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Ironman Legacy And Lottery Winners Finally Racing Kona

  • By Bethany Mavis
  • Published May 20, 2013
  • Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 1:55 AM UTC
Bryan Ogle at Ironman Arizona last year.

Meet three athletes who will finally be racing Ironman Hawaii as part of the Legacy program.

Last month, Ironman announced the winners of its Ironman Legacy program—100 dedicated Ironman athletes who will have the chance to race the Ironman World Championship this October. Of the 100 athletes who earned a spot to Kona in the program, 55 are from outside of the United States, from 15 different countries (including 15 Australian athletes, 11 Canadian athletes and nine German athletes).

The Legacy program, only in its second year, grants loyal Ironman competitors an opportunity to race in Kona at least once in their lifetime. To be eligible for the 2013 selection, athletes had to have completed at least 12 full-distance Ironman-branded races, have never started the Ironman World Championship, have completed at least one Ironman event in 2011 and in 2012, and be registered for an Ironman in 2013.

Ironman also announced the 105 (100 general age-groupers and five physically challenged) winners of its Lottery program. Almost 20 countries were represented in this year’s lottery—it attracted 55 percent more athletes from the Asia-Pacific region this year compared to last, and 88 percent more athletes from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Ironman Lottery program, which began in 1983 thanks to the vision of Ironman co-founders John and Judy Collins, provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to race Ironman Hawaii.

We caught up with three of the Lottery and Legacy winners—Bryan Ogle, Anna Fyodorova and Larry Lanza—to hear more about their triathlon journeys and their goals for Kona.

Visit Ironman.com for more information on the Legacy and Lottery programs.

PHOTOS: 2012 Ironman World Championship

Bryan Ogle (Ironman Lottery winner)

Bryan Ogle, 46, lives in California and has applied to the Ironman Lottery program six times.

Triathlete.com: What was your reaction when you heard you got a Lottery spot?

Bryan Ogle: Actually, good story: I came in from a ride (I was riding with friend getting ready for Ironman CDA) on Sunday and my wife says, “Did you enter the Kona Lottery, because I am getting congrats about you getting into Kona!” I am a social media guy and friends were posting to her Facebook wall. I pulled out my phone and my earlier post during the day was now filled with comments like, “Have you looked at the Lottery results?” I was totally stoked and a bit freaked out. There are Ironmans, and then there is Kona.

How many Ironmans have you raced? 

Seven (Ironman Coeur d’Alene four times, Ironman Canada, Ironman St. George, Ironman Arizona).

How and when did you first get into the sport? 

In 2000, I helped bring the USAT Age Group Nationals to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In 2002, I was part of the team that secured a license with NA Sports to birth IMCDA. … That was August ’02 and we did not have a course for June ’03. We got it done and I was fully immersed in the goings-on for ’03-’05. Standing in the middle of the “hot corner” at IMCDA in ’05, I decided I was doing the race in ’06. I didn’t own a bike or know how to swim farther than chasing my surfboard. In 2003 a close friend of mine in CDA finished as top local and it was pretty cool, which added to my stoke!

How close have you come to qualifying for Kona?

Not very. I think my fastest Ironman is 11:40. I am in a really tough age group (M45-49), but all the age groups are getting tougher.

Do you have any goals for Kona?

Yes: to fully and completely enjoy the experience and manifest outward the absolute enjoyment I get from the sport and the folks in it; leverage my chance to do something good for a deserving organization, but have not decided which one; involve my family/friends deeply in the journey (they have always been there); break 12 hours.

Photos: Kona Age-Grouper Bikes and Pros At Bike Check-In

Anna Fyodorova (Ironman Legacy winner)

At age 32, New York resident Anna Fyodorova is the youngest athlete to ever get a Kona spot through the Ironman Legacy program. She’s been racing Ironman since 2005 and loves the Ironman lifestyle.

Triathlete.com: What was your reaction when you heard you got a Legacy spot?

Anna Fyodorova: I was beyond excited when I heard I was going to go to Kona! It has been a dream since 2005 and I was literally skipping around the office and calling loved ones. Excitement, butterflies, relief, fear all rolled into one giant emotion.

How many Ironmans have you raced?

To this day I have raced 16 Ironmans, and Lake Placid and Kona are on the schedule for this season.

How and when did you first get into the sport?

I got into the sport when I was 18 years old. I was initially a runner and swam in high school and decided to sign up for a local duathlon, borrowed my dad’s mountain bike, and that was the start of a love with multisport. I then began racing triathlon and began with sprints and Olympic distances and then half-Ironman, and then when I graduated physical therapy school in May 2005, my next goal was Ironman Lake Placid in July. And that was the start of many Ironman adventures all over the world and hopefully many more to come!

