An Ironman is the hardest one-day endurance race in the entire world, covering a staggering 140 miles from start to finish. Athletes begin with a 2.4 mile swim – sometimes an open ocean swim like the Ironman World Championships this weekend in Kona, Hawaii; sometimes a lake or river swim as in Switzerland and Austria.
With a quick transition, you jump onto your bike and get pedalling on the 112 mile cycle segment, and then finish the day (hopefully!) by progressing onto ‘the run’. The name trivialises it a little, as ‘the run’ is actually a regulation length marathon – 26.2 miles of running after you’ve already covered well over 100 miles.
Among the many different rules and regulations in place to police Ironman triathlons, this one has always amused me: “No form of locomotion other than running, walking or crawling”.