Tony Reed, a 52-year-old grandfather from Chatham, Ont. did 21 Ironman triathlons in 30 days at the first Triple Deca Ironman in Italy.
Why would the five-foot-four, 155-pound realtor want to swim 114 km, ride 5,400 km, and run 1,266 km. “It’s a challenge,” said Reed, “And I honestly do believe people do more than they’ll ever dream when they’re pushed.”
In 2011 Reed did 10 Ironmans in 10 days in the Deca Iron Italy in 2011. But that is a far cry from 30 Ironmans in 30 days. Twenty-two athletes started the Triple Deca on Sept. 8 in Verona. One month later, eight finished their 30th Ironman. Sadly Reed was not one of them.
He lasted 11 days before injuries forced him to drop out. He rested for nine days, then re-entered and did 10 more Ironmans. That’s a tough outcome for Reed to swallow. “It’s not what I went to do or what I wanted to do,” he said. “It sticks with you. … You’re always going to want to go back and correct it.”
The course and locale were changed just two days before the race. The venue was no longer a lake-front, five-star resort and a closed bike course. Instead, it was a shared house, an unheated pool and a bike course through narrow busy city streets. Reed had hoped for an average of 15 hours a day. He finished the first day in 15:06, but he needed more than 18 hours on days nine through 11 before he had to drop out sleeping though day 12. Without any help from race officials, Reed took himself to the hospital with massively swollen feet and a risk of infection in his leg where he cut if on his bike chain.
Reed insists if he ever goes again it will need to be under new race directors. The event was full of last-minute changes that endangered the athletes. But he needed to get back into the race for the last 10 days. “The way I look at it, I didn’t want to go home with regrets,” he said. “And I did what I could. Am I disappointed? Yes, but I don’t have any regrets.”
For more info: https://decaironman.com/