October 26, 2023

It takes an iron will to do the Iron Man triathlon. Fazel Ally a member of On’s athlete ambassador programme qualified for the Iron Man World Championships which were held on 27 August this year. This triathlete faced his greatest challenges yet in a country, thousands of kilometres away from Mzansi. Alone.

Fazel Ally’s Iron Will

Fazel Ally didn’t just have to adapt to the climate and customs of another country, he had to take part in one of the most gruelling athletic competitions on the planet on unfamiliar terrain.

“You’ve got to be disciplined and your head has to be in the right place,” says Ally as he outlines that the competition was not just a difficult physical one for him, but it posed a number of mental challenges as well.

“I was alone and it’s hard to plan when you’re alone – you’ve got to have somebody with you,” he says, “They help you get and stay organised. And while I was racing, I had to adjust my mindset constantly.”

Illness marred his race. Ally began the race with stomach issues which plagued him throughout the competition. This took a massive toll on him physically and mentally as he strove to keep moving forward. “I won’t advise anyone to take part in a race if they are ill,” he warns, “It’s best not to compete in those circumstances. I pushed forward, but at the end of the competition, I could not even get out of bed for two days.”

Each year, competitors from around the world who qualify in their Iron Man competitions in their own country are selected to take part in this prestigious event. Competitors are taken from the top five finishers in their category in their at-home races. Ally qualified in the Durban Iron Man.

“It was a lot of pressure,” he says of the experience, “the international guys were quite aggressive swimmers so you had to be careful." What added to the pressure for Ally was realising that after qualifying, he had just 8 weeks to prepare for the Championships.

“It’s hard because you go up against the best in the world,” he says.

The run, according to Ally, is the most important part of the race, and some people have the advantage taken from them purely because they are not wearing the proper shoes for the race. “Carbon shoes are out,” he says, “I wore a pair of Cloudboom Echo 3 shoes from On.”

The Cloudboom Echo 3 performance shoes are lightweight and provide super cushioning, making them the ideal choice for the marathon portion of Iron Man. Because they are breathable, they allow for less foot and muscle fatigue.

Fazel was invited to take part in the Standard Duathlon to be held in Australia in 2024.

On running shoes help athletes to run beyond their limits.

Congratulations, Fazel. We salute you!