos Hawaii – We’ll get you fit for the triathlon peak!

After three years, the world’s top triathletes return to Hawaii. The legendary Ironman will be held there tomorrow and Saturday – spread over two days for the first time. For the professionals around the German Hawaii champions Anne Haug (39) and Patrick Lange (36) and for the best age group athletes, it’s the world championship titles. The race had to be canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

We’ll get you in shape for the triathlon event of the year!

How long is the route and why?

The athletes swim 3.86 kilometers in the Pacific Ocean, cycle 180.2 kilometers and then run the marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers. This is historically justified. The starting point was a discussion between a small group of American endurance athletes whether swimmers, runners or cyclists were fitter. John Collins’ solution: Combine three endurance events that already exist on Oahu and see who wins in the end. The Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the Around Oahu Bike Race and the Honolulu Marathon. On February 18, 1978, 15 men began the premiere on Waikiki Beach.

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Why is it called Iron Man?

Collins said at the time, “Whoever finishes first is what we call the Iron Man.” In English: “Whoever finishes first, we will call him the man of iron.” Anyone who to this day completes an Ironman, anywhere in the world, will hear the moderator’s four magic words: “You are an Ironman.”

Why is the Ironman Hawaii a myth?

On the one hand, because it is the oldest long-distance race ever, the origin of the scene. More tradition is not possible. Since 1981, the race has been held on the Big Island instead of Oahu. No less important, only the best meet in Hawaii – in the pros and in the age groups. It’s the Ironman World Championship. More prestige is not possible. The extreme conditions of heat, high humidity and gusts of wind also contribute to the myth. And of course: all the stories of winners, brave warriors and dramas big and small.

Is any long distance an Ironman?

no Ironman has been a brand for a long time. The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), a commercial company, organizes the events under the Ironman brand. Every Ironman is a long distance (half the distance is called Ironman 70.3 in total), but not every long distance is an Ironman. There are also other organizers such as the Challenge Family, which includes the cult race in Roth, and several smaller ones. However, Ironman is often used as a synonym for long distance – that is not strictly correct.

Can anyone in Hawaii participate?

Anyone can enter other endurance races, but you must qualify for Hawaii whether you are a professional or an athlete of your age group. It is, after all, a World Cup. This is possible worldwide in all competitions of the Ironman series. Depending on the field of participants, a different number of slots (starting places) is allocated, sometimes only to the winner, sometimes to the first four. The prize giving is always the allocation of slots. It’s worth going like an eight. Because everyone who wins a slot can only accept it if they are there themselves, agree immediately and immediately pay the entry fee. That’s why there are always followers. Qualification is difficult and few can do it. For them, there is the legacy program, which awarded a total of 175 Hawaii slots in 2019. Works like collecting points on a stamp card, where you get something for your diligence at the end. Here it is Hawaii’s launch site. Main requirement: Finish a minimum of twelve Ironman races.

Wasn’t there an Ironman World Championship?

It is correct. On May 7 in St. George, Utah. An unusual place, an unusual date. For the first time in history, the race was not held in Hawaii. The reason was the corona pandemic. The edition in October 2020 had to be canceled without a replacement and the race in the autumn of 2021 was also cancelled. To ensure that the World Cup does not fail a second time, the 2021 edition has been postponed to May 7, 2022 in St. George. The winners: Kristian Blummenfelt (Norway) and Daniela Ryf (Switzerland). The best Germans were Florian Angert in fifth and Anne Haug in third. Jan Frodeno and Patrick Lange were injured.

Why is the race spread over two days for the first time?

So far, about 2,500 athletes have participated in Hawaii each year. The corona-related cancellations in 2020 and 2021 along with other normal Ironman races worldwide led to a large number of qualified people. The age group athletes could have competed in St. George, but most chose Hawaii. In order not to increase the traffic congestion for the athletes, about 5,000 athletes are now taking part – and that is only possible by leveling the competition over two days.

Anne Haug (39), the first German Hawaii winner in 2019, is considered a million favorite

Anne Haug (39), the first German Hawaii winner in 2019, is considered a million favorite

Photo: David Pintens/dpa

Is it really the hardest long distance?

Ironman Hawaii is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Heavier than many long distance races. Those unpredictable momuku winds on the bike, that heat that makes running on a trail without shade just in time for the marathon difficult. This high humidity. This black lava asphalt, which makes the heat even more unbearable and led Thomas Hellriegel, Hawaii’s first winner in Germany (1997), to say, “It’s like someone holding a hot air gun under the sole of your shoe.”

But: there are even more blatant races. Many things are subjective. For some, the Ironman Lanzarote is one of them because of the extreme wind. There have also long been extreme triathlons with swimming in the dark and in the freezing cold, cycling and running from a few meters height, or other challenges. Most popular: the Norse in Norway. Epic. cheeky.

How much is it?

