Waterford native Emmet Kelly, an amateur athlete has beaten off stiff competition from professional sportsmen to secure a place at the ultimate Ironman final, the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii on October 14th, 2017.
The 34-year-old received the golden ticket to the prestigious world athlete event after qualifying at a UK Ironman competition held in Bolton, England earlier in the summer having completed this event in a hugely impressive time of just 9 hours and 34 minutes. An Ironman Triathlon is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world consisting of a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km cycle and finishing with a marathon distance run of 42 km.
The dad of two pre-school children, who works a full-time job and trains in his spare time, took on 2,000 competitors in Bolton and made it out of the water 72nd overall, he pushed his limits and finished the cycle as the 5th fastest athlete in his age group before running an unbelievable sub three hour marathon in a time of just2 hours 54 minutes and 55 seconds. Emmet finished 10th overall and was the 3rd amateur to cross the line on the day overall.
Commenting on his achievement Emmet said “This is a dream come true…. I’ve been training and competing in Ironman competitions since 2011 and it has always been my ambition to qualify for the world championships.”
On looking ahead to training for the Ironman World championships Emmet says, “I’ll be swimming, cycling and running around an active volcano island for hopefully well under10 hours in one of the toughest races on Earth but I know that I’ll be loving every minute of it all.”
The self-trained athlete gets up at 5:30am each morning to fit his training into his day. A feat which has paid off as Emmet has set three Irish Triathlon course records during 2017 alone as well as securing a podium place as one of the top Duathlon Athletes in the country.
Emmet has previously completed four Ironman events before qualifying on completion of this year’s race in Bolton; his four previous Ironman races took place in Ravensburg Germany, Klagenfurt Austria, Alcudia Mallorca and Vichy France racing in temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius. He once missed a qualification slot in 2014 by 72 seconds in a race that took him 9:23:42 at the Ironman Mallorca. Emmet will now live the dream he has worked so hard to achieve and take on the best global athletes at this year’s World Ironman Championships.
The race in Kona Hawaii can be watched live on http://eu.ironman.com/ and the NBC IRONMAN World Championship special will air on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. ET, with a recap of the pro race, also following inspiring age-groupers. Over the next few weeks, Emmet will be working hard on his training, working on securing race sponsors and will mainly be counting down to the race start time. For further information on Emmet, his training and his race preparation see www.IMEMMET.com