The annual documentary special of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship is set to air on Sunday, December 1 at 15:30 ET on NBC. The IRONMAN World Championship special will ‘chronicle triathlon’s pinnacle event through the champions and inspirational athletes that competed on October 12, 2019 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.’
A programming fixture on NBC in the US since 1991, the IRONMAN World Championship special has garnered 55 Emmy Award nominations with 17 Emmys along with many other accolades. Re-airs of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship documentary special will also be available on Wednesday, December 11 at 15:00 ET and Wednesday December 18 at 15:00 ET on NBCSN.
The 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship documentary special will be also made available internationally via the IRONMAN Now page on Facebook Watch. Viewers interested in watching the documentary special online can find it at www.facebook.com/IRONMANnow.
“We are incredibly proud of what we were able to produce this year,” said Matthieu Van Veen, Chief Revenue Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “With the astounding collection of world-class athletes and inspirational participants that competed in this event, we wanted to deliver a show that matches the intensity, emotion, and breath-taking visuals for viewers at home to feel like they are part of the day.
“Whether people are tuning in to watch a family member, a friend, or simply to be inspired, we want them to walk away feeling like ‘Anything Is Possible’.”
This year’s 90-minute show features footage that spans from the pre-race build-up of body marking to the final hours of the race’s iconic night-time finish as athletes make their way to the finishing chute nestled on Ali`i Drive. The dramatic visuals will take viewers inside the intense and emotionally charged day that surrounds the variety of athletes and competition during the 2.4-mile ROKA swim in Kailua Bay, the 112-mile Ventum bike across barren lava fields, and the 26.2-mile HOKA ONE ONE run along Ali`i Drive.
The broadcast will be narrated by Jim Cutler, whose work has previously appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN.
With nearly 2,500 registered athletes from 75 countries, regions and territories from around the globe, the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship welcomed a deep professional field. This included the likes of two-time defending men’s champion, Patrick Lange as well as Ben Hoffman (USA), Sarah True (USA), and three-time IRONMAN World Champion Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), as well as arguably the most competitive age-group field in history.
Athletes ranged in age from 18 to 86 years old and earned their championship opportunity by qualifying at one of more than 40 IRONMAN events worldwide.
Some of the motivational and inspirational stories that will be shared in the broadcast tell a tale of perseverance and the athletes’ ability to overcome challenges while remaining steadfast in pursuing their dream. Among the features in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship special include:
- Exclusive interviews from current and former World Champions and other professional IRONMAN athletes during a record-setting day.
- Two-time IRONMAN world champion and 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship winner Jan Frodeno (DEU) on his journey to come back after a one-year absence to set a new course-best time previously set by Patrick Lange.
- Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay’s attempt to dethrone four-time reigning IRONMAN World Champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland.
- Germany’s Anne Haug making a late push to claim her first IRONMAN World Championship title.
- Strong podium performances by Americans Tim O’Donnell and Ben Hoffman, along with Germany’s Sebastian Kienle.
- The awe-inspiring performance from physically challenged athlete Roderick Sewell as he attempts to become the first bilateral above-the-knee amputee to finish the IRONMAN World Championship on prosthetics.
- Mother and daughter special team Beth & Liza James, who 14 years ago were in a severe car accident that left Liza with a traumatic brain injury. Liza, unable to walk or talk is guided by her mother Beth in their quest to make IRONMAN history by becoming the first mother-daughter special team duo to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship.
- Wayne Skipworth, the co-founder of IRONMĀORI – an initiative and club set up to tackle growing issues of ill health amongst the Maori population – as he competes to reconnect the strong bond of Hawai`i and New Zealand culture through his racing.
- Successful business executive Lisa Tecklenburg who qualified to compete after overcoming advanced stage breast cancer that doctors believed would prevent her from ever being able to swim again.
Before the NBC broadcast of the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, NBCSN aired the series ‘IRONMAN: Quest for Kona’ presented by Gatorade Endurance on Wednesday, November 27 starting at 23:30 ET. This series takes viewers on a behind the scenes look at the ups and downs of five professional triathletes trying to qualify for triathlon’s pinnacle event.
As the series follows these athletes, it also showcases the scenery and distinct challenges IRONMAN courses present around the world. In 2018, this episodic series, which aired on NBC and Facebook, reached over 7.6 million viewers. While not every athlete may ultimately qualify, IRONMAN adds that ‘each will show that the IRONMAN journey is about persevering, enduring, and being a part of something larger than themselves.’