My First Ironman


It’s an exciting and very special time in a person’s life when they can say to someone “I’m entered in my first Ironman Triathlon.

I thought it might be pretty special to invite people to share with the world their first Ironman journey on the website.

After all, when I first created Ironstruck some seven years ago it was with the first time Ironman in mind. I can remember quite vividly what it was like to stand at the start line of my first Ironman some 27 years ago.

It was scary, exciting, heart-pounding, amazing, and overwhelming all at the same time.

If you are attempting your first Ironman somewhere in the world in 2012, then tell us a bit about yourself. Tell us your first name, what city,town,state,province,country you are from and what 2012 Ironman you have signed up for.

If you like you can add a bit about your Ironman Journey so far as you get ready for the Ironman challenge.


Last year we heard from Mandy from Caratunk, ME in the U.S.A. Mandy chose Lake Placid for her first Ironman.

Sam from Bradford Pennsylvania had a great story in 2011. Sam was 66 years old and took on Ironman Lake Placid as well. He was in the Syracuse 70.3 in 2010 and was 3rd in his age-group.

The best part was that his son was in Ironman Lake Placid with him. That was very cool and was a very exciting for both of them as father and son both reached the Ironman finish line on race day.

my first Ironman

Ironman Louisville finish line. Official WTC logo

Stan Smith was from York, PA. Sam was 54 years old and he said my first Ironman is Ironman Lake Placid.

It’s really amazing how many people take on the Ironman challenge into their 50’s and even their 60’s.

It just goes to show that it is never to late to take on huge, life-changing challenges anytime the spirit moves you.

David Byrne called Dublin, Ireland home and said my first Ironman was Regensburg(Germany). Up to that point David had been doing triathlons for 5 years with a group of friends who all have a passion for the sport.

As I have suggested to many people just starting out in triathlon, find a few friends and do a relay if you are a bit unsure. That’s what David did and after doing the swim leg to the cheers of the crowd at transition, realized that yes…”he could do this” and since that day has been hooked.

Well, actually “Ironstruck” and now David has a name for it.

Now he told us that I’m doing my first Ironman.

Ahmet is from Istanbul, Turkey and said my first ironman is Regensburg(Germany). At first Ahmet thought he would wait until after he finished law school, but that was three years away and the call of the Ironman proved to be to strong and in his own words.

“I started training when I finally had a stable and boring life. At first I’ve trained to be able to run 10 km without stopping. Then I’ve learned how to swim better. A couple months later I was thinking that I should finish an Ironman before I graduate from law school and that meant in 3 years. 5 months passed and I did a run of a half-ironman distance, not an official race, just a free time trial. Last week I was reading a triathlon forum and somebody posted that Ironman Regensburg opened 50 additional slots. After 10 minutes I was signed up.

Now I have 4 months ahead of me. Ironman seems more real than it ever was. Every day I open the website and check the countdown. It’s 125 days away, I’m nervous, I’m scared, I’m excited. My final exams are coming up, my social life is going down, I’ve got no free time whatsoever. I’m going to be an Ironman and I’m not going to be crawling. I always finish strong.”

Tom was from Canada and has been involved in triathlon since 1994 and is entered in Ironman Canada 2011 in Penticton, B.C.

There were 1,596 Canadians entered in Ironman Canada in 2011. Of all the cities in Canada, the one with the most entries was Calgary with 226. There are also 203 entries from Vancouver and 100 from Edmonton.

There were an amazing 1,497 Americans entered in the Penticton race in 2011. It just goes to show how popular the race is among American triathletes.

Mitch was from Issaquah, WA and said my first Ironman will be Coeur d’Alene. Mitch served as an Inspiration to many people and this is what he has to say about hit Ironman journey.

“Ironman to me is a commitment to physical, mental and spiritual excellence, to finish each must be explored and conquered. Mine started as a diversion to being laid off, looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I saw. When I started this journey I was 311 lbs, could not walk well with plantar fasciitis and needed a positive outlet.”

Rob Heath from Woodmead said his first Ironman would be South Africa.

As I taper, the body seems to be adjusting, but With only 5 days to go to my first Ironman, the nerves are setting in. There is this massive uncertainty out there.

10-15-20km into the run, I have no idea what I am in for. As well I have trained, the hours and sacrifices I have made, the previous half-distance races, the reading, the planning, and the advice I have received… Sunday afternoon is going to be something new.

I am looking forward to it, and I am nervous – hopefully a good thing.

Rob would go on to have a great result and a very fast time at his first Ironman In South Africa 2011. As Rob said, “I think I have found my new sport!”

SWIM 1:10:2 BIKE 5:23:18 RUN 3:59:00 FINISH 10:39:23

Bill Mckeon lives in Central South Dakota and was an Air Force Staff Sergeant and entered his first marathon in 1998. He went on to compete in 8 other marathons including the Boston Marathon as well as the Bighorn 50 Mile Ultra.

After beginning to incorporate some bike cross-training into his fitness regimen in 2003, Bill was a triathlete waiting to happen, or as Bill put it “I did some local sprints and Olympic distance races locally and loved it!”

After retiring from the Air Force in 2008, Bill put triathlon on the back-burner for a short time until last year when he took part in 70.3 races in Kansas and Branson and has now entered his first Ironman and this Summer will be part of Ironman Louisville 2011.

It was a long and winding road that would eventually lead to his Ironman journey.

David Mayes lived in Asia. Recently he had competed in both marathons and 70.3 races and he chose Ironman China 2011 as the venue for his first Ironman.

Richard Harris is from Swansea, United Kingdom. He was 43 and married and had two boys ages 8 and 5. Rich let us know that his first race would be Ironman Wales.

and in his own words…

“Started triathlon after finishing playing football (soccer) and was looking for the next challenge. Quickly found out I wasn’t much of a swimmer or cyclist and am an average runner.

I have been racing triathlons for 6 years and have worked myself up from sprint distance, through Olympic, half iron and now am preparing to go the full iron distance.”

I’m very proud of my Welsh heritage which is why I felt the pull to race the inaugral Ironman Wales event.

Tony Kay was from the United Kingdom and chose Ironman U.K./Bolton for his very first ironman. He had a very special cause going into the race.

“I am attempting my first IM in July in Bolton England.I am trying to raise money for local cancer hospital where my dearest friend is being treated for terminal brain cancer.

I am 46 married for 23 yrs with 2 children and used to run competitively 20 yrs ago !!!

I learned to swim in Oct 2010 and since then have been improving (I hope) steadily, my cycling and running is coming on and I just hope I have enough in the ‘bank’ by race day and can fulfill both my dream and in the process raise some money for a fantastic cause.”

These are some of the special people who shared their Ironman journey on our Ironstruck website in 2011.

It must have felt pretty good when they said “I just finished my first Ironman.”

Looking for an Ironman? Check out for upcoming race information.


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