Hines Ward, You Are an Ironman
The two-time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl XL MVP recently shared his thoughts about his very first Ironman World Championship race in Kona this past year.
Hines Ward became the first ever NFL player to compete in the Ironman World Championship, crossing the finish line as the 1,680th athlete with a time of 13:08:15. The former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver trained for almost a year with triathlon legend Paula Newby-Fraser, and competed at an Ironman 70.3 race in Kanas back in June.
“When I first started it was raining one day and I even asked Paula if I should be running in the rain. I never thought I could run further than a mile,” Ward told NBC’s Mike Florio. “This has been a life-changing experience for me.”
Ward reflected on his experiences at the big race in an article with Parade
Talking about some of the choice moments in the race, he said “When I think about the greatest moments in Kona, it’s really hard to nail down just a few. Every single moment added up to one of the greatest experiences of my life – crossing the finish line at the Ironman World Championship. Going from the football field – where I was used to running in short bursts – to running an entire marathon AFTER swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles, was such a transformation physically and mentally.”
Hines Ward also received some words of encouragement from Crow himself, as well as 2013 winner Mirinda Carfrae, in a dinner the night before the race.
In his first ever full Ironman race, Ward became the first ever NFL player to complete Kona.
“Looking back on race day, it’s kind of a blur. You would think that after 13 hours of swimming, biking and running, a person would never forget it, but the moment that sticks out in my mind the most was when I crossed that finish line and heard the announcer say, “Hines Ward, you are an Ironman.” Although there were many times where I found myself doubting my preparation, I never gave up. Paula wouldn’t let me and I wouldn’t let myself.”
Ward was asked when his next Ironman would be.
“Never,” he said. “One and done.”
You can read the full article over at Parade