Mark your calendars if you want to hold a viewing party, set your DVR and VCR timers if you already know you have to be out, Ironman airing time is just around the corner. As for when: Don't forget to tune into NBC on December 19 to watch the action and hear the stories from the 2009 Ironman World Championships at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The program is set to air from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., eastern time, but be sure to check local listings for the time near you.
The appeal may seem a little less exciting this year since Universal Sports has added Ironman to its television schedule--past World Championships and 2009 events at Coeur d'Alene, Louisville and China--and live airings online, starting with the World Championships. But really, there's far more to get excited about than the commentary by veteran commentator and narrator, Al Trautwig. Not only will we get to watch Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington repeat as World Champions, but we'll see stories from physically challenged athletes, military veterans, retired professionals and weight-loss successes who all fit the "Anything is Possible" mentality of Ironman. Some profiled athletes include Chris Lieto, Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Matt Hoover, Kyle Garlett and Mike Adamle. Lieto, a professional out of Danville, Calif., who has finished in the top 10 three times, second to Alexander in 2009, and typically leads at one point during the race. Garcia-Tolson is a double amputee who excells at triathlon and swimming as well as holding numerous world records; this is his first shot at the Ironman distance. Hoover was crowned the champion of the second season of The Biggest Loser; but after falling in love on the show and starting a family, some weight crept back on and Hoover decided the Ironman was a way to make him feel like a champion again, get lean and teach fans to achieve their dreams. Garlett survived lymphoma four times and received a heart transplant. Adamle, a former professional football player and American Gladiators announcer, often covers the sports broadcast on Chicago's NBC channel and returns to Kona for the second time.
If you ever need motivation to convince yourself you want to do an Ironman or just hear some awe-inspiring stories, this is it. For more details, check out ironman.com. Photo grabbed from espensorvik at flickr. Posted by Kate