Sports
1:07 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Jax Businessman's First Ironman Leads Straight To Hawaii Championship Race

Jacksonville businessman Billy Hart rides to a personal victory in the Ironman Triathlon, Cozumel, Mexico, 12.1.2013.
Jacksonville businessman Billy Hart rides to a personal victory in the Ironman Triathlon, Cozumel, Mexico, 12.1.2013.
Credit Ironman Triathlon official photo / Cozumel, Mexico

A Jacksonville businessman is giving himself a few more days of fun before he starts training in earnest for what many athletes consider the pinnacle of race competitions: The World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.  

Billy Hart crosses the finish line in Cozumel.
Billy Hart crosses the finish line in Cozumel.
Credit Ironman Triathlon official photo / Cozumel, Mexico

A triathlon is three races rolled into one: swimming, biking and running, in that order.  

Billy Hart, 45, says he’s been competing in shorter triathlons for 15 years, but it wasn’t until he went to Cozumel, Mexico earlier this month that he got to participate in his first Ironman event: a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a full 26.2 mile marathon.

Hart says all he wanted to do in Cozumel was finish the race so he could cross Ironman off his bucket list. But, he admits, he did much better than that. 

“I finished 5th in my age group and then 51st overall," he said, "and that earned me a slot to the world championship in Kona, Hawaii.”

It took Hart 9 hours and 13 minutes to finish the Cozumel triathlon. The record for the Hawaii Ironman is 08:03:56 set by an Australian in 2011.  

The World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii will take place October 11, 2014.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.