Everyone knows the story that led to the first IRONMAN in Hawaii, back in 1977. At that time, its creator, John Collins could not imagine what in a few years would be a sport that has become a real lifestyle for many people.
Expanded all around the world, with more than forty official races, this competition offers today an experience that can go beyond swimming, biking and running. What you can live around it is extraordinary, it is a real treasure.
Traveling is to know other countries, other landscapes, other cultures, other languages, other gastronomy, other customs, other societies and with them, other people. And traveling to complete the IRONMAN in different parts of the world is surely a great opportunity to connect with wonderful stories, such as Elizabeth and John: “The IronCouple”.
In each and every one of the opening and awards ceremonies, before and after the competition, the speaker always has in his script two proper names, that of the person who has completed more IRONMAN in the history of the sport, John, and that of his wife, the woman with the most IRONMAN in the world, Elizabeth.
To approach them is to share moments full of smiles and passion for a sport that they still feel with the same enthusiasm as when they started doing it, back in the eighties. You can feel talking with “The IronCouple” that the love for what they do is even greater than the enormous energy that is needed to complete, between both, the more than 300 IRONMAN that they have already covered all over the planet.
John has been in sports since his youth, and at the age of +60 he continues to maintain strong muscles that allows him to complete between seven to ten IRONMAN a year. Elizabeth is also characterized by her great strength, something that in one of the last IRONMAN in which she has participated (New Zealand) has made possible to cross the finish line a few weeks after leaving the hospital after an injury caused by a crash with her bicycle.
It is such an illusion for what they do that they are able to perfectly remember each event, each race in which they have participated no matter if John has already finished more than 230 IRONMAN or Elizabeth has conquered more than 70. For them, just as when they began to travel the whole world, the main objective is to complete each race and in the process that leads to it, connect with other people, share their lifestyle, meet athletes from any country, smile with them and taste a good dinner talking all the time about that wonderful planet called: IRONMAN.
And that’s exactly what we three do every time we meet days before a competition: dine, laugh, remember and prepare the best present, the competition that comes a few days later. And after the IRONMAN, always the same sentence: “we’ll see you soon in another part of the planet”.
Walking with Elizabeth and John means stopping again and again to greet people who knows them and who’s happy to see them again. That couple, crossing the finish line of more than 300 IRONMAN are not only getting to demonstrate that the physical and mental limits are far beyond what is thought, that a person can achieve what he or she dreams, but they are also managing to share out joy wherever they go thanks to their simplicity and warmth, thanks to the love for what they do, because sharing time with them is to fill the storage of good energy to the maximum, something essential before and after swimming, pedaling and running the day of the race.