The entrance fee is $1120. Hawaii has never been cheap, but inflation and the fact that the island is bursting at the seams with double the number of athletes has increased overnight stays by 25 to 30 percent. In addition, the trip costs more because the high season prices are determined earlier due to the first competition day on Thursday. Those who previously had to pay 5000 euros for ten days with entrance, flights and accommodation now come to about 6500 euros. Mainly because of the accommodation costs. But only if he booked extremely early. Most pay significantly more than 400 euros per night. One apartment complex even offered a one-room apartment for more than 1,500 euros per day. Some private providers canceled bookings only to offer them at a higher price shortly afterwards. And then there’s the food. And it currently has it all: a coffee 8 euros.

Does the TV broadcast?

The ZDF Sportstudio will broadcast the professional women’s race in a free live stream from 6:15 pm on Thursday, October 6. The TV broadcast starts at 12:45 PM and ends at 3:30 AM. The men’s race on Saturday 8 October will also be broadcast live on sportstudio.de from 6.15 pm. The TV broadcast starts at 12:25 PM.

Can I follow the athletes?

If you want to follow the race live on your smartphone, computer or laptop, you can do so via the Ironman Tracker app. This official app provides real-time racing in Hawaii and data for all athletes, not just the pros.

Who are the favourites?

Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt (28) is the top favorite among the men. Within a year he became an Olympic champion, won the world championships in the Olympic distance, made his debut in the long distance and became world champion at Ironman in Utah. There are also a few to consider – including his training partner Gustav Iden (26), Canadian Lionel Sanders (34), Dane Magnus Ditlev (24) and Patrick Lange (36). Florian Angert gets opportunities. For women, Anne Haug (39), the first German Hawaiian winner in 2019, and Laura Philipp (35) are two Germans vying for the win. Also expected up front include five-time Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf (35, Switzerland), Katrina Matthews (31, Great Britain) and Lucy Charles-Barclay (29, Great Britain), who is returning from injury.

Why isn’t Jan Frodeno there?

After a wheel fall a few weeks ago, his hip became inflamed. To fight the infection, several surgeries were pending. Frodeno, Olympic champion in 2008 and three-time champion of Hawaii, wants to attack again in 2023.

What does the term “washing machine” mean?

Triathlon swimming is a struggle. Even if there is no longer a mass start for most medium and long distances and also in Hawaii. Instead, the athletes are released in groups. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to fight for positions in the water. Accidentally kick and punch? Can happen. The water is swirling, it gets hectic – the “washing machine”.

How much distance should the athletes keep on the bike?

In the slipstream, an athlete saves about a third of his energy. In Hawaii, and not just there, this is prohibited. On medium and long distances, there is a general ban on slipstreaming for professionals and in the age group – unlike the elite flights at the Olympic distance. How big the distance should be differs. In Ironman races there is twelve meters or six wheel lengths between the front of both front wheels. An athlete has 25 seconds to overtake. Whoever is overtaken may not immediately counterattack, but only when he has twelve meters behind him. He is also not allowed to stay in the slipstream box of those twelve meters. Violations of the rules are punished with five-minute penalties – to sit in a punishment tent. However: Even at twelve meters, the man behind saves a few forces.

What is a “lollipop”?

In any case, nothing sweet and not a positive term either. A lollipop is someone who uses the slipstream of the vehicle in front on the bicycle. Also called rear wheel lollipop. This is forbidden and will be punished, but some people try anyway. And without sticking to the twelve meters.

What is meant by “the fourth discipline”?

A triathlon is more than swimming, cycling and running. The fourth discipline is the transition zone, ie the transition from one discipline to another. Fast, calm, flawless – that’s how it should be. At least for those who want to participate at the front. But something goes wrong with the pros too: the zipper on their swimwear gets stuck, the helmet won’t close, someone is desperately looking for their bike in the crowd. Or grab the wrong bag when changing clothes. Keep an eye on the transition area: drama sometimes happens there!

What is the Iron War?

Americans Dave Scott and Mark Allen compete against each other. Hawaii 1989. Scott has won there six times. Allen attempted six unsuccessful attempts in Hawaii. German Wolfgang Dittrich leads surprisingly long that day, but Scott and Allen overtake him at the start of the marathon. They’ve been fighting close together since the start. Now they run shoulder to shoulder through the lava desert to the goal. You don’t say a word. Almost eight hours have passed and then, about three kilometers from the finish, Allen pulls away. “Mark and Dave Hill” is what they say today about the place of judgment. And the changing of the guard in Hawaii – then Allen wins five more times. Their epic battle in 1989 will go down in history as the Iron War.

What is The Creep?

Hawaii 1997. Just a few hundred yards ahead of Americans Wendy Ingraham and Sian Welch. Both are ready, at the end of their strength. They lose control of their legs, collapse with every step, struggle to get halfway – and then fall again. There they stay. And crawling on all fours, every inch a struggle. It is the duel for fourth and fifth place. Quitting is no option.

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