The Ironman World Championships was held in St. George in the American state of Utah on Saturday, May 7, where Mario Brizanac, a native of Vukovar, competed and represented Croatia for the first time.
Mario lives in New York and arrived in Utah with his wife and they were very proud to see the Croatian flag flying at such a big sporting event.
The Ironman World Championship has been held in Kona, Hawaii for 40 years, and professionals from all over the world compete there, but due to pandemic, it was cancelled in 2021 and was held outside Hawaii for the first time.
Ironman is one of the toughest disciplines in sport, swimming 2.4 miles / 3.86km, cycling 112 miles / 180.2km and racing 26.2 miles / 42.2 and requires great sacrifice, training and discipline.
The Ironman in St. George, Utah is one of the three toughest Ironman races in the world. The hardest part is cycling part due to the constant uphill up to 7000 feet and in some places there is so much ascent that competitors have to push their bikes uphill.
Mario finished the race in 16 hours and 20 minutes, which is a great success considering the weather conditions of that day of 95 °F / 35°C and a strong wind.
Mario usually trains running in the morning and cycling in the evening when he finishes work and swimming once or twice a week.
The Croatian managed to realise his dream on Saturday and finished the race, hearing those magic words “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” at the finish line.