TIMES THROUGH HISTORY
PUSHING THE LIMITS OF HUMAN ENDURANCE
Navy Commander John Collins and his wife Judy devise the ultimate test of fitness – combining the courses of Hawaii’s Waikiki rough water swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu bike race (112 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). ‘Whoever finishes first’, he famously says, ‘we will call the Ironman.’
15 men take part in the original Ironman, with 12 managing to finish the event. Gordon Haller becomes Ironman’s inaugural winner in 11:46:58.
Lyn Lemaire becomes the first Ironwoman, finishing 5th overall in 12:55:38.
Dave Scott wins his 4th title and becomes the first to break 9 hours with an 8:54:20.
Paula Newby-Fraser is the first woman to break 10 hours, finishing in 9:49:14.
At Ironman Europe in Roth, Germany, Dutchwoman Thea Sybesma is the first to go under 9 hours, posting 8:55:29. The 9-hour barrier is beaten three more times the following year, with Newby-Fraser then dropping the record to 8:50:53 at Roth in 1994.
German Lothar Leder becomes the first man to break 8 hours at Challenge Roth in Germany, posting an incredible 7:57:02 to finally prove that the elusive mark is possible. With the mental barrier of 8 hours shattered, Leder’s record lasts only one year, with Belgian Luc van Lierde taking an amazing six and a half minutes off the time. His effort of 7:50:27 would stand for the next 14 years.
Newby-Fraser’s mark is eventually beaten by Holland’s Yvonne van Vlerken on the same course. She’d post a 8:45:48, only to see her record shattered the very next year.
The four fastest women’s Iron distance times have all come at Challenge Roth, and three of them belong to Brit Chrissie Wellington. In 2009, Wellington posts an incredible 8:31:59, only to go on to smash her own record twice. In 2010, Wellington takes more than 12 minutes off her time, before taking a further 60 seconds off in 2011, setting the currently Iron distance record at 8:18:13
The men’s record finally falls, beaten by four minutes by fellow Belgian Marino Vanhoenacker at Klagenfurt in Austria. After a 14-year wait, the new record would last a week, thanks to German Andreas Raelert’s 7:41:33 in Roth – to this day the 3rd fastest ever time.
Declaring his intention pre-race to break Raelert’s mark, Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno delivered what is still the fastest Iron-Distance race in history. With a 45:22 swim, a 4:09:22 bike and a 2:40:35 marathon, Frodeno finished in 7:35:39 in front of 260,000 spectators.
In a head to head race match up with Lionel Sanders in Allgau, Germany, Jan Frodeno set a new world record for the full distance triathlon, in challenging conditions and heavy fall on the run he stopped the clock at 7:27:53. Besting the current world record he set in 2016 at Challenge Roth – 7:35:39.
2021 will prove to be one of the most significant in Kristian Blummenfelt’s career. The Olympic champion in Tokyo, he went on to secure the World Championship title just a month later. And in November his iron distance debut at Ironman Cozumel set the world alight, recording the fastest ever time 7:21:12.
Dual Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and 2020 Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt look to achieve what many think is beyond reach – going Sub7 by taking more than 35 minutes off Frodeno’s record.
2022Swiss Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig and Two Times Ironman Champion Katrina Matthews look to defy the impossible and be the first to go Sub8.
HOW IT WORKS
The Iron Distance is the most gruelling one day endurance event on earth. 42 years of racing has dropped the records for men and women to what many think is the peak of human capability. On June 5 or 6 2022, two men and two women will attempt to rewrite the books racing only each other on a closed course, in controlled conditions, with individual pacemakers and support teams – leaving one question: Just what are we capable of?
Each of the four athletes can be paced in the water by other swimmers. There is no limit to how they can draft off these swimmers, and the selections, total size and roles of each swim pace-making group is solely at the discretion of the athlete.
Each of the four athletes can be paced on the bike leg by other riders. There is no limit to how they can draft off these riders, and the selections, total size and roles of each bike pace-making group is solely at the discretion of the athlete.
Each of the four athletes can be paced on the run leg by other runners. The selections, total size and roles of each run pace-making group is solely at the discretion of the athlete.
THE HOST VENUE WILL BE ANNOUNCED MID 2021
The climate, air and water temperature, topography and surface of the venue will play a critical role in a challenge of this kind and a suitable location is still being determined. Other factors that need to be considered include terrain and the availability of sport and event infrastructure.
Pho3nix Sub7, powered by Zwift and Pho3nix Sub8, powered by Zwift will be partnering with a timing and technical company, ensuring the attempts are timed and regulated to the highest possible standard.
The Pho3nix Sub7, powered by Zwift and Pho3nix Sub8, powered by Zwift attempts are a private event. Whilst the rules have been adopted from Ironman, World Triathlon and Union Cycliste Internationale, the attempts are not officially recognised by either body. All athletes involved will be subject to WADA Anti-Doping compliance rules.
CHANNELS & PLATFORMS
LIVE RACE BROADCAST
‘Sub7Sub8 will feature a 9.5 hour live broadcast, with 8 hours of live racing bookended with pre- and post-show content and featuring a host of special guests, pre-recorded content and technical analysis. The broadcast will be globally available for free via streams on sub7sub8.com, as well the Pho3nix Foundation YouTube and Facebook platforms. With a new standard of human physical achievement likely to be set, the live broadcast will be supported by a widely distributed one-hour highlights program, which will tell the story purely from the athletes perspective and cover the full lead-up and race week experience.’
Run or ride part or all of the course with the athletes in real time with our technology partners. More to come.
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