For dozens of Wisconsin athletes, the Ford Ironman Triathlon in Kona will be the culmination of years of diligent effort.
For Gwen Jorgensen, the USA Triathlon Elite Race Series Finale will be another chance to establish her position among the best in the country, and take home a big paycheck.
In Kona, the age group competitors will take to the water at 7 a.m. Saturday in the 33rd edition of the race that started the sport. To get there, athletes trained upwards of 15 to 20 hours a week, then earned their spot by qualifying in other Ironman races, including Ironman Wisconsin.
This interview with two-time champion Tim DeBoom captures some of the lore and significance of the challenge. A new book, "Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, & The Greatest Race Ever Run" tells the story of what is considered by many to be the greatest race ever in endurance sports - the 1989 Ironman® World Championship. The battle at the 13th Hawaii Ironman stands as one of the most dramatic stories in the history of athletics.
Those looking to create their own dramatic stories on Saturday include a group of local athletes on Team GEARGRINDER: Matthew Amman, Scott Bowe, Clayton Chase,Tamela Gabrielse, Ben Harrison, Justin Henkel, Craig Lanza, Dennis Melowski and Mike Wolfgram.
USA Triathlon: In just her second season as a triathlete, Jorgensen said Thursday that Ironman "is not on the radar." The former track All-American at the University of Wisconsin - Madison has successfully carved her niche in the Olympic distance triathlons.
On Sunday, she will chase more success in a break-out sophomore season in which she qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London. Currently fourth in the standings in the USA Triathlon Elite Race Series, Jorgensen has a shot to take the overall championship and a $10,000 pay out.
A note or warning: once she finishes the triathlon season in the upcoming Pan American games, the part-time tax accountant has thoughts of lining up in a couple local cyclocross races.