Nowhere does the IRONMAN mantra “Anything is Possible” ring quite as true as it does at the IRONMAN World Championship, held annually in Kona, Hawaii. This ultimate test of endurance and grit was first held in 1978, combining the three toughest races on the island: the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon.
The first 15 competitors in the event received three sheets of paper outlining the course and rules, with the last page famously reading, “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”
The World Championship event moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, where Kona’s barren and black lava fields, scorching temperatures and the treacherous 45mph ho’omumuku crosswinds put participants to the ultimate test.
Bragging rights are still a mainstay of the biggest event on the IRONMAN calendar, with approximately 100,000 triathletes setting their sights on qualifying, and just 2,000 ultimately offered the opportunity to compete.
On 12 October this year, Compressport Ambassador Miguel Netto will fulfil his lifelong dream of taking part in the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
This is Miguel’s road to Kona.
Miguel Netto took part in his first IRONMAN South Africa event in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2011, and has since competed in 9 full IRONMAN events, thinking it quite apt that the 2109 Kona World Championships will mark his 10th full IRONMAN.
Miguel’s best running and triathlon events include:
- Half Marathon (21km): 1h17min
- Marathon (42km): 2h51
- Full IRONMAN – Argentina: 9h00 (10th position), 4th fastest run split in his age group
- Full IRONMAN – South Africa: 9h04 (6th position), 1st fastest run split in his age group
- Half IRONMAN – Durban 70.3: 4h36
In 2017, Miguel became the first person to complete three consecutive Unogwaja Challenges. This gruelling endurance test entails a 10-day cycle from Cape Town to Durban and the completion of the Comrades Marathon on the 11th day. Completing the Unogwaja Challenge in 2015, 2016 and 2017, Miguel raised more than R200,000 for various charitable organisations over the course of three years and thousands of kilometres.
Getting to Kona requires significant financial backing, and Miguel has started a BackaBuddy fundraiser to help him raise all the funds needed – you can donate to support Miguel here.
Miguel aims to show up at the start-line in Kona in the best possible shape, and says that earning a top-10 or top-20 spot in his age group will be a dream come true.
Remember to keep an eye out for this proudly South African Compressport Ambassador at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on 12 October this year.