‘Tony Kriening, you’re our Ironman!’

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‘Tony Kriening, you’re our Ironman!’

Meet Tony, a helicopter pilot and triathlete – the ultimate Ironman!

Tony is a committed Al Corniche member, a part of the bike team; riding every Friday with over 30 members, an avid swimmer and he’s always in the gym!

In October 2018, Tony took one of his biggest challenges yet, the Ironman world championship, held in Kona, Hawaii.

Tony’s Kona journey initially starts in Perth, where he qualifies for Kona at another Ironman competition. To really give a perspective on the achievement, there were over 2000 competitors in Perth, and only 60 able to qualify. – Each competition is separated into age categories, and the number of qualifiers depends on the size of the age group; the larger the group, the more qualifying spaces. In Tony’s group there 20 competitors, meaning only the first 2 qualified. Tony swam, biked an ran himself into an amazing 3rd position on the podium, unfortunately missing out on a qualifying position…

Until the 2nd place competitor dropped out! Tony is going to Hawaii!

Preparations begin for the race; intense training routines are a priority. 6 months prior to the championship, Tony begins building up the distance on the bike rides, eventually riding 130km, taking him approximately 4.5 hours. He was swimming 3 times a week, with a minimum of 3km each time. The dedication and commitment to participating is truly all consuming.  Race day is upon us, some people arrive in Kona weeks before the Ironman begin, just to climatise and do trial runs on the roads and hills. Tony arrived 5 days before to an already atmospheric Kona, the heart of the Ironman.

As this was the 40th anniversary of the Ironman competitions, the competitors are up to capacity and the race is set to be the best yet. 2500 taking part in the race, from all over the world. With a grand total of 82 different nationalities, and a 70% - 30% ratio of men to women.

Tony competed under Al Corniche Club, among 629 other tri clubs - we couldn’t think of anyone better to represent us!

In celebration of the anniversary and to begin the race, a parade of nations goes through Kona, lifting spirits, touching hearts and adding to the already phenomenal atmosphere!

Beginning the race with the open water swim, and with close to 1000 people in the water at any one time, it suddenly becomes survival of the fittest and all the training and practice takes a back seat while all you focus on is trying to hold your position. While the swim is the most dangerous part of the race, its also the shortest distance – 2.4 miles/3.8 km.

Moving on to the bike ride, with a distance of 112 miles/180 km. Split in to 90km there and 90km back to the third leg of the race.

The third and last leg of the race, 24 miles/42 km run. An entire marathon to finish on. A lot of people would call this the most mentally and physically challenging part of the race, having to push your body to its limits and overcome mental blocks. Tony said the stations along the way were a massive help in succeeding, there to put more sunblock on and hand out water, helping combat the heat and intensity of the sun.

Toward the end of the run, the darkness starts setting in and the weather is cooling down, making the last section of the run that little easier, despite still pushing through. People are now handing out glow sticks to help with lighting and the road begins to light up in a sea of glowing colours.

The last 2 km, confidence kicks in and adrenaline carries you to the finish line, you can see the end and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and achievement kicks in. With a finishing time of 12.5 hours, Tony makes a run and a jump as he crosses the line, using what energy he has left. Commentators supporting each step of the way and going wild when Tony crosses the line ‘Woahhh he’s a helicopter pilot! Tony Kriening, you’re our Ironman!’. A picture that says 1000 words.

Words can’t describe how proud of you we are, Tony! Al Corniche’s very own Ironman!

Don’t forget to look out for Tony competing in Al Corniche events and keep supporting!

If like Tony, you are an avid tri supporter/competitor, or you’re a beginner wanting a challenge and wanting to learn more about triathlon, please contact Najla our Triathlon Coach on: triathlon@alcornicheclub.com

Or for more information on training schedules or to hear more from our triathlon community, click here

"Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!"

Originally from: http://eu.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/world-championship.aspx#ixzz5rNACJ3UF – check it out, you could be our next Ironman!