The Ironman® triathlon : a legend reserved for extremely high-performance sportsmen and women


The Ironman® triathlon is the dream iconic event over the showpiece distance that will get you up every morning at 6 am. Many are the readers who go to bed at night with the legendary phrase "You are an Ironman" in their ears or who pedal for many hours on their roller looking at videos of Hawaii on Youtube.

The Ironman® brand has succeeded in making this event the ultimate objective for the sporting enthusiast to attain in their lifetime. The marketing and media coverage of the events have popularised our sport with the general public.

Several people began triathlon because they were drawn to this massive challenge. This long-term objective was what opened them up to exploring the triathlon.

However, you need to take into account the fact that those who do not practise the triathlon are often unaware of the difference between the Ironman® triathlon and the triathlon. When people discover the crazy distances involved, it often has the effect of turning them off. The only information that people remember is that the Ironman triathlon is almost impossible and can only be completed by crazy elite athletes.

In my opinion, this confusion prevents many people from exploring the triathlon and seeing that there are other more reasonable distances involved in the triathlon. Many people get turned off when they think of the Ironman, when they would be perfectly capable of completing a sprint triathlon or duathlon right now.


Clearly, the training involved in an Ironman® triathlon is not simple and requires a lot of time, effort and money. However, for a sprint triathlon, it is entirely possible to borrow a friend's bike, swim without a wetsuit (if you are swimming in a lake) and the training needed to finish is not as demanding.

We need to remove the mythical status surrounding triathlon. The general public must understand that you do not have to be superhuman to complete a triathlon, that there are other much shorter and more pleasant competitions involved, where you can enjoy the sport without having to dedicate all your spare time to it.

These shorter and more easily accessible events provide an entry point to our sport. It is up to us to arouse the interest of our friends, acquaintances and the members of our family to give it a go starting with something that is not as scary. If they succeed in finishing, they will surely become captivated by this sport and discover the fantastic excitement that surrounds the triathlon.

Here is some homework for you to do: when the triathlon season is just about to start, each one of you should get someone else to sign up for a promotional race or sprint triathlon so that we can all join forces to make our sport more easily accessible to a wider audience!

And who knows? Your overweight friend that you encouraged to complete a sprint distance in order to lose weight could become the one who gets you to join him in going round the world to run in an Ironman® triathlon a few years later!

Romain Babin

photo conseiller


Je suis vendeur au magasin de Portal la Reina au Chili. J'ai commencé par l'athlétisme en 2003 puis je me suis lancé dans la grande aventure du triathlon en 2011. Depuis j'ai participé à 2 triathlons Ironmans® et aux championnats du monde e triathlon Ironman® 70.3®.