Ironman Champions at Boston

During our Postcards from Boston interview show, we chatted with a few Ironman Champions, accomplished age-group Ironman athletes, and one of the all-time great Ironman legends: Dick Hoyt. There's a connection between the Ironman and the Boston Marathon….both ultimate endurance events in their categories….even Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray can trace his endurance roots back to the Ironman on Oahu in 1980.


Lionel Sanders and mom Becky

After knowing so much about Lionel and his background, we got to meet his incredible mom Becky today, who is running the Boston Marathon on Monday, her 5th Boston. It was great to hear Lionel’s story from her perspective. We learned that Becky is quite an athlete herself, an accomplished triathlete, who has finished Ironman Mt Tremblant, and will be racing at the 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga, along with Lionel. Becky’s ultimate goal? The Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Lionel told us he is waiting to swim to the coffee boat until his mom qualifies for Kona, and they can swim out together! Before then, Lionel, who qualified in Kona, and his mom, who has a PR of 3:30, will get to enjoy running the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Karen Smyers

Karen Smyers, three time ITU World Champion, and 1995 Ironman World Champion joined us for chat after guiding a visually impaired runner this morning at the BAA 5K. Karen reflected on her amazing career, how she first got started in the sport of triathlon in 1984, and the road to her world title at the Ironman in 1995. Karen shares her memories of how that day in 1995 unfolded, including the timely words of advice she got from Dave Scott near the end of the bike.

Chris Legh

Chris Legh won over 100 triathlons in his career, including 40 half ironman wins, 6 Australian national titles, and 2 full Ironman titles. But Chris may best be known for his famous finish line collapse at the Ironman in Hawaii in 1996. Chris shared his memories of and the impact of that unforgettable Ironman finish in 1996, along with some of his favorite memories of racing in Kona, including my favorite story of “Chicken Soup and a Glow Stick.” Chris ran 2:34 at the New York City Marathon in November 2016, and is looking forward to an awesome day running Boston on Monday!

Lisa Bentley

Lisa Bentley is in the Canadian Triathlon Hall of Fame, has 11 Ironman titles, and in 2006 was third at the Ironman World Championship. We chatted with Lisa about why she loves Kona so much, and why those races mean the most to her. Lisa was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 20, and she talked with us about the impact of being a professional athlete with cystic fibrosis. Imagine racing with your lungs at 50% capacity!  Lisa is running the marathon on Monday and chatted about how much she loves it. Her first time running it in 2011, she went 2:58, which was her Ironman marathon time, and 2:47 is her fastest time in Boston. Monday will be her first marathon since Achilles surgery in 2015, and Lisa told us she will draw on the energy from the athletes she coaches as she runs.

Mary Beth Ellis

Mary Beth Ellis, the 2015 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion joined us for a chat. Mary Beth explained how she got the nickname, the Honey Badger from her Coach Brett Sutton. She talked about what she learned from training with greats like Chrissie, Rinny, Daniela, and Nicola. Now retired from racing as a professional, Mary Beth is coaching, and chatted about how much she is enjoying working with age-group triathletes. We also talked about Mary Beth’s running background (she ran at Northwestern), and how over the years, she has learned the value of cross-training.

Angela Naeth and Mike O'Neil

Professional triathlete Angela Naeth, winner of Ironman Texas in 2015, and agent and race director Mike O’Neil joined us to talk about the initiatives they are involved in to help grow the sport of triathlon and increase participation by women, millennials, and minorities. Angela started and heads up the awesome program: Race Like a Girl, and together Angela and Mike are growing the sport with an approachable vibe! Love it!

 Dick Hoyt

Dick Hoyt embodies the spirit of a parent doing anything for their child. He and his son Rick have become iconic figures, racing together, with dad pushing Rick in his chair, through some of the most brutal endurance events around.  Yet while there may be a statue of them in Hopkinton now, it wasn’t always so easy for Dick and Rick to be accepted as athletes. But Dick and Rick are not two ordinary people, and the lives they have changed are unmeasurable! Dick chatted with us about his experiences racing with Rick in Boston, and at the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii.

Katherine Nichols

Top triathlete age-grouper and Boston qualifier Katherine Nichols joined us to chat about her fascinating new book: Deep Water

Dave McGillivray


This will be Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray’s 45th consecutive time running the Boston Marathon. Now that Dave is race director, he waits until the final finisher, and then heads back out to Hopkinton to run the course at night. For this obvious fan of endurance sports, we chatted about one of Dave’s earliest endurance events, as one of the 108 Ironman Hawaii competitors on Oahu in 1980. Dave talked about how the Boston Marathon has stayed the same over the years, as well as how it has changed; including everything they went through after 2013, which in many ways felt like starting from scratch.

Here's a little more on Dave and his Ironman connection: Dave McGillivray Endurance Legend

Read more about Boston Qualifiers at Ironman here.


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