History of Ironman Triathlon Started in Hawaii in late ’70s Result of a bar bet over whether the swimmer, biker, or runner was the better athlete. Combined three existing events: 2.4 mile ocean swim 112 mile bike ride 26.2 mile run Order is always Swim, Bike, Run
Larry Piper’s Background 17 marathons, 1974 – 1983 12 bike centuries, 1976 – 1986 10 ‘sprint’ triathlons, 1978-1986 2 total hip operations, 1988 – 1989 1 total right shoulder, 1989 Retired from DOW, March 1993 Felt I had one more athletic goal
Set these Goals Train for - Qualify for - Enter - Finish - Be an official finisher in < 36 hours For the 10 th Double Ironman Triathlon to be held in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sep 4-5, 1994
Double Ironman Triathlon Began ‘serious’ training June, 1993 (15 months away) My job was to train. Backed off from all Clubs, all Paddleball, and all to-do lists. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Checked Out the 1993 Event Drove to Huntsville – visit friends Talked myself on to the team of Stephen Johnson, Canada Very hot day, slept ~ 4 hrs; saw a swimmer quit from hyperventilation; saw how support operates. Maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of way in training.
Aerobic Training Almost all training was aerobic. Very little anerobic training. Guide was Dr. Ken Cooper’s 1969 book, Aerobics, in which he says 30 points/week for a healthful heart, lungs, and vascular system. Included: swimming, biking, walking, rowing and stairmaster (no running).
Aerobic Training 30 points/week is any of the following: 1.7 mile swim, or (40 min/mile) 8miles run, or (8 min/mile) 30 miles bike, or (15 mph) 75 minutes rowing, or 30 minutes stairmaster, or (> 50%) 20 miles walking (< 17 min/mile)
Aerobic Training My training reached 60 points/day (14 X normal) 3.3 miles swimming, or 60 miles biking, or 30 miles race walking, or 15 miles running, or 150 minutes rowing, or 120 minutes stairmaster
Aerobic Training My training actually consisted of a little each day of swimming, biking, walking, rowing and stairmaster. I was able to avoid any injuries. I went over 60 days without missing a single workout. June 4, 1994, turned out to be a ‘date that became a turning point in my quest’.
Double Ironman Triathlon Picture of training log
Double Ironman Triathlon Entry blank sent in July 20, 1994 Acceptance received Aug 2, 1994
Double Ironman Triathlon Picture of acceptance letter
Double Ironman Triathlon Developed logo and mantra Picture of T-shirt, both sides
Double Ironman Triathlon Judy – Head of the crew (Car 1) She will decide when to quit Scot – Canoe, go-fer, pacer (Car 2) Robyn – Timer & Photographer
Double Ironman Triathlon Arrival 3 days early Pre-race meetings Pictures of headquarters, officials
Double Ironman Triathlon 41 in the WORLD qualified 39 actually started 21 repeaters, 18 of us first timers 2 women, 37 men 1/3 foreign, 2/3 United States half blue collar, half professional 8-10 were ‘supermen’ 10-12 more were superb athletes remaining (me) were just very well trained
Double Ironman Triathlon Picture of individual entrants Occupations, nationality
Double Ironman Triathlon Swim was in Tennessee River, each contestant with canoe escort. Bike was on Huntsville Arsenal, 10 loops of 21 miles. No traffic. Run was in Huntsville, 26 loops of 2 mile course. Lots of traffic.
Planned to drink/eat every 20 minutes Lot of rain in 1994 gave us a good current to swim with. All four species of poisonous snakes in U.S. are indigenous to Alabama! Used a balloon on boat for visibility. Last out of water. Judy breathing again!
Double Ironman Triathlon Picture end of swimming Last out of water 7 to 9 am
The Question We All Have Can I ride 224 miles on the bike… after swimming 4.8 miles, in the Alabama heat on Labor Day, and keep eating & hydrated, and not get sick, and not lose too much weight, and keep within the cutoff times, and not start out too fast.
Double Ironman Triathlon Biked always with a companion plus one car following me. Don Wallace, 1993 finisher, full professor at Univ. Alabama in Civil Engineering. Talked the entire time. Music plays a role.
Double Ironman Triathlon Hit the wall at 80 miles biking. Hottest part of day. Thought I might have to quit. Butterscotch pudding saved me. Judy kept me going.
Double Ironman Triathlon Wind died down towards evening Switched to a lighter bike Rode through the night in fog Finished about 4:00 am to the strains of Hail To The Victors Not the last bike finisher Winner had already finished
Double Ironman Triathlon 15 minute shower Felt good when starting the walk Crew grabbed about 4 hours sleep Judy walked with me after daylight Don Wallace back for 2 nd marathon
Double Ironman Triathlon Had to do a 2 mile loop, 26 times Stretched 20 sec after each loop Race walking on sidewalks Race headquarters was the Gus Grissom High School Eclectic bunch of pacers You are way past addrelin help
Double Ironman Triathlon At 26 hours, middle runners are beginning to finish. Emotions really got to me. Laid down to rest about 28 miles, and I almost didn’t get up. Told meet director I would finish around 35 hours. Lost my gyroscope about 34 hours.
36 of 39 finished #2, #6, #12 seeds dropped out #1 John Quinn, talked of quitting “In 36 th place, competing on two artificial hips, finishing in a time of 35 hours and 38 minutes, from Midland, Michigan, USA, Larry Piper”
Went to bed at 10pm; awake 41 hours Woke at 3 am to write down my feelings Called MDN with story; learned two days later I had been inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame. Spoke at Milan Prison in December based upon Free Press article.
Double Ironman Triathlon The highest compliment paid to me was by Steve Bozeman, a five-time finisher of the Double Ironman, and career Marine… “God, you’ve got guts.”
Double Ironman Triathlon Don Casper – friend, presenter for Hall of Fame, coach, sports business owner ‘I knew if it came down to heart, you would be able to finish.’