For triathletes, there’s no bigger day than October 10, 2009, when 1,800 of the sport’s most compelling athletes get together to compete in the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. To get to the starting line, participants must receive one of 200 spots through a lottery system or — like my client Michellie Jones — earn one of 1,600 coveted qualifying spots at one of the 29 Ironman qualifying events held throughout the world.

Michellie (pronounced muh-KAY-lee) knows that qualifying for the Ironman World Championship is easier said than done (as is competing against and beating the best triathletes on the largest triathlon stage in the world). More than just a qualifier, Michellie won the 2006 Ironman World Champion title, and finished second in 2005. A few years earlier, in 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Michellie earned a Silver medal in the triathlon, which goes nicely with the two Gold medals she earned in 1992 and 1993 at the ITU World Championships.

As you can see, Michellie knows a thing or two about competing in and winning triathlons. She also understands that massage therapy is a vital part of the intensive training that makes a champion, and she is not alone. The demand for my therapeutic massage services has brought me seven other Ironman World Champions to work on, including:

  • Mark Allen, 6-time winner of Ironman Hawaii
  • Paula Newby Frasier, an 8-time winner of Ironman Hawaii
  • Greg Welch, the first non-American male winner of Ironman Hawaii
  • Heather Fuhr, 5-time Ironman USA winner
  • Peter Reid, 3-time winner of Ironman Hawaii
  • Lori Bowden, 2-time winner of Ironman Hawaii

Collectively, triathletes I have worked on during the last quarter century have won 20 Ironman World Championships and countless other Ironman events all across the globe. One thing all of these clients have long recognized is the importance of including a flexibility regime in their training program.

Part of my work with athletes like Michellie is to assist them in personalizing their stretching routines. I have been involved in the Ironman race in one capacity or another since the mid-80’s and know that stretching and flexibility training can provide the edge that separates winners from everyone else.

Michellie Jones is a dominant, classy, and timeless world champion. Good luck Michellie, and thanks for letting me be a part of your Ironman World Championship preparation.