Shouty chef Gordon Ramsay proved himself to be a real Ironman when he completed the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Henderson on Sunday and qualified for the big kahuna in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 12.
The course at Lake Las Vegas included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike race and 13.1-mile run. At the finish line, his mother Helen handed him his medal after he finished in six hours, 38 minutes and 36 seconds.
"When I was 14, I needed a goal in life and I started doing triathlons in London," he tells Ironman at the finish line. "And all the sudden it grew. So from a 10K, then a 20K to a 40K and then when Ironman sort of started putting these amazing destinations out there, you combined a whole day and trained at the same time. I'm addicted."
Most surprising for Ramsay was how hilly the landscape is in Vegas. "For me, it's quality time," he says. "You get to see Vegas. You get to see these areas where you've never seen before? But out here today, I got to see parts of Vegas I didn't know existed. And secondly, I didn't know it was so bloody hilly."
Ramsay says his lifelong ambition has been to compete in Ironman at Kona. "I've got to pace myself and understand, it's an Ironman, not a sprint," he says, mentioning a shoulder injury he "can't shake off."
Ramsay says he promised himself that the minute he finished an Ironman, he would get a tattoo. "My daughters are going to think I'm über-cool," he says. He plans to get a discreet "IM" on the back of his ankle.
His complaint about the event? "The only thing I didn't like was the food. You know when you're 89-K-ing on the bike and you start smelling hot dogs with caramelized onions, and everyone's offering you a bite or a hamburger or a chicken wing? Do you want to see a chicken wing when you're 10 miles in? No."
Ramsay, who arrived on Saturday night and competed on three hours sleep, says he ate four Ironman bars and oatmeal before the race. Ironman gives you "levels of discipline you never thought you had before," he says. In fact, the triathlon helped Ramsay come up with three new chapters for his book.
· All Gordon Ramsay Coverage [~ELV~]
· Ironman in Henderson [Official Site]