The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Ironman Triathlon

This is fun - this article is the 600th Fitness Fixer post.

Yesterday's post started a series on Triathlons. Triathlon races of different names, organizing bodies, and distances are held year-round. The Ironman is a trademarked name of one particular triathlon and its qualifying races.

The Ironman Triathlon is a long-distance race of a 2.4 mile
swim (3.86 km), 112 mile (180.25 km) bike, and a marathon run of 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km), continuously, in that order.

Fifteen men competed in the first Ironman triathlon in 1978. Then, it was a known "Fitness Fact" that women could not do hard athletics. Several sports of the time banned women. Magazine articles appeared regularly that women had special problems that made doing athletics more dangerous and less possible. Scuba magazines printed (and reprinted) bizarre myths by reporters, that women were physically predisposed to injury from heat, cold, exercise, and decompression. Even chapters in medical books had separate "woman sports" chapters with "proofs" such as shorter legs and less testosterone and blood volume. Currently, teen Asian girls are beating the times of big Western men from that era. Injury rates are shown to be not from gender as much as training. I am a former anatomy and physiology professor. Don't try to snow an anatomy professor about joint angles and limb length as proof of athletic prowess or injury. Future posts will dissect these myths from a physiology basis.

The name "Ironman" and related "Iron" labels are official property of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The WTC hosts other triathlons around the world that are called Ironman. Who owns what name seems to change, and can get confusing. Several events formerly called Ironman no longer use the word due to aggressive trademark protection. Readers can comment to keep us current.

The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon (various alternate names) hosts the Ironman world championship
and owns the race held each fall in Hawai'i. Last year's 2008 Hawai'i Ironman drew over 1700 athletes. The 2009 Hawaii Ironman will be held October 10, 2009. Qualifying races required for eligibility are held throughout the year. Several qualifiers are going on right now, this June and July.

Next - Ironman Triathlon Qualifiers for 2009+

More -
Click the label Ironman, below, for all articles on the Ironman, and each label, swimming, biking, running, and others for all Fitness Fixer on each topic.

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Ironman Finisher by Jeff Kastner

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.