What do you think of the Ironman Legacy program?

I think that the Ironman Legacy program is an absolutely wonderful idea and not just because I am going to Kona and the program is fulfilling a dream of mine. The Legacy program is allowing dedicated Ironman triathletes who have been loyal, long-time members of the Ironman community a chance to fulfill their dream. I have been a fan of Ironman, the idea, the brand, and what it represents and its high standards and world-quality levels of competition for a long time, and this program is an awesome addition to all Ironman has given me personally.

How close have you come to qualifying for Kona?

I have come close several times during my racing career to qualifying for Kona but with no cigar, as they say. I was fifth in my age group at Ironman Lake Placid in 2005 and fourth in 2006, but with one slot, both times it was taken before me. I was also third and fourth at the St. Croix 70.3 [one of the few 70.3 races that awards Kona slots] in my age group, and also the spots were taken before me.

Do you have any goals for Kona?

My goals for Kona are to have an amazing time, enjoy the environment and race to its fullest and every second of it and survive the Kona legend and not vomit all over the race course. I would like to go under 13 hours and just enjoy the one place on earth I refused to go to until I made it to the race, and that’s finally going to happen!

RELATED: What You Need To Know About Ironman’s New Lottery Program

Larry Lanza (Ironman Legacy Winner)

Wisconsin resident Larry Lanza, 45, has been racing triathlons since 1994 and Ironmans since 1996. He’ll be racing Kona for the first time through the Legacy program.

Triathlete.com: What was your reaction when you heard you got a Legacy spot? 

Larry Lanza: My initial reaction was that I felt humbled and honored to be given the opportunity. I consider it a gift from God to have the ability to race triathlons, and I’m very thankful.

How many Ironmans have you raced?

I’ve raced in 17. My first Ironman race was Ironman Canada in 1996.

How and when did you first get into the sport? 

Initially, my background is competitive swimming and I had dabbled a little in some local 5K and 10K running races. My twin brother Craig and I were introduced to triathlon in the summer of 1993 by a fellow Masters swimmer, Dave Diamond. Dave swam with us and was training for Ironman Canada. In ’93 and ’94, he invited me on bike rides from the Schroeder YMCA after swim practices (where I would promptly get dropped and then gradually I started to improve). My first race was the Pardeeville Triathlon in Pardeeville, Wis. Within a year, I started to meet, train and race with a whole host of local Wisconsin triathletes, most notably John Schlagenhauf, Terry Labinski, Heather Gollnick and Lauren Jensen. Without a doubt, they influenced my early years in the sport. In reflection, as the years have passed, as accomplished as each of them were in the sport, I think I was more drawn to the friendships and the social camaraderie of the local triathlon scene back in those days. The sport was much more organic. Continuing, the first Ironman Hawaii qualifier I raced was the Mrs. T.’s Chicago triathlon in 1995, which doubled as national championships that year. Ironically, I remember at the post-race party, they actually drew two random names for Ironman Hawaii slots literally as door prizes!

What do you think of the Ironman Legacy program? 

For me, it’s an amazing opportunity. I give Andrew Messick and his staff at Ironman a lot of credit for being bold and making these changes for Kona in a way he feels is positive. This race is unlike other races and is a dream for me and so many other athletes to be a part of. Going back to the very beginning in 1978, it was as much of a challenge just to finish as it was a race. Thanks to original finisher and fellow Milwaukee native Dave Orlowski for sharing a little about what the race was in its infancy, for those who started it—the ultimate physical challenge. My journey to get here has been a lot of hard work, and it’s also been a lot of fun. In short, Legacy is truly unique, and I intend to make the most of it and give everything I have on race day.

How close have you come to qualifying for Kona?  

I missed by two spots. My Ironman PR is 10:01.

Do you have any goals for Kona?

Yes, a few.  First, I’ll have a lot of friends and family there, so I’d like to finish in the light and not the dark, so they don’t have to wait too long. And with that, no medical tent. Second, I want to represent my friends and sponsors well: Ashworth Awards, Urban Hotels, CycleOps and RACC (Racers Against Childhood Cancer presented by GearGrinder). Lastly, I’m hoping my twin brother Craig qualifies so we can both race together. That would be fantastic to mix it up with him out on the race course!

RELATED: Hawaii Ironman Tips From A Flying Dutchman

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Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the associate editor for Triathlete and Inside Triathlon magazines. She received her B.A. in journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University and is a multiple half-marathon finisher.

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