Eight Ultra Athletes Obtain Guinness World Record After Completing Italy’s 30 x Ironman
By Alix Shutello
On September 8, 2013, 21 competitors from 12 countries toed the line to compete in one of the world’s most epic experiences. So epic, according to Wayne Kurtz of Pittsburgh, Penn., it would be one they’d never experience again. “This was a one-time gig,” he said.
Only 28 athletes from around the world were invited to participate in the 30 x Ironman, or the “Triple Deca IRON”. To prequalify, athletes needed to have at least one Deca IRON under their belt…and for good reason: the next step, from 10 days to 30 days, is quite a leap.
During the course of the Deca Ironman race, held in Paschiera Del Garda, Garda Lake in Italy, athletes swam a total of 72 miles, cycled 3,360 miles, and ran 786 miles. On race day, 21 athletes started the journey of a lifetime; in the end, only 8 finished, earning a Guinness World Record for finishing the world’s longest IRON distance competition.
Unfortunately, the only female to join the guys, Danish competitor Thea Storm Henriksen, became sick with the flu and was forced to drop out after one Ironman.
While there were 21 athletes working to complete the 30 x Ironman, numerous other athletes from around the world were in Italy to compete in the following races, which were going on concurrently:
20 x Ironman
30 x Olympic distance Ironman
10 x Ironman (the Deca IRON)
5 x Ironman (Quintuple IRON)
The 30 x Ironman has been the focus of the race coverage, but these other athletes, an additional 20 or so, were there to prove their worth in the field of endurance racing – only 3 of them women.
As you can imagine, a story behind this the 30 x Ironman event is in the works. Endurance athlete, Wayne Kurtz and fellow record-holder for the 1X30 Olympic distance triathlon, Stefan Zetterström, co-authored the new book “Stronger than Iron” will be published the Spring of 2014.