They may not look like today’s herculian participants in the annual Ironman World Championships, but the men and women who took part in the first ever Ironman challenge sure had guts.
According to Ironman.com:
During an awards banquet for the Waikiki Swim Club, John Collins, a Naval Officer stationed in Hawai`i, and his wife Judy, began playing with the idea of combining the three toughest endurance races on the island into one race. They decided to issue a challenge to see who the toughest athletes were: swimmers, bikers, or runners. On February 18, 1978, 15 competitors, including Collins, came to the shores of Waikiki to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge.