Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triathlon


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Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triathlon

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:06 am

Last night, while working as an analyst for NBC's "Football Night In America", Hines Ward announced that he would be leaving the next day for Honolulu to compete in this Saturday's Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. After getting everything possible out of his body as a football player, and being cut by the Steelers who turned down his request to stay on as a special teams player making minumum wage, he began serious triathlon training only a few months after announcing his retirement in March 2012. He's being coached by triathon great Paula Newby-Fraser. Here's the link to the first of nine videos documenting his journey to Kona.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ph-0QEuyz8

Of course anyone who has ever participated in endurance sports will appreciate this series of videos, but I'm guessing that even guys like Dixon will like them too.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby Daisy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:46 am

So is he just doing this to finish, or is he competitive?
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby TN1965 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:15 am

Did he qualify for Kona like regular folks do? Or did he receive some sort of sponsor exemption like the "charity runners" at Boston? (I assume it's the latter since the article says he just completed his half iron man.)
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:17 am

He has no chance of winning, if that's what you mean. He'll be about as competitive as Lance Armstrong was doing marathons.

EDIT: He finished the Kansas 1/2 Ironman in 5:53:18.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby bambam » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:39 am

TN1965 wrote:Did he qualify for Kona like regular folks do? Or did he receive some sort of sponsor exemption like the "charity runners" at Boston? (I assume it's the latter since the article says he just completed his half iron man.)


This story has been out there for a bit. No, he didn't qualify on his own, but he has apparently been training for it very rigorously. Down about 25 pounds (11 kg) from his football weight, and he was not overweight there. He has no chance to win, but seems like he has the capacity to post a respectable time, from what I've read of his training. It was in Outside or Men's Health or some other mag like that.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby Daisy » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:05 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:He'll be about as competitive as Lance Armstrong was doing marathons.

Makes sense. So a celebrity entrant who, nonetheless, is athletic.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:18 pm

bambam wrote:This story has been out there for a bit. No, he didn't qualify on his own, but he has apparently been training for it very rigorously. Down about 25 pounds (11 kg) from his football weight, and he was not overweight there. He has no chance to win, but seems like he has the capacity to post a respectable time, from what I've read of his training. It was in Outside or Men's Health or some other mag like that.

According to the article I linked in the OP, he was down to 195 pounds (88 kg) as of June, which was 30 below his football weight. That's still probably at least 25 pounds heavier than any of the elite triathletes who will be there.

By way, here is one of the comments from that article, obviously written by someone who knows very little about sports:

"If he’s in that kind of shape. He could probably help some team out on the gridiron. Not that he’d want to."

:roll:
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:52 pm

Ward finished the race in 13:08:15. He split 1:20:01 on the swim, 6:21:12 (17.63 m.p.h.) on the bike and 5:12.56 (11:56 pace) on the run (he spent a total of 14:06 in transition). He even had enough left in the tank to run his last 1.2 miles at 8:40 pace. Not bad for a Super Bowl MVP who up until a year ago had never run further than a mile, and who according to Paula Newby-Fraser, had virtually no aerobic conditioning when he started training! Here's the link to the athlete race tracker which has a much more detailed breakdown of the splits of the 2134 folks who started the race:

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/covera ... z2hWkDmhgJ
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:16 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:He has no chance of winning, if that's what you mean. He'll be about as competitive as Lance Armstrong was doing marathons.

EDIT: He finished the Kansas 1/2 Ironman in 5:53:18.


Not remotely close to what Armstrong was doing for the Ironman or half ironman. I was surprised how modest Armstrong's first marathon was (2:58) but he then did something like 2:47, which I think is much better than a 5:53 Half Ironman.

If he is a good swimmer, he could do the 2km swim in an hour or so, and the 56-mile bike ride on a good bike is easily done in less than 3 hours (on what was likely a flat course), which leaves him 1:53 to do a Half Marathon, which is only a bit under 9-minute pace. If I could train enough (herniated disks) I could probably do that now; I am in my mid-60s. So, no, he is not remotely competitive. The winning times for the Full, slowish Hawaii course were low-8s (men) and high 8s women (top woman ran a 2:50 or 2:50 marathon).

By the way, Gwen Jorgensen, who won a 3000/5000 Big Ten double after switching to track at Wisconsin from swimming, is now a top US Tri athlete; in fact, she has won a couple of the ITA events.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:10 pm

26mi235, I agree with your assessments of Ward and Armstrong, but I think you'll agree that the Ironman Triathlon is a much bigger stretch for a former football player who has no history competing or training in endurance sports, than it is for a former road cyclist who was a national short course triathlon champion as a teenager.

Personally, I think that retired football players like Ward, who excelled at skill positions (running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs}, would be more competitive in the Crossfit Games than they would be in the Ironman Triathlon, and it wouldn't be as much of a stretch for them, since the Crossfit Games put a premium of many of the physical attributes that they already possess.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:00 am

I do agree with your post.

In general, most celebrity athletes doing a marathon are football, etc., not cycling. However, I have been surprised how relatively modest the performance levels have been of top-level professional cyclists. I really see no reason why they cannot get down to 2:30. The have the athletic ability and the cardiovascular development that are key. In addition, they are used to working out many hours a day, so that 90 minutes at a level that they exceeding often in races seems like not much of an effort level.
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Re: Hines Ward: From Super Bowl MVP to Hawaii Ironman Triath

Postby TN1965 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:18 am

26mi235 wrote:I have been surprised how relatively modest the performance levels have been of top-level professional cyclists. I really see no reason why they cannot get down to 2:30. The have the athletic ability and the cardiovascular development that are key. In addition, they are used to working out many hours a day, so that 90 minutes at a level that they exceeding often in races seems like not much of an effort level.


This guy has run 2:29.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Atienza

Others may not have trained as seriously. Cyclists still have better time than other athletes.

This rower has run 2:59. Given his weight (98kg), I think that's pretty impressive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cracknell
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