We sit down with Ironman Asia’s Managing Director Geoff Meyer to learn more about the people behind the world renowned triathlon and the Singapore Marathon.
Before you think that Asia has its very own Marvel superhero, think again.
We are actually refering to the one of the most difficult one-day sporting event – the Ironman Triathlon.
There is no other sporting event in the world where an athlete is forced to undergo a 3.86km swim, 180.25km cycle and 42.20km marathon back to back. And did we mentioned about the seventeen hours time limit?
It is no wonder that the finishers are called Ironman.
And every year, the Ironmen throughout the world try their best to qualify for the Ironman World Championship held in Hawaii since 1978!
The event is not only known for its gruelling physical toughness, but also for its Emmy Award-winning television coverage as well.
So what other ‘secrets’ are there left to be uncovered about the Ironman brand and team?
1. The Ironman Asia team are runners too.
Did you know that everyone on the Ironman Asia team has to take part in at least one race every year?
It’s your race and yours alone. Others may run it with you, but no one can run it for you.
According to Ironman Asia’s Managing Director Geoff Meyer, this is because he feels that it is “good for my staff… to experience it from an athlete’s point of view”.
So believe us, they know how much we hate bottlenecks…
2. They love Asia.
Having grown from four to over 35 events, Ironman Asia is showing no signs of slowing down.
This year alone, they have pushed new events in Korea, Japan and China.
Which IRONMAN Asia event are you conquering in 2017? If you're at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon Expo, come say Hi and check out our race map! #raceasia
Keep your eyes out next year if you are in Thailand and India; you heard it first here!
3. They have big plans for Singapore.
Besides serving as their Asian headquarters, Singapore is also a “big focus” for the Ironman Asia team. They won the 2016 bid to organise the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon for ten years. Currently, the 2017 marathon and half-marathon have both sold out.
Meyer credits this to the new route that now runs through iconic local sights, with complete road closure for 90 percent of the route, and a bigger finishers’ expo at Marina Bay Sands.
He would “love to see it (the Singapore marathon) as the seventh World Marathon Majors”.
4. They ain’t no cookie-cutter race.
With their 40th anniversary fast approaching, the Ironman brand is synonymous for their race organisation expertise.
But Meyer insist that they are more than just that: “Everyone has a fantastic race experience and they expect us to deliver on the technical aspects, but if you can add a flavour of certain country to it.”
And this is reflected in their carefully curated Asian race calendar. Meyer states that they are constantly looking for new countries to grow, but insist that it “needs to be the right fit” and they “don’t want to throw it everywhere”.
HERE WE GO! A beautiful cloudy morning here at the 2017 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines as we flag-off all our athletes for today 💪🏼
5. They are actually a “dating service”.
No man is an island; and Ironman Asia knows this best.
This is is why Ironman Asia believes in putting like-minded people together and making them part of the Ironman family. Meyer sums it up best: “You look after the athlete and the athlete will look after you.”
Besides reaching out to the local running clubs, Ironman Asia has also partner up with Singapore Athletics to make the Singapore marathon a part of the National Championship for the next two years!
Meyer hopes that this will energise the local community to embrace and make it their own. He cites the Philippines as one of the best events because of the electrifying atmosphere the locals create for the race.