Every year I say "this was the best one yet." As I wipe away my tears and tell Karel that I can't wait to get back to Kona, I remain speechless for several minutes just trying to comprehend all of the amazing stories that come from the broadcast of the Ironman World Championships.
I am one of the many people who was so inspired from watching the World Championship that I said to myself "I want to do that one day". I remember watching my first Ironman World Championship in Dec. 2005 as I was studying for my Graduate exit exams. It was so amazing and I just didn't understand how someone could actually race for that long and still smile at the finish.
Do you have any Kona-party plans for Sat?
After you watch the show, I can't wait to hear your thoughts of the show.
In addition to all of the amazing stories, here's the story I'm most looking forward to hearing about....
I Hope you enjoy the show..I'm sure we will all be inspired.
2009 FORD IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AIRS ON NBC ON DECEMBER 19
Broadcast Highlights Top Professional and Age Group Athletes from Around the World Competing in Sport’s Most Grueling Endurance Event
(Tampa, Fla.) Dec. 3, 2009 – The 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship broadcast will air, for the 19th consecutive year on NBC, Dec. 19, 2009, from 4:30 – 6 p.m. ET (check local listings). The telecast will highlight the physical and emotional journey taken by athletes during the renowned 140.6-mile triathlon. Veteran sports commentator and narrator Al Trautwig will provide the voiceover.
Athletes profiled in the Emmy-Award-winning program range from professionals including three-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain to physically challenged athletes, military veterans, retired professionals and weight loss success stories.
In its 31st year, the Ford Ironman World Championship start cannon sounded on Oct. 10, 2009. Nearly 1,700 of the world’s fittest athletes braved the harsh elements of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in an attempt to earn the title of “Ironman.” Temperatures on event day reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit and higher at certain times on the bike and run portions. Athletes ranging in age from 20 to 80 years competed in the 2.4-mile Pacific Ocean swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon in a classic battle of human motivation versus sweltering heat and mental and physical fatigue.
“Each year we look to inspire our viewers with the raw power and competitive nature of the professional athletes along with the impressive stories of courage and determination demonstrated by all participants,” said Peter Henning, vice president of television production for Ironman. “The course might not change year to year, but the drama continues to intensify.”
The broadcast captures the emotion of the day and features head-to-head competition among the top male and female professionals. The program documents Australia's Craig Alexander as he adds a second consecutive Ironman World Championship title to his resume and Wellington, who secures her third – breaking the course record of Ironman great, Paula Newby-Fraser of Zimbabwe – with an overall time of 8 hrs., 54 min., 2 sec. The program also highlights the 17-hour challenges of several unique professional and age group athletes who define the meaning of inspiration and bring to life the “Anything is Possible” mentality.
Featured athletes include:
• Decorated professional and 2009 top American finisher Chris Lieto, the former surfer and college water polo player with three top-10 finishes at the Ironman World Championship
• Matt Hoover, season two winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” who gave it his best to be an official Ironman finisher, but crossed the finish line mere minutes after the midnight cut-off time
• Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a double-amputee with numerous world records, who completed an impressive swim but narrowly missed the cut-off after biking the 112-mile course
• Four-time Lymphoma survivor and heart transplant recipient Kyle Garlett, who was not able to complete the challenging swim within the allotted timeframe
• Mike Adamle, a former professional football running back and well-known national and Chicago-area sportscaster, who tested his strength and drive for the second time in Kailua-Kona
Further program details and information on the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Event Series can be found by visiting: www.ironman.com. For media-related questions, please contact Blair LaHaye at Blair@ironman.com / (813) 868-5929 or Jessica Weidensall at Jessica@ironman.com / (813) 868-5914.
World Triathlon Corporation, owner and organizer of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 branded-events, is a Florida-based company recognized for athletic excellence, performance and quality products. With the addition of the Ironman 70.3 Series, Ironman now has more than 60 qualifying events worldwide. Supported by partners that include Ford Motor Company, PowerBar, Timex and Gatorade, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world. Ironman has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception in 1978 and is regarded as the world’s most challenging endurance event. Millions may remember moments in Ironman history such as Julie Moss’ crawl to the finish line in 1982, which was showcased on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Each year, more than 150,000 athletes compete for slots in the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 held every November in Clearwater, Fla. The Ironman brand has been featured in a range of media outlets to include NBC, CNN Headline News, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, People, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and USA Today.