New Zealand Ironman celebrated
the 25th anniversary of its first race on March
The Ironman in New Zealand has constantly held a
special and unique place in spreading the movement
of the Ironman races globally.
Aside from Hawaii, no
other competition has the quantity of worldwide
And no other country has as
many nations represented – generally,
representatives from over forty countries
participate in New Zealand.
The Ironman race in New Zealand still remains as a
must-attend event for all participants of Ironman.
For the sport’s biggest names, the New Zealand
Ironman has played a turning point in their
evolution. The victory in the New Zealand Ironman of
three winners later made them into big names in the
They all agree
that the Ironman race in New Zealand was a major component
in the advancement of their career in the sport.
Scott Molina, an American tri-athlete and the first
New Zealand Ironman winner, as well as Tim DeBoom
(USA) and Lothar Leder (Germany) have all recalled
that their victory in this country was a major boost
to their athletic careers.
Known as the real life Bionic Man and the
Terminator, Scott Molina was famed for his ardor in
joining race upon race upon race.
He is reputed to
have joined more than thirty five races in one year!
Once, Molina joined a cycle tour event at a time
when he was considered a rookie in the world of
comparatively expert cyclists in an 8-day, 1,120
kilometer stage tour.
Critics were impressed when Molina dashed off on the morning
of the last day to succeed in a Minnesota distance race for
United States Triathlon Series Olympic in the morning,
before dashing off to re-join the tour for the last hundred
kilometer phase in the afternoon.
His professional career of fourteen years is
comprised of over two hundred important professional
competitions. He won over a hundred of them and
ended on the stage 2 out of every 3 starts.
According to Molina, he was always ready to join any
race that involved a cash prize.
So intelligence of the latest New Zealand event, the
country’s first official global event authorized by
the organization of the Ironman was an irresistible
Molina was not particularly thrilled by the distance
of the Ironman either the entire distance of the
Kona or the New Zealand Ironman distance of a
two-mile swim, two hundred-mile cycle and
His placing 4th in 1982 in the Kona was followed by a 1981
and 1983 DNFS. Also, in 1984 in Nice he had a poor race.
The 1985 New Zealand race enticed him enough to dash over to
the Pacific and compete in the country’s first Ironman race.
No major races were slated at the time and the competition’s
format which was a bit shorted suited him better.
Molina had an inkling that things would not be easy when he
went to the race in Auckland in 1985. A big obstacle came in
the form of Dave Scott who had already won the Ironman in
Hawaii 4 times and had finished 2nd behind the 1982 Ironman
winner, Tinley. But Molina won and became the NZ Ironman’s