When Kristopher Spoth finished his first Ironman triathlon in Louisville, Kentucky, eight weeks ago, he knew he did well. But he didn’t realize he did well enough to qualify for the Ironman World Championship held October 13 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
The Ironman World Championship is a long, brutal triathlon that includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert, and a 26.2-mile run.
“The Ironman World Championship is the greatest single-day endurance sporting event in the world and the pinnacle of triathlon,” says Spoth, a senior in electrical engineering. “The competitors are the best in the world at what they do, and somehow this year I was among them.”
Spoth says that it was an incredible experience, but the race itself was rough with the ocean swells sapping much of his initial energy in the swim, and the hills, headwind, and heat beating him down on the second half of the biking.