Nico's Ironman / by Ally Willix


A year ago I barely knew what an IronMan triathlon was. Last fall, I decided to film a documentary piece on a triathlete (who is now my boyfriend!) and I learned about triathlons’ ultimate race: the IronMan.  Since then, I’ve watched two IronMen races this past year and have watched three amazing athletes cross the finish line. My boyfriend and his dad raced in IronMan Texas in May and at the end of August we got to see Nico Robles compete in IronMan Louisville. They are all such inspirational athletes! 

For those who don’t know, an IronMan triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike finally followed by a 26.2 mile run. This is to be completed in one day. ONE. Not one week or one month but in a matter of hours!  

Being able to complete an IronMan takes more than just athletic ability; it takes strong mental willpower. The truly incredible thing to watch is for an athlete to take a turn for the worse, feeling so low that it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other, and then to come back with full force and finish strong. That’s exactly what happened on this sunny day in Kentucky. Nico had the mental drive to become an Iron Man. 

Everyone is so proud of you Nico! We can’t wait to see how you continue to push your boundaries!


 I love seeing signs like this during an IronMan. Some of them are funny and some are serious but all of them are such encouragement for the athletes and help them keep going throughout the day!


This is my favorite image from the entire day. Nico's dad's face as he goes in to hug his son is just full of joy and pride. It's the kind of photo that shows all of the emotion of the moment without any words necessary. 


I know it's been 6 months since your IronMan Nico, but I just want to congratulate you again on this awesome achievement! I hope you enjoy these photos and that they will always help you remember the day you became an Iron Man.