Welcome to Ironmania Week! In honour of the IRONMAN World Championships on October 10th we are going to be celebrating the world’s greatest triathlon athletes coming together to battle it out in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
While just last weekend in Tennessee Krill Kotsegarov of Estonia ran past American Matt Charbot to win the Ironman Chattanooga to win the Ironman by a mere 2 seconds (the closest in history) with third place Stafan Schmid of Germany only 6 more seconds back.
This win inspired us to focus on the greatest Ironman battles in nearly four decades of Hawaii. Let’s kick off the week with two amazing stories: Julie Moss vs. Kathleen McCartney in 1982 as well as Patricia Puntous 1986 Hawaii Ironman Win then Loss.
Julie Moss vs. Kathleen McCartney (1982)
In the race that likely put the Hawaii Ironman on the map, ABC Wide World of Sports sent Jim Lampley to Kona to get 5 minutes of Scott Tinley doing the Hawaii Ironman and were planning a short news clip on their Saturday show. Instead after Scott Tinley crossed the finishing line, Jim kept his cameraman shooting as Julie Moss was less than 500m from winning the women’s’ race. What happened next is the thing that legends are made of. Julie ran out of energy, cramped and fell to the ground. So close to the finish, she couldn’t stop and was crawling to the finishing line with the cameras rolling on Ali Drive when Kathleen McCartney ran past her in the last sixty seconds to win the Ironman herself. When Jim Lampley’s bosses at ABC realized the epic footage they had, they turned the 5 minute mini-story into a 30+ minute Hawaii Ironman show and all of the World were blown away with the courage and drama of the Ironman. Julie Moss inspired many that day including her future husband Mark Allen who went to beat Dave Scott in 1989 and win the race six times.
Patricia Puntous Wins Then Loses the 1986 Hawaii Ironman (1986)
The identical twin Canadian sisters from Quebec, Sylviane and Patrricia Puntous, were two of the world’s greatest Ironman athletes in the 80s. They won dozens of shorter Olympic distance triathlons hand in hand crossing the line ahead of their competitors. Sylviianne and Patricipa were 1-2 in the 1983 and 84 Ironman races in Kona. In a hard fought win in 1986, Patricia Puntous ran herself into the lead and crossed the finishing line first only to be later DQ for bike drafting later on. The call was always vey questionable and apparently occurred near the 1/2 way mark of the 112 mile bike ride. With live TV cameras rolling the elated Canadian crossed the line, believing she had won, and was sadly told she was DQ. Heart broken as you can imagine. Today the call likely would not have even been made AND if it was, a 5 minute drafting penalty would have been given (versus a DQ).
Stay tuned this week for more amazing stories!