October 27, 2005 — NBC will present the ultimate showdown of raw athletic competition – The Ford Ironman World Championship – on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET). The 90-minute special, winner of 13 Emmy Awards over the past 13 years, follows the network’s live coverage of the Notre Dame vs. Navy college football game.
Over 1,700 of the finest athletes in the world, including the top international professionals, compete for $580,000 in prize money in the 28th annual event at Hawaii’s Kona Island. Age group athletes ranging from 19 to 80 years who achieved qualifying standards plus dedicated physically challenged qualifiers compete in a 2.4-mile Pacific Ocean swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon in a classic battle against themselves and the harsh elements of Hawaii.
The television production encompasses some 17 cameras, one helicopter, four boats, six motorcycles, 160 hours of videotape, 4,480 production man hours and 2,230 editing man hours. The final product has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Edited Sports Special each of the last two years and four out of the last seven.
Along with the competition among the elite professionals, the special will follow the daylong exploits of above-the-knee amputee Sarah Reinertsen, Catholic Nun Sister Madonna Buder, 80 year-old Robert McKeague’s quest to become the oldest person to complete the Ironman World Championship and the collective saga of 1,700 age groupers pushing themselves to the ultimate physical challenge. This year’s competition took place Oct. 15.
In 1982, the Ironman telecast delivered one of the most memorable moments in sports television history when women’s leader Julie Moss crawled the last 20 yards to the finish line, dramatically fighting off exhaustion to complete the race and demonstrate to the American TV audience the spirit, passion and emotion of Ironman triathlon competition.
Further information can be obtained at ironmanlive.com.