IRONMAN has unveiled the 11 athletes who have been selected for the second season of the inspiring series ‘IRONMAN: Quest for Kona’. The series, scheduled to air on NBCSN, IRONMAN digital channels and top international broadcasters this autumn/fall, will follow the journey of the ‘11 charismatic and dedicated athletes from around the world as they train for and compete in various IRONMAN events, vying for a coveted slot to the IRONMAN World Championship, which takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.’
“After many outstanding entries and much deliberation, we truly feel we have selected an outstanding cast for the second season of ‘IRONMAN: Quest for Kona’,” said Christopher Stadler, Chief Marketing Officer of IRONMAN. “The broadcast will take you behind-the-scenes and into people’s lives highlighting the ups-and-downs as the diverse list of athletes begin their quest to qualify for the most iconic single-day endurance event, the IRONMAN World Championship.”
Each episode will feature an athlete as they take on IRONMAN qualifying events, capturing the scenery and distinct challenges the course presents. The athlete will also have an opportunity to document their unique personal journey, highlighted through self-shot footage as a supplement to the broadcast content. IRONMAN adds that… ‘While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, each will show that their IRONMAN journey is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than themselves, proving that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.’
2018 ‘IRONMAN: Quest for Kona’ Athletes
- Sarah True (West Lebanon, NH, USA, Age: 36) – True is a professional triathlete who placed fourth at the 2016 Olympics Games in triathlon. Having shared her personal battle with depression, True is an inspiration to others. Looking to pay it forward, True has offered to pay for novice athletes’ race entries for their first triathlon to help get more people into the sport of triathlon.
- Andrew Talansky (Napa, CA, USA, Age: 29) – Former pro cyclist, Talansky has shifted his focus to compete as a professional triathlete. Talansky has a 10th overall finish in the 2017 Tour de France and third in the 2017 Tour of California under his belt. Talansky finished IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside and hopes to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship.
- Ben Hoffman (Boulder, CO, USA, Age: 34) – Professional triathlete, mountain biker, and seasoned Kona competitor, Ben placed second at the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship and fourth in 2016. He also just competed at the pinnacle mountain bike event, Absa Cape Epic in March. He will be looking to not only return to Kona in form but find his place on the podium.
- Chuck Wicks (Nashville, TN, USA, Age: 39) – Wicks is a country music star, known for his 2007 debut single ‘Stealing Cinderella’, and co-host of a top country music radio morning show on Ty, Kelly, & Chuck Mornings. In 2017, Wicks was in a horrible car accident that left him sidelined with a broken neck. After months of recovery, he was able to complete his second IRONMAN 70.3 – and is training to qualify for IRONMAN World Championship. He used the St Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon in late-April for preparation leading into his qualifying race.
- Benedicte Perron (Plouay, France, Age: 23) – Benedicte is a young French model and triathlete. The 23-year-old has finished three IRONMAN 70.3 races and will be looking to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship.
- David Bullen (Hamilton, New Zealand, Age: 50) – As an upcoming IRONMAN Legacy athlete (those athletes who have completed 12 IRONMAN events), Bullen will add another IRONMAN race to his list of accomplishments. Bullen’s plan to race an upcoming race with his son – making this David’s 12th IRONMAN and his son’s first full IRONMAN.
- Evan Morgan (Bakersfield, CA, USA, Age: 34) – A former US Marine, Morgan was injured in a roadside bomb while deployed in Iraq for his second tour in 2005. Morgan suffered numerous injuries that included loss of vision in his right eye as well as losing his right leg above the knee and left leg below the knee. A spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Operation Rebound, Morgan completed IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside in early April as a training event.
- James Irvine (La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada, Age: 65) – Living in the remote mountains of Canada makes for an interesting training regimen. Irvine trains in the snow with a fat-tyre bike and practices snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as cross-training. Another challenge that Irvine faces is that his closest pool is over 150-miles away, so Irvine must improvise and train with an indoor pulley system to simulate swimming.
- Kathie Sanderson Morgan (Curaçao, Age: 42) – Kathie (or ‘Captain Morgan’) is a Canadian Dutch Coast Guard pilot currently living in Curaçao in the Caribbean. After being introduced to the sport of triathlon by her brother 15 years ago (who himself competed in Kona 10 years ago), Morgan is ready for her turn at the IRONMAN World Championship. This year Kathie is racing an IRONMAN with her brother — her first full IRONMAN in 15 years.
- Oliver Dreier (Austria, 40) – After losing his right arm after a crash on a motorcycle, Dreier is now a public speaker and competitive IRONMAN athlete. The Austrian athlete has come close to qualifying for Kona a few times, and hopes to make to Hawai`i this year as an able-bodied athlete.
- Roxanne Coetzee-Turner (Johannesburg, South Africa, Age: 30) – Prior to becoming a triathlete, Coetzee-Turner was a national hockey player, but had to put a halt to her hockey career due to a slipped disc. Since the transition, Coetzee-Turner has competed in two IRONMAN races and placed third in her age group in 2016 — missing the Kona qualifying spot by one place. Coetzee-Turner is looking to qualify in 2018.
These 11 athletes are attempting to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i through various IRONMAN events around the globe including, IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt, IRONMAN 70.3 Hawai`i, and IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns to name a few.
Air dates and distribution channels for each market will be released in the coming months.