RECORD TIME.

2.4mi

112mi

26.2mi

MEN'S
TARGET

SUB7 HRS

Current iron
distance record

MEN: 7:35:39 

Jan Frodeno (GER)
Challenge Roth, 2017

WOMEN'S
TARGET

SUB8 HRS

Current iron
distance record

WOMEN: 8:18:13

Chrissie Wellington (GBR)
Challenge Roth, 2011

TIMES THROUGH HISTORY

PUSHING THE LIMITS OF HUMAN ENDURANCE

  • 1977

    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.’

  • 1978

    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.

  • 1979

    Lyn Lemaire becomes the first Ironwoman, finishing 5th overall in 12:55:38.

  • 1984

    Dave Scott wins his 4th title and becomes the first to break 9 hours with an 8:54:20.

  • 1986

    Paula Newby-Fraser is the first woman to break 10 hours, finishing in 9:49:14.

  • 1991

    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.

  • 1996

    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.

  • 2008

    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.

  • 2011

    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

  • 2011

    The men’s record finally falls, beaten by four minutes by fellow Belgian Mario 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.

  • 2016

    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.

  • 2022

    Swiss Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig and multiple iron distance race winner Lucy Charles-Barclay look to defy the impossible and be the first to go Sub8.

  • 2022

    Reigning Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and half-ironman world record holder Kristian Blummenfelt look to achieve what many think is beyond reach – going Sub7 by taking more than 35 minutes off Frodeno’s record.

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. In 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?

THE PACEMAKERS

SWIM

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.

BIKE

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.

RUN

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.

LOCATION

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.

THE TIMING

Sub7 and Sub8 will be partnering with a timing and technical company, ensuring the attempts are timed and regulated to the highest possible standard.

THE RULES

The Sub7 and Sub8 attempts are a private event. Whilst the rules have been adopted from 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

Join us as we defy the impossible

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