1. The IronMan 70.3 is a series of races licensed by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) and held in various areas around the world. It will have participants conquering a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run thus a total of 70.3 miles. In kilometers, it is equivalent to a 1.9-k swim, a 90-k bike ride and a 21-k run.
2. The IronMan 70.3 is otherwise known as the half ironman because the distance for each sports discipline is exactly half of the IronMan or the full IronMan.
3. Before the WTC owned and labeled the race as IronMan 70.3 and launched it as a series of races in 2006, races of this kind were called the Half Ironman. The first branded Half Ironman race was held in 2001 and was dubbed as the Half Ironman UK.
4. However, before all the branding and licensing, the oldest half-iron distance race is known as the Superfrog Triathlon in 1979.
5. From 14 events, the IronMan 70.3 Series have grown to 60 events in just seven years since its launching in 2006 with the biggest increase of the number of races happening between 2011 and 2012.
6. Each year, winners in every IronMan 70.3 race will compete against each other in the ultimate IronMan 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida, USA held every November.
7. The IronMan is actually a result of a debate in the 1970s in Hawaii among members of the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, on who is more fitthe runners or the swimmers.
8. While listening to the debate, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins got the idea of combining the three toughest endurance races of the island into one race. He suggested to settle the debate through a race that would combined the 2.4 miles Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 115 miles Around-Oahu Bike Race and the 26.219 miles Honolulu Marathon. In Collins own words the gun will go off about 7 a.m., the clock will keep running and whoever finishes first, well call the Ironman.
9. The first Ironman was held on Feb. 18, 1978 with 15 participants including Collins. Before the start of race, each participant was given three sheets of paper on which were listed the rules of the competition and a description of the course. And, handwritten on the last page was Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!
10. Gordon Haller, a US Navy communications specialist, became the first Ironman title holder. He finished the race in 11 hours, 46 minutes, 58 seconds.