During an awards banquet for the Waikiki Swim Club, John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai`i, and his fellow athletes began debating which athletes were the fittest: swimmers, bikers, or runners. Later, he and his wife Judy, who had both participated in new competitions known as triathlons in San Diego, decided to combine three of the toughest existing endurance races on the island. On February 18, 1978, 15 competitors, including Collins, came to the shores of Waikiki to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge.
In 1980 founders John and Judy Collins give ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” permission to film the event, bringing worldwide recognition to IRONMAN. Only two years later college student Julie Moss collapses just yards from the IRONMAN World Championship finish line. She is passed for the title, but does not give up; she crawls to the finish line, unknowingly creating one of the most iconic moments in IRONMAN history.
With the recognition of the Physically Challenged Athletes in 1997, Australian John MacLean becomes the first athlete to power a hand cycle bike and wheelchair to an official IRONMAN World Championship finish.
Today, hundreds of thousands of triathletes from around the world have challenged themselves to prove to friends, loved ones, and even just themselves that “Anything is Possible”. Have you been inspired to Become